Journey of discovery: Three travel trends to try in 2019

The Local asked our travel Facebook group to vote on what they thought would be 2019's top travel trends. These are the top three trends as told by group members who have already experienced them.

Journey of discovery: Three travel trends to try in 2019
Photo: Hayley Rose Budd

For those who enjoy wandering the world and are wondering where to go next, perhaps the next question to ask is: What should you do once you get there?

We asked our Facebook group of European travel fans to vote on what they thought would be the biggest travel trends of the year. The results spanned from ecotourism to spiritual wellness — naturally, we dug a little deeper and discovered several community members who had already tried and tested these trends.

Here are three of 2019’s most popular travel trends, as chosen and tested by our community.

1. Foodie tourism


Une publication partagée par Tatem (@tatem_k) le 5 Janv. 2019 à 9 :08 PST

Eat your way around the world, one city at a time. Food tourism is a way to immerse yourself in the local culinary culture of a place, prioritising your stomach above your other senses! We spoke to Joanne Monica an avid foodie who has travelled to many places to sample culinary delights.

Take a look at Lufthansa’s city guide to Los Angeles

Why do you think food has such an important role in the experience of travelling?

I feel that food reflects the intersections of a place, culture, and society. It’s a way of connecting with individuals on a personal level. There is nothing more rewarding than cooking and then sitting at a dinner table to share a meal with fellow travellers and locals.


Une publication partagée par Tatem (@tatem_k) le 16 Janv. 2019 à 6 :17 PST

Where have you visited just for the culinary experience?

I have been to Israel, Los Angeles and Amsterdam mainly for the food.

Food is always a central focus during my travels. I always research the foodie scene before travelling and often go out of my way to experience specific markets or restaurants I’ve heard of.

Take a look at Lufthansa’s city guide to Tel Aviv

What was your best experience and why?

One of my favourite experiences was in Israel. I met a Palestinian family, went to the Arab market with them and we all cooked together in their home.

Another one was during a trip to Los Angeles. I bought beautiful produce from the Santa Monica food market and cooked for my host, who is now one of my closest friends.


Une publication partagée par Tatem (@tatem_k) le 5 Févr. 2019 à 6 :35 PST

Which cities or countries are on your list in future for foodie visits?

There are so many on my list: Hawaii, Brazil, Mexico, Rwanda, Uganda, Lebanon, Japan. The list goes on an on.

2. Wellness tourism


Une publication partagée par hayleyrosebudd (@hayleyrosebudd) le 1 Mai 2017 à 1 :31 PDT

You can’t get closer to true RnR than a trip solely to rejuvenate and improve both mental and physical wellbeing. It’s the reason Hayley Budd a yoga devotee and London dweller, has gone on many yoga retreats around the world since 2014.

Have a read of Lufthansa’s Ibiza city guide

Where and when did you spend your yoga retreats?

I have been practising yoga for around six years now and went on my first retreat in 2014. I try to go on at least one retreat a year, or on a ‘yoga holiday’ with friends. I have been to Catalonia and Bali for a teacher training retreat as well as India, Ibiza, Grasse, The Cotswolds, Devon and most recently, Iceland. I always pick places I’ve never been to before, preferably in remote locations whether in the countryside, the jungle or the desert.

Why do you go to yoga retreats?

I fit the mould of the ‘stressed out City worker in London’ pretty well. I try and practice yoga regularly in London, but it’s more about making time here and there and then rushing off to the next thing. Going away on a retreat gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in the practice and switch off from my regular life – even if it’s just for a couple of days.


Une publication partagée par hayleyrosebudd (@hayleyrosebudd) le 16 Févr. 2016 à 4 :24 PST

What do you gain from it?

I find yoga retreats important for my mental health to de-stress and unwind. It’s always a great excuse to switch off my phone and my laptop. They’re also a great way to meet new and exciting people. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a new group of friends from all walks of life who I now get to travel with.

The other thing, if you’re serious – or want to get serious – about your yoga practice, is that retreats give you the opportunity to learn a lot more and spend some proper one-on-one time with a teacher.

I’ve also had crucial realisations about changes I needed to make in my life while sitting on a rock in a remote place.

Would you encourage others to try it?

Definitely. I was a bit nervous before my first retreat, being new to yoga and going on my own. But all my worries disappeared pretty quickly. Most retreats will cater for all levels, even for complete beginners. Just do your research about what you want to get out of a retreat, or follow your favourite teacher somewhere.

To borrow a popular concept right now, yoga retreats are the ultimate exercise in ‘self-care’.

3. Ancestry tourism

Consider yourself something of a detective? Bring your family history to life and discover where you came from, like Jess Arnold, a travel enthusiast from the United Kingdom who travelled to Lithuania with her mother in 2015.

Photo: Jess Arnold and her mother in Lithuania

Where and when?

