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Travel trends for 2022 from Audley Travel

Published: 10/28/2021   /   Updated: 11/15/2021

Bespoke travel specialist Audley Travel regularly conducts extensive research to ensure it is offering its clients exactly the range of options they desire for their tailor-made trips, which are designed for each client based on their budget, travel wish list and tastes. This is even more important as the world reopens, with travelers eager to make up for missed trips.

From its research, Audley’s specialists have identified several trends in travel for 2022.

Most popular destinations

The top destinations Audley’s clients will be visiting in 2022 are Italy, domestic US (with a majority of trips booked to Hawaii), Japan, Thailand and New Zealand.

Private lodging and facilities

As clients look to make-up for missed trips, Audley has seen a shift in the accommodation types that they request. From rooms and suites with private pools in Greece to exclusive use of safari properties in Africa, clients are asking for more space and private facilities as they book multigeneration family reunions or small group trips. The same trend is seen in Sri Lanka, with Audley responding to the increased demand for private accommodation with the launch of a portfolio of private villas on the southwest coast. In the Caribbean, private islands such as Jumby Bay, Petit St Vincent and Palm Island as well as hotels that offer separate villas, for example Bequia Beach Hotel, are proving popular.

A 10-day Private stay on Sri Lanka’s south coast costs from $3,995 per person (based on eight sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation and excursions. www.audleytravel.com/us/sri-lanka / 1-866-458-8170.

A seven-night stay in Palm Villa with a private pool at Bequia Beach Hotel, St Vincent and the Grenadines costs from $2,100 per person (based on four sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation and excursions. www.audleytravel.com/us/st-vincent-and-the-grenadines / 1-866-569-4753.

‘Beach plus’ itineraries

As clients began to travel again last Autumn, Audley saw a steep increase in bookings for beach-only trips. These allowed clients to take a much-needed trip, but without the more intricately designed itineraries that they typically book. While these single destination trips remain popular with some groups (families, honeymooners and clients looking for a relaxing luxury break away in the sunshine), Audley’s specialists report an increase in requests for ‘beach plus’ itineraries for 2022.

While a typical Audley experience sees clients explore multiple destinations in one trip, a ‘beach plus’ itinerary is a first step back to this with clients enjoying a beach stay coupled with cultural touring experiences. It allows them to pack all their expectations for travel into one big trip without multiple border crossings. Many clients are choosing itineraries with a strong element of relaxation in nature away from the crowds, but teaming this with some immersive experiences that allow them to get to know the destination, and in turn take the first steps to the type of travel they love.

Popular destinations include Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui in Thailand, with touring options including a treetop elephant experience, Phuket food tour, cooking classes or a community cultural experience. The same growing trend has been seen in Kenya, where it is possible to fly direct from New York and experience both safari and beach within the country’s borders and avoid the associated Covid-testing complexities of flying to a second destination, such as Zanzibar, for the beach stay.

Audley’s Europe specialists have seen the same, with clients booking itineraries that give them time on a beach as well as some cultural experiences in the Algarve and the Greek islands.

A 15-day Luxury Kenya safari and beach trip costs from $14,275 per person (based on two sharing) and includes accommodation, transfers and safari activities. www.audleytravel.com/us/kenya / 1-866-424-1995

Luxury rail

Interest in travel by rail is growing, with 84 percent of people surveyed by Audley earlier this year saying that they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to consider rail travel for their next trip. This has risen from 78 percent at the end of 2020.

Audley’s specialists in its programs from Europe and Africa to Southeast and Central Asia and the US all report increased interest in luxury rail trips – both from existing product and new offerings. New opportunities to travel by luxury rail include Vietnam’s Vietage train between Danang and Quy Nhon, with semi-private seating areas for clients, three course gourmet meals, Wi-Fi and a head and neck massage included. In Europe, the routing of Belmond’s Orient Express now includes Florence, Rome and Amsterdam, giving more options for clients. The Rocky Mountaineer now includes a two-day routing from Denver to Moab allowing clients to enjoy the views through oversized glass-dome windows, with breakfast, lunch and complimentary drinks served at their seats, with overnight hotel accommodation also included. In Russia, Audley’s specialists noted bookings on the luxury Golden Eagle train, traveling along the Trans-Siberian Railway, increased four-fold before the pandemic. This is set to continue as travel re-starts with strong interest for 2022 thanks to the train’s off-the-beaten-track routing and luxury experience.

An 18-day Luxury rail trip across Russia costs from $24,995 per person (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, hotel accommodation, 12 nights on the Golden Eagle and excursions. www.audleytravel.com/us/russia / 1-866-584-4337.