From the impacts of global warming, to what you put on your wrist, here are the surprising things that will affect your 2017 travel plans.
We know it's not just us when we say 2016 was a tough year, and with the New Year has come a renewed desire to take care of ourselves from the inside out. Rather than abandoning your good intentions while on holiday, capitalise on the opportunity to relax, unwind and reset by embracing the newfound popularity of 'wellness travel'. You don't have to jet off to an exxy yoga retreat to reap the benefits; solo travel can be a great opportunity to take some time out, bask in your own company, and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that adventuring on your own can bring. Travelling with a loved one? Pair up for a yoga class, meditation session or relaxing massage—many hotels, resorts and cruise lines offer them, but if yours doesn't, you could seek out a studio or spa at your destination. Some health insurers will even reward their members for reaching fitness goals (such as steps taken, when synced with a fitness tracker on your smart phone or watch), so if actively seeking adventure is more your speed, you'll be rewarded in more ways than one.
Technology plays an important role in making our everyday lives easier, so why should our holidays be any different? Wearable technology (such as smart watches) now makes it easier to stay in touch with loved ones and keep tabs on little ones while travelling, access maps and other info on-the-go, and even stay on top of your fitness and health goals. It's also being used increasingly by travel companies to sync your needs with their services, such as on Princess Cruises where the wearable Ocean Medallion stores your itinerary and personal preferences, and even allows you to pay for purchases without the need for cash or cards.
The rising cost of living compared to a comparably low increase in salary for most Australians has meant that extended holidays to far-flung destinations are often out of people's reach, so to speak. As such, local destinations such as Tasmania and New Zealand are enjoying newfound popularity—according to premier Will Hodgman, Tasmania welcomed more visitors in the 12 months to July 2016 than in any year previous. With so much natural beauty at our doorstep, taking advantage of this trend is a no-brainer—after all, who wouldn't want to travel for weeks (or even months) at a time for less than the cost of a long-haul international airfare?
The effects of climate change have meant that areas with incredible natural beauty—including the Great Barrier Reef, the Maldives, Antarctica and some islands in the South Pacific—are undergoing rapid change, and now under threat from rising temperatures and sea levels. If they're on your bucket list, now is as good a time as any to visit and witness their magic before their further decline.
Brought to you by Princess Cruises