The key themes emerging for 2015 are personalized services and convenience. Here’s the honest truth: Our smartphones are basically becoming family members and our pets are not happy about it, we are not paying $400 on average for a flight anymore, and when we do arrive at our destination, it would be great if concierge services were a given versus a right. I know I sound like I’m venting, but many of the trends of 2015 have come about due to our frustration…but the sun always shines above the clouds, right? Without further ado here are the top travel trends for 2015. Happy travels!

The Smartphone Is Everything…Literally

I can admit to having a love hate relationship with my phone; I can’t live with it and I can’t live without it. I have seemingly forged a co-dependency with my phone like using the navigation to confirm directions for places that I have been to 50 times (Swanky Girl is laughing at me right now), but I digress. With that said, I am happy to state that it’s only going downhill from here. Last year I shared some really great travel apps, but they have nothing on what is coming. How about being about to grab a last minute table at a local hot spot where reservations are nearly impossible to obtain (try Table8 or Resy) or having the ability to leave your purse or wallet in the room as you shop and dine abroad (check out Google Wallet, Apple’s Passbook, and OpenTable)? For hotels, keep an eye out for deals available exclusively via social media and for keyless services that will allow you to do just about anything from your phone; ordering a Sidecar cocktail from the hotel bar from my phone is my kind of service.

The Road Trip Is Back

Even though the travel industry predicts that airline prices will be down this year in comparison to last, people are still hitting the highways to enjoy their vacations. And it does help that gas is at an all-time low. Travelers are choosing road trips because it is a less expensive alternative, but also because of the scenery and the laid back experience (I bet there is data to prove that airports cause high levels of stress). That’s why national parks are still at the top of the list, followed by coastal beaches – and California is the go to destination to let the top down on your rental for sure. Cross country trips are a thing of the past and like myself, travelers are opting to fly into one city and out of another – like the 500 mile trek from San Diego to San Francisco. Visit to help plan your trip down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Go Small or Go Home

I’m over large hotels. The 500 plus room massive buildings are great when you are looking for a place to lay your head, but if you are looking for an experience – I am going boutique and specialty rentals all day, every day. Millennials want personalized services, a home away from home, and an environment and atmosphere that is catered to those looking for something more “unique”. It’s cool when the front desk knows your name after a day or so and when the concierge hands you a few complimentary tickets to a local museum just because you mentioned wanting to visit, now that’s service. I typically stay at Kimpton Hotels for this very reason and when I’m looking into a rental, Airbnb is my default choice; but I’ve also had my eye on One Fine Stay, which is more focused on high end homes.

Welcome to your new normal. Have you succumb to any of the above travel trends for 2015 yet?

Shanna Jones

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


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