Immerse yourself in your new destination with the experiential travel trend.

Traveling is an incredible privilege where you can explore the world anew. This opportunity opens your eyes to other cultures and communities different from your own. Often the sweetest travel memories are the ones where you are completely engaged with your surroundings and just living like a local. Incredible things can happen when you turn away from the commercialized tourism industries and simply focus on the place in front of you. Does this sound like a travel philosophy worth practicing? Well, it turns out that experiential travel is a growing trend for many people these days. This is exactly what it sounds like – experiencing your destination naturally.

Experiential travel is more than a trend, it is a way of life.

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Experiential travel has been a steadily rising phenomenon for the past several years. Dermont Halpin, Trip Advisor's President of Experiences notes, “It’s not a new trend. It proves what we’ve been seeing for a while. Since 2015, year-over-year growth in categories like outdoor activities, cultural and theme tours, and food, wine and nightlife has ranged from 40% – 100% and shows no signs of slowing.” These various activities allow people to more actively engage with their destination.

This form of tourism is an unadulterated way to get to know the history, culture, cuisine, and people of your destination. Oftentimes it is easy to visit somewhere new and simply go to all the tourist spots and spend our time snapping hundreds of pictures. Of course, these are natural parts of the traveler experience, but you shouldn't stop there.

Experiential travel first begins with your mindset. Enter into this new culture and place with a “clean slate.” That is, remove any preconceived notions or expectations about your experience. Simply dwell in the community and seek outlets in which you can do this. Whether it is a local food tour, a homestay, or an outdoor excursion, take every chance you can get to learn more about your destination. Experiential travel remains a top travel trend in the new year. Allow yourself to adopt this mindset for yourself on your own adventures.

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