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American Express Travel: Where to Getaway in 2014

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American Express Travel Counselors Reveal Top Picks for Next Year’s Travel Trends

Hiking in Croatia. Photo courtesy

New York, NYAmerican Express Travel recently surveyed a panel of experts — nearly 200 of its Travel Counselors — on top destinations and travel trends they are seeing from their customers for 2014. According to the findings, heading abroad will be popular: 52% of the Travel Counselors surveyed indicated travelers are planning international getaways, and 45% of respondents reported many jetsetters are planning both domestic and international trips next year.

“Travel tends to make the list of New Year resolutions. For those who are looking to get away in 2014, we wanted to ask our Travel Counselors what they are seeing as the latest travel trends and share them to help inspire inclined jetsetters,” says Claire Bennett, executive vice president of American Express Travel. “In 2014, we are seeing that some travelers will want to re-explore tried and true favorites and others are looking into more unchartered waters for a new adventure.”

Places To Be Seen in 2014:

For a truly unique experience of the Amazon rainforest, a visit to the Canopy Tower cannot be missed. Soaring to 50-m-(164-ft-), with waystations at various heights, climbers can look out to panoramic views of the reserve, with the vast forest canopy a blanket of green at one’s feet. Image © Cristalino Jungle Lodge

As a part of the survey, American Express Travel Counselors were asked to share their insights on popular destinations they are seeing for travelers in the New Year. From royal honeymoon hotspots to hosts of world-class sporting events, the survey says next year’s list includes:

  • Seychelles
  • New Zealand
  • Brazil
  • Croatia
  • Vietnam
  • Bhutan
  • Alaska
  • Norway
  • Grenada
  • Greece

Itineraries of Note Get the Vote:

For some travelers, destination is king; for others, it is the itinerary that matters most. According to the survey, Travel Counselors selected arts and culture as being the most sought after focus by travelers, followed by ultra-luxury travel, culinary travel, solo travel and train travel. Additional trends, as noted by American Express Travel Counselors, include:

Rollin’ on the River – Cruising will continue to make waves, with respondents noting the continued trend towards river cruising. And while regions such as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean remain popular, the allure of river cruising is often tied to visiting emerging destinations such as Cambodia and Vietnam on the Mekong River and South America on the Amazon River.

Milford Sound, New Zealand at low tide. Image © Consequence Video Designs, LLC

Looking for…Soft Adventure – Respondents noted an increase in adventure travel — but this doesn’t mean travelers are ready to give up luxury amenities or take up extreme sports. Travel counselors are calling it ‘soft adventure’ — noting that clients seem to be getting their adrenaline fix by visiting more exotic locales such as The Galapagos and incorporating activities such as kayaking, scuba diving and balloon-rides into their experiences.

The Big Freeze – American Express Travel Counselors are watching bookings rise while the temperature drops. The Arctic, Alaska and Antarctica were all noted as increasingly popular destinations for 2014.

My Way or the Highway – From arts and culture to adventure to culinary, travel counselors are receiving requests to incorporate personal hobbies into travel itineraries. Whether cycling through the French Alps, taking cooking classes in Italy to hanging ten with surf lessons in Costa Rica, personalization is a trend to watch.

All in the Family – For those that don’t have the solo travel bug, family travel remains popular for 2014. This is certainly not a new trend, but families who are jetting away next year will be doing so with multiple generations in tow. With this in mind, American Express Travel Counselors are seeing a rise in both villa and all-inclusive vacation requests – two albeit different experiences that can each help satisfy the many personalities and wishes that are often incumbent with multi-generational travel.

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