Happy Turkey Day everyone! Today is a day where I hope we are all with family and friends, while also falling into a food coma. Many are traveling during the holiday season, but with expensive flights and overcrowded trains, it can make things difficult for some. The average round trip flight during the holiday is expected to increase by 4%. However, it looks as though some are cutting back on food, such as Thanksgiving turkey, to save money to travel.
Make Room for Experiential Travel
Traveling is no longer solely a vacation. For many, it’s an experience. Of course people want to return home relaxed! But more importantly, they want to share amazing stories with friends and families, both in person and online. Spending a week at the shore is very different than spending two weeks in India. Trends are showing that rather than hanging out and relaxing, people want to explore, learn, and grow.
Hotels & Other Stays Must Make Moves
Hotels must focus on how to give their guests not only a luxurious experience but also a local experience! Spa treatments, local cuisine, art exhibits nearby, are just some examples of giving guests a memorable time. Travel brands like Onefinestay have amped up its game to support this. Similar to Airbnb, Onefinestay is a hospitality rental, but the employees seek out homes that will best fit the guest’s needs. Additionally, it offers hotel-like amenities, such as driving to and picking up guests at the airport, grocery services, and 24/7 guest services. This way, guests can experience hotel amenities but also live like a local as a traveler.
Other brands are also entering the field of experiential travel. Hyatt invested in Oasis, a company similar to Onefinestay. Oasis is a “home meets hotel” and features many hotel perks, but it is also a company that handpicks homes for guests. The employees also have a lot of knowledge regarding events happening in town and more local activities. Hyatt made its move on Oasis due to the shift from vacationing to experiential travel, and it’s a great way for smaller brand to get recognition!
What Else Makes the Experience?
Forget a one-hour workout at the fitness center or ordering room service at 2AM. Think bigger. The travel industry has come up with new ideas that appeal to travelers than simple hotel amenities. They are far different than room service and complimentary breakfast! Cooking classes and photography lessons are the next big thing in experiential travel. Why, do you ask? While a massage at a luxurious hotel or swimming on the rooftop pool can be great, they only last about an hour. Photography classes allow guests to capture beautiful parts of the city. They can also capture moments with loved ones. Guests can keep that picture forever, not just an hour. Cooking classes also offer the traveler to act like a local since the cuisine they will cook will represent the location’s culture. The act also requires involvement from the traveler, and group cooking lessons encourage interaction with others. Cooking classes are a great way to exchange cultures and make meaningful connections. Food + meeting new people? It’s a win-win.
Many sectors have evolved this year, and they will only continue to grow. Travel is one them! The idea of just staying in a hotel during vacation is bland. People want to explore, have fun, and learn. That’s what the definition of travel is today; brands have started to adapt to this new definition. Wave goodbye to overpriced hotel rooms and shake hands with experiences outside the hotel room.