Today’s traveler is traveling with a purpose. Long gone are the days of spontaneous weekend getaways and online scavenger hunts for the best last minute vacation deal. As our careers become more hectic, family life takes priority, and down time (and “me” time) is limited, travel will be focused on our desire to “unplug”. Travel choices in 2014 will be quick, but authentic experiences where we can truly connect with others.

Wellness Travel

Information and technology overload are the key drivers behind the wellness boom. Travelers want to extend their healthy lifestyle, including food and fitness, into their vacation plans. If you are looking to relieve stress, plan a visit to a wellness resort. A wellness vacation can also be a great way to reconnect with yourself or your significant other. Yoga retreats will also become increasingly popular this year as well as detox resorts, like Deer Lake Lodge, located right outside of Houston in Montgomery, Texas.

Yoga Retreat (Photo via Healthy Living & Travel)

“Un-traditional” Tours

Guided tours are great when traveling to a new destination. They allow you to get an overview in a matter of hours without the worry of getting lost or spending too much money. However, travelers are now looking for a more authentic “like-the-locals” type of experience. Available in six cities, SideTour, offers local resident and neighborhood tours. Visiting New York City? Take off your shoes and enjoy some old school jazz paired with a traditional fish fry or brew your own beer as you are shown the ropes by a local expert home brewer.

Host Spotlight: Misako Sassa (Video via SideTour)

Go Extreme

Jumping out of planes was so last year! Companies like World View Enterprises will offer balloon flights that tower almost 20 miles above Earth, or at a price tag of $250,000, you can even secure your seat on the Virgin Galactic that is set to launch in August 2014. If that doesn’t meet your budget requirements, then opt for a guided excursion with high-end extreme tour company, Mantis eXtreme. With options from diving with whale sharks to a gorilla trekking experience, you are sure to find something to tame your extreme appetite.

The ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi (Photo via Mantis eXtreme)

So, what are your travel plans for 2014? Are you up for trying something new this year?

Shanna "Urban Girl" Jones

Shanna is the co-founder and editor of Urban Swank. She focuses on food and travel.

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