2016 is finally here! A new year full of potential and excitement, and a new set of resolutions. It is the time to set goals and achieve what you have always wanted! You want to get fit? Time to hit the gym. Want to learn a new language? Pick up a class at your local college. Have you always wanted to see the world? The best time to start planning is now.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or starting fresh, it is always important to plan out your trip early to maximize your enjoyment. To help you plan for that, here are some trends experts foresee for travel in 2016.
- Dramatically lower fares in 2016
Tim Winship of frequentflier.com predicts that because so many carriers have expanded their presence there are too many new flights to fit the demand. This means an excess of seat inventory. Monitor a range of flight websites over a period of time to find the best deal and be on the lookout for airline price wars. These are the best ways to ensure that you get the best rate.
- Mandatory hotel resort fee surcharges added to your room rate for items like pool towels and wireless internet could die next year
Sally Greenburg of National Consumer League predicts that hotels may finally make changes or completely throw out charges for these extras to ease consumer frustrations. Hotels have seen how these small changes can increase customer satisfaction with free Wi-Fi being the testing grounds last year.
- Increases in Mobile apps
Henrik Kjellberg of Hotwire sees your phone becoming more important for travel plans. Mobile apps will increase consumers’ abilities to plan a trip from anywhere and at any time. We suggest taking a look at WorldMate, Skyscanner and TripIt.
- High hotel occupancy levels and room rates
Bjorn Hanson of NYU predicts that hotel occupancy levels will be at an all-time high which will result in higher pricing. Make sure to book early!
- Changes to airline and hotel loyalty and membership programs
Dave O’Flanagan of Boxever predicts that airlines and hotels will make changes to their loyalty programs which could results in the value of your points dropping. Customers do not value these programs with the same level of appreciation as they once did. Recent surveys found that less than 1/3 of consumers believe that loyalty club membership guarantees a better experience. Further, if we see a significant airline fare decrease as predicted above, you can expect mergers and changes. It is a good idea to use up those accumulating hotel and airline points before these programs devalue any further or go away completely.
With all the potential 2016 holds we hope you plan ahead and get out there and travel.
Written by Samir Ahmed and Stephanie Thomas
Trends compiled by Christopher Elloitt in USA Today on 12.21.15
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