14 fun travel trends you’ll love to try this summer

Anna Brech

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Want to travel big and bold? Meet your must-have experiences of summer 2019

New experiences are like catnip to the brain: we crave unique and extraordinary moments. In fact, the impact of trying new things is so potent, we not only get a feel-good hit – we also slow down time in the process.

From lost islands to jungle yoga and the latest wild ‘n’ wacky tipple, here’s 14 travel trends to set your world ablaze this summer:

The drink of the moment: Hanoi egg beer


How do you like your eggs in the morning? I like mine with a beer… Move over egg coffee: Hanoi’s drink du jour comes with a curious yolky texture. Owner Nguyen Chi Hoa serves his concoctions from backpacker hot spot Giang Cafe, in the city’s Old Quarter. Local beer is mixed with sweet egg froth and a dash of butter, for a unique, desert-like tipple. As an added bonus, the beery treat helps your skin to glow – so reports the South China Morning Post. Line your stomach beforehand with an immersive street food safari.

The workout everyone wants: stand up paddle-boarding


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Absolutely loving life right now! #paddleboarding #Finland #bestjobintheworld #adventuresworthsharing @flashpack @ourfinland

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It’s great for your legs, your abs and your core. Plus, it’s super-easy to do. Little wonder that stand up paddle-boarding is THE fitness trend of the moment, with a 500% increase in the sport in the past four years alone. Unlike other all-body workouts, SUP is low-intensity and relaxing; you can chat to your mates as you go. And it’s also a lovely way to see the world, whether you’re gliding through the lush jungle interior of the Philippines, or experiencing first-hand the beauty of Slovenia’s Lake Bled.

The cruise that’s actually cool: sailing on the Mekong

The cruise industry is booming right now, with fresh experiences bringing a renewed sense of vigour to the sector. Those in the know are using river cruises to access a more meaningful style of travel in off-radar regions of the world. One of the best of these is the two-day slow boat that meanders down the Mekong from Huay-Xai to Luang Prabang in Laos. “Put-putting southeast through the Land of a Million Elephants with zero wi-fi, you can’t help but unwind into the gentle rhythm of river life,” Flash Pack co-founder Lee Thompson tells Forbes.

The chic take on camping: Mapito Tented Camp, Tanzania


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Home Sweet Home ⛺️ When I Was Told We’d Be Camping In The Savannah. This Was Definitely Not What I Had In Mind. I Had Visions Of Glasto Roughing It Vibes. Not Luxury Like This. Not At All. Huge Deluxe King Size In The Serengeti. Showering Under The Stars In An Outdoor Bathroom. Hot Running Water + Plug Sockets Galore. Plus Some Major Aesthetically Pleasing Interior. And Actual Maasai Guarding Us From Wildlife. Spear Included. @FlashPack Is Coming Up Trumps With The Digs. No Hostels Happening Over Here Homies. Bet The Rent Is Cheaper Than My Pad In LDN An’ All. _____________________________________________________________ [AD – PAID PARTNERSHIP] Complimentary Trip: @FlashPack.

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Here at Flash Pack, we’ve always been of the opinion that camping doesn’t have to mean roughing it. And that’s certainly the case for Mapito Tented Camp in Tanzania, which positions itself as the epitome of safari luxe. Elegant open-plan tents sit seamlessly with the surrounding Serengeti plains, and at night guests gather around the campfire under a vast starlit sky. “When I was told we’d be camping in the Savannah, this was definitely not what I had in mind,” notes Flash Pack ambassador Lauren Mahon, who travelled with us to Tanzania in March.

The high-altitude brag: Farak Ri viewpoint, Nepal

Unique experiences are the currency driving a surge in adventure travel right now. And the best kind of one-off events bring with them a profound a sense of personal achievement. Step forward a nine-day trek through the Himalaya peaks, to the viewpoint at Farak Ri. Following in the footsteps of mountaineering greats, this trail veers off from the mainstream Everest route to a far-flung realm of thundering rivers and pine-covered slopes. The summit at 5,000 feet offers magnificent views over the Khumbu valley, along with a stay at the world’s highest hotel.

