2018 Travel Trends I Am Loving: From Star Gazing Platforms to Dining on Private Sandbanks

January 30, 2018 , In: Drift , With: 2 Comments

You’d think an avid traveler would roll their eyes at most travel trends, but I love them. Some dine in the air with only a glass floor separating them from a major drop, while others enjoy a five-course meal on the beach and the simplicity of the stars. To me, it’s about enriching experience as you travel.

From stargazing platforms to dining on private sandbanks, these are the 2018 travel trends I’m loving:

Catch It Before It’s Gone

Last chance destinations reemerge as one of my favorite 2018 travel trends due to climate change reality. Young people flock to destinations such as New Zealand, the Arctic and the Columbia Ice Fields of Canada to catch the stunning sights before they melt into oblivion. This trend also climbs in popularity surrounding the increased interest in sustainable ecotourism.

While the Northern Lights remain patient for me, the stunning snowy and icy vistas of the north melt and reminds me that all things change. I’m often elsewhere. Observing the changing landscape of my home environment and doing what I can to offset the damage through volunteer efforts, becomes an intrinsic reflection on my own identity and growth. Stop to smell the roses because some may not return next year.

Digital Nomading

Living the travel lifestyle as a digital nomad grows as professionals join the freelance and remote workforce: freelancers comprise 35 percent of the U.S. labor force, and that number increases annually.

When you think of technology and remote work, you tend to think of stay-at-home parents or millennials. Interestingly, as more young adults leave home, Boomers increasingly take on the digital nomad lifestyle.

I’ve seen this interest expressed by my parents, this conflicting need to stay active through hard work and see the world more as they age. Since I’m properly “adulting” now, I hope their dreams take flight. I plan to work on my work-life balance on the road. The digital nomad lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but when you’re elsewhere, sometimes you find exactly where you belong. Who says you have to miss work to do any of that?

Stargazing Platforms

If your wanderlust reigns supreme like mine, chances are you were first a stargazer. That’s why I’m so in love these 2018 travel trends.

Traveling resets my compass and redirects it to my north star. Dark sky conservation efforts preserve night sky visibility. Many public parks become dark sky parks and guard against light pollution, while other dark sky sanctuaries are located in remote areas, protected for their natural environment and scientific importance. Sanctuary locations may rarely open to the public, but the designation serves an important purpose in raising conservation awareness.

Plan stargazing trips 10 days before a new moon and four days afterward for the best clarity — new moons signal new beginnings. What better metaphor exists for an inspiring experience? Asian countries offer popular stargazing destinations, such as Xilamuren Grassland, Inner Mongolia, China where you stay in a mushroom-shaped yurt away from high-rise buildings.

Destinations such as the Trout Point Lodge feature luxurious amenities in cozy log cabins including a stargazing platform offering 360-degree views, and it doesn’t hurt that Trout Point is nestled in Kejimkujik National Park, which is Nova Scotia’s first dark sky reserve. Backyard stargazing remains classic, but this destination just made my bucket list, including visits to local dark sky locations as a “day” trip with friends.

Dining on Private Sandbanks

Experiential travelers seek destinations with personalized events to get their money’s worth. Private sandbank dining offers a romantic experience for couples looking for a memorable experience: they eat beach-side at the Maldives, a five-course meal served under moonlight by a butler at Cocoa Island to watch the night waves of the Indian Ocean.

Type “dining on private sandbanks” into your search engine, and you’ll see many destinations offering this unique experience. Beach-side dining on a private sandbank doesn’t have to be only for couples. It can be for best friends or sisters, too. I may have the perfect Galentine’s Day trip in mind, now. Keep my secret, won’t you?

Adventure Travel

Adventure travel is rapidly redefining the nature of travel, and I’m loving it. I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking to explore, learn, improve myself and gain more insight into the world and my own life. You probably initially connect adventure travel to sightseeing, but it focuses more around self-exploration – something we all need a bit more of. Adventure travel also supplies a more exciting and authentic experience, that can also shape the future.

If you’re an active traveler, turn your adventure into something a little more daring. I personally enjoy hiking and cycling, but you can even go rafting, scuba diving or climbing. Your personal level of adventure is up to you and what you’re trying to gain from it. Another area of adventure travel I’m digging is ecotourism – where travelers go somewhere with the goal to encourage conservation and respect for the people, wildlife and land they are visiting.

