Inspiring ideas for where to go and what to do in 2015

Experiential, personalised travel

Predicted travel trends for 2015 range from ditching the guidebooks and going local to the complete personalisation of holidays. To ensure the latter, look out for the new breed of tour operators who listen to what you want and then create bespoke trips you won’t find in the guide books.

They say 2015 will be all about experiential travel and trying things we’ve never done before – like the holiday I spent trying to be a radio DJ on a breakfast show in Austin Texas, arranged through a brilliant company called Pivot Planet. You might prefer polar snorkeling in Antarctica with Aurora Expeditions or camping in teepees at the new Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Resort in North Eastern Nevada.

The personalisation of the travel experience is breaking new ground, with more and more of your likes, dislikes and holiday habits being stored by your tour operator, to help them improve their service to you. Then there are the experiences that can be organised just for you, like your own private tour of the Tulum ruins in Mexico, before they open to the general public.

Escape to the local

Authenticity is all in 2015. Travelling now is all about escaping the compound, plugging into local life and really getting a sense of where we are, through hook-ups with great local guides, spot-on concierge recommendations and even better, by staying somewhere owned and run by locals. Try Jungle Bay Resort in Dominica, owned by the charismatic Sam Raphael or Londolozi in South Africa’s Sabi Sands, a game reserve run by the rather wonderful Varty Family.

Good food

Good food is more important than ever to the discerning traveller. That’s why soon I’ll be dining at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, nine absurd months after I made the booking (it recently made it to the top spot of ‘world’s best restaurant’ though Noma in Copenhagen has now regained the crown). There’s no better illustration of our new willingness to follow a chef around the world than the recent launch of a collaboration between Cox & Kings and MasterChef – Foodie trips take small groups, accompanied by MasterChef winners, to destinations like Morocco, Vietnam and Jordan. Also just launched is Stirred, a new cookery school in the foothills of the Dolomites, run by Sarah ‘Tasting Places’ Roberts, at Villa Casagrande, the gorgeous 15th century home of her good friend the Contessa Brandolini d’Adda.

Simple pleasures

Perhaps best of all, there’s a shift towards life’s simple pleasures and making the most of our precious time away to prioritise relaxing and spending quality time with the people we love. Some will opt for a chic contemporary villa at the new Amilla Fushi resort in the Maldives, an island with a deli for lazy at-home dining. I’m more inclined towards a night in Switzerland in the Gstaad Palace’s shepherd’s hut (aka a walig-hut) in the meadows above the hotel, eating fondue by candlelight beneath a starry, starry night.

Photo by Kristi Johnson

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