I went to Lithuania in 2015. My great grandmother was Lithuanian, from a place called Kaunas, and my great grandfather was Polish. They met in Lithuania during the war.

Have a read of Lufthansa’s Vilnius city guide

Why did you want to visit your ancestors’ land?

My mum really wanted to go so we went together. We both just wanted to explore Lithuania, have a look and find out more about our heritage. And we’d spoken to my grandad about it and he talked about how much his mother had loved it there.

Can you recall a special moment from the trip?

My mum and I got the train from Vilnius down to Kanaus, which is where my grandmother came from so we knew she would have obviously spent time there. We got the train down and explored the town, then there was a massive thunderstorm. We were exploring a castle and got stuck with the storm raging outside, it was absolutely hilarious. My mum and I were laughing and had such a fun time. It’s something that will stick in our minds forever: Trapped in the castle where my great grandma used to be!

Photo: Lithuania

Did it change your idea of your family?

It did. My grandfather never really spoke about his heritage and my great-grandmother was quite a terse, strict woman. Having gone there and learned about what they had been through, it gave me a good understanding to why she was how she was and everything they had been through. And it’s interesting to have a better understanding of our ancestry and have walked (slightly) in their footsteps. It felt really special.

Are you keen to try any of the trends we mentioned? Have you already been on a wellness, or even a silent retreat? Curious about retracing your ancestral steps across the globe? Let us know in our Facebook travel group.

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Lufthansa.

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How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans

After long months of lockdowns and curfews Europeans are looking forward to jetting off for a bit of sun and sand -- only to find that their long awaited holiday plans go awry due to a shortage of rental cars.

How a rental car shortage in Europe could scupper summer holiday plans
Tourists wait outside of rental car agencies in Corsica. Photo: PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP

In many areas popular with tourists cars are simply not available or subcompacts are going for a stiff €500 euros.

Car rental comparison websites show just how expensive renting a vehicle has become for tourists this summer.

According to Carigami, renting a car for a week this summer will set tourists back an average of 364 euros compared to 277 euros two years ago.

For Italy, the figure is 407 euros this summer compared to 250 euros in 2019. In Spain, the average cost has jumped to 263 euros from 185 euros.

According to another website, Liligo, daily rental costs have nearly doubled on the French island of Corsica. At the resort city of Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca, rental prices have nearly tripled.

Today’s problem is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Faced with near absence of clients, selling off vehicles to raise cash made a lot of sense for car rental firms struggling to survive.

“Everyone drastically reduced their fleet,” said the head of Europcar, Caroline Parot.

Until the spring, most companies still had fleets roughly a third smaller than in 2019, she said.

Car rental firms are used to regularly selling their vehicles and replacing them, so rebuilding their inventory should not have been a problem.

Except the pandemic sent demand for consumer electronics surging, creating a shortage of semiconductors, or chips, that are used not only in computers but increasingly in cars.

“A key contributor to the challenge right now is the global chip shortage, which has impacted new vehicle availability across the industry at a time when demand is already high,” said a spokesman for Enterprise.

It said it was working to acquire new vehicles but that in the mean time it is shifting cars around in order to better meet demand.

No cars, try a van

“We’ve begun to warn people: if you want to come to Italy, which is finally reopening, plan and reserve ahead,” said the head of the association of Italian car rental firms, Massimiliano Archiapatti.

He said they were working hard to meet the surge in demand at vacation spots.

“But we’ve got two big islands that are major international tourism destinations,” he said, which makes it difficult to move cars around,
especially as the trip to Sardinia takes half a day.

“The ferries are already full with people bringing their cars,” he added.

“Given the law of supply and demand, there is a risk it will impact on prices,” Archiapatti said.

The increase in demand is also being seen for rentals between individuals.

GetAround, a web platform that organises such rentals, said it has seen “a sharp increases in searches and rentals” in European markets.

Since May more than 90 percent of cars available on the platform have been rented on weekends, and many have already been booked for much of the summer.

GetAround has used the surge in demand to expand the number of cities it serves.

For some, their arrival can’t come fast enough.

Bruno Riondet, a 51-year-old aeronautics technician, rents cars to attend matches of his favourite British football club, Brighton.

“Before, to rent a car I was paying between 25 and 30 euros per day. Today, it’s more than 90 euros, that’s three times more expensive,” he said.

In the United States, where prices shot higher during the spring, tourists visiting Hawaii turned to renting vans.

In France, there are still cars, according to Jean-Philippe Doyen, who handles shared mobility at the National Council of Automobile Professionals.

“Clients have a tendency to reserve at the last minute, even more so in the still somewhat uncertain situation,” he said.

They will often wait until just a few days before their trip, which means car rental firms don’t have a complete overview of upcoming demand, he added.

He said business is recovering but that revenue has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels as travel is not yet completely unfettered.

SEE ALSO: British drivers will no longer need an insurance ‘green card’ to visit Europe, EU rules