Conservation travel is sustainable ecotourism that supports the protection of local communities, nature and wildlife – it’s critical to accelerating the preservation of nature. I feel better when I give tourism dollars to local communities where the money can be used to create jobs and improve lives, rather than using it on a cruise or a vacation laying on the beach somewhere – not that I don’t enjoy those things sometimes.  With conservation travel I can help the world, which also seeing new places. It’s a win win.

Repositioning Cruises

Another travel trend I’m loving is repo cruises. Although they’re a bit underrated because many people don’t know much about it, they’ve become a new great way to go on wondrous cruises at a discounted price. Repo cruises give you the opportunity to purchase a one way ticket to one location, then once you get there, you can either stay, travel someplace else or fly home. This is a less popular option than normal cruises but because of this, enjoy them at discounted rates, which makes traveling by ship more achievable.

I love a good deal on travel, so this is the perfect opportunity if you do too. Other perks of a repo cruise include being able to visit an entire coastline all at once, a more laid back vacation with no back-to-back port calls and theme cruises. I know sometimes I’m craving a relaxing time away without a schedule, then other times I want something more fun and upbeat. With repo cruises, you can choose a laid back cruise experience or pick a cruise line with a theme that packs in tons of fun and activities.

You’re also more likely to get to know the passengers and crew on a repo cruise because they’re usually less populated that your typical cruise. This can be beneficial because you’ll meet lots of new people and feel more comfortable than if you were one of thousands on a cruise ship.

Solo Travel

Solo trips always teach me so much about myself, and they’re super relaxing because I can plan my own schedule, see what I want to see and meet new people along the way. This type of travel is a travel trend I’m loving because of the personal growth and self-discovery I experience from being in a new place on my own. It’s always good to step outside of your comfort zone, and this is a great way to do it.

Worried about being all on your own? Don’t. With the growing number of single households, more people are traveling on their own, especially millennial’s. There’s something to be said for being able to go at your own pace. So if you’re typically shy and afraid of venturing out on your own, all the more reason to go out and do it.


Ever considered glamorous camping? This is a travel trend I’m loving because camping can be stressful if you don’t have electricity, a comfortable bed or other necessities you need to follow some sort of routine, but with glamping I can enjoy the great outdoors in comfort and luxury, while I also get close to nature during my adventures.

Don’t think a pop-up tent in the mud and cooking hot dogs over a fire that took you one hour to start. Think of a yurt on a mountaintop or a tree house in the forest. You can clamp in a safari tent, tipi or a dome in a meadow where you can see the stars shine at night in a dark evening sky. Every wondered what it would be like to live in an igloo? Glamp in one out in Ontario or in France. There are so many options when it comes to glamping, I cannot wait to try more of them.

Combining Hobbies and Tourism

Also on the rise are hobby-oriented trips that immerse travelers in inspiring destinations and their passions. It’s the perfect way to jump-start your creativity. Sometimes, a change of environment is all you need.

Whether your passion is yoga, dance or learning a new language, hobby-oriented trips organize your itinerary while you focus on achieving your goals in a beautiful and inspiring space away from stress. Imagine yoga in India or learning Spanish in Barcelona. What about taking a landscape painting class in oils from a local master in a remote destination?

These 2018 travel trends inspire me to awaken the more creative parts of myself I’ve left behind in childhood — to pick up oils and give my adult coloring book a rest.

I feel inspired and my wanderlust begs me to go dine beach-side, stare at the stars and get back in touch with myself. It makes me want to see endangered areas of the world before they vanish. I want to help preserve what I can — though travel teaches you that all things change and so must you.


  1. Reply

    Combining hobbies and travel is a perfect mix. I like to do family history research when I travel, or go to sporting events.

      • kacey
      • February 19, 2018

      Hi Charles!

      I am glad you agree! I really like the idea of researching family history while you travel – very unique. I think I will have to look into attending some sporting events during my up and coming adventures!


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Kacey Bradley

Lifestyle - Wedding - Travel

Welcome to The Drifter Collective - a lifestyle blog sharing my love for travel, style, wedding inspiration, homemaking and so much more! Some people call me a traveler, while others refer to me as 'the well cultured friend" who drifts into everything. Pun intended. :)

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