The off-radar reward: Holbox, the Yucatán Peninsula


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Mexico, mexiiiiiicccoooo! You’ve been awesome #adventuresworthsharing #flashpack #travelphotography #holbox #islandlife

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While holiday islands such as Zanzibar and Bali will always be popular, search for smaller, more remote islets is up 179% this year, according to Pinterest. It seems more of us than ever before are craving the off-radar luxury of a secluded paradise. At just 25 miles long, Isla Holbox off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula fits the bill nicely. Life on this traffic-free enclave unfolds to a delightfully unhurried pace. Wander the palm-fringed coastline looking for native flamingos and pelicans (but shh! Don’t tell the tourists).

The eco-experience: rainforests of Borneo

Getting an authentic sense of place is a must-have demand in travel this year. We want to get out from behind that bus window and experience places from a local point of view, while also leaving minimal impact. Borneo’s tropical interiors offer a chance to get up-close with the jungle wildlife in a non-obtrusive way, with immersive treks through lush national parks. A series of riverside lodges also allow a unique window onto the Iban people’s way of life, via sustainable tourism that directly benefits the local community.

The country escape: Mount Toubkal, Morocco

Forget your average Cotswolds B&B: if you want a county escape with an adventurous edge, look no further than Mount Toubkal. Morocco’s feted “roof of North Africa” looms at 4,167 metres, accessed via a hazy two-day trek along mule trails and wild flower meadows. This is a chance to escape the pressures of modern living, but also really stretch yourself in the Great Outdoors. The final ascent across rocky screes is not for the fainthearted, and yet the views at the top are unbeatable (and the post-hike hammam in Marrakech isn’t bad, either).

The great food buzz: experiential dining

The unstoppable rise of Instagram means culinary trends continue to gain kudos this year. And like other areas of travel, we want our food to reflect local experience. Forget the bland, air-con confines of a tourist restaurant; in Jordan, we head to the desert for a true flavour of Bedouin cooking. This includes baking traditional arbood bread in ash, tasting strong Arabic coffee and gaining a snapshot of how seasonal ingredients are used, from figs to sultanas and aubergines. The expedition is curated by Feynan, an award-winning ecolodge.

The city bike ride: Havana, Cuba


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Cuba – Day 2 – Havana & Viñales Started the day with a bike ride around Havana. Our first stop was Revolution Square (known as Civic Square before Castro took power in 1959). All of the most important political events and rallies – including the longest political speech ever given – take place here. The Square is surrounded by the José Martí Memorial, begins which sits the Communist Party building. Across the square are the Ministries of the Interior and Communications that feature memorials to Che Guevara, with the quotation “Hasta la Victoria Siempre” (Until the Everlasting Victory, Always) and Camilo Cienfuegos (sometimes mistaken for Fidel Castro) with the quotation “Vas bien, Fidel” (You’re doing fine, Fidel) – two most important men of the Cuban Revolution. Other stops along the route included the Almendalas River – the largest in Havana – and park – popular with those who practice Santeria to give offerings. A statue of John Lennon erected in 2003 after the ban on English music was lifted. And after passing the Hotel Nacional on a short ride down the Malecon along the ocean, Central Havana where we stopped for a drink inside of the Opera house that sits opposite Havana’s Central Park. We then drove a few hours outside of the city to the western province Pinar Del Rio Province to the small town of Viñales, where we ate and incredibly delicious family-style dinner cooked by a local family and served on their rooftop. ?? #canihavanamore #havana #cuba #chasingcastro #picsworthsharing #adventuresworthsharing #adventuretravel #flashpack @flashpack #wanderlust #instatravel #solotravel #sodamnlucky #yolo #youonlyYOLOonce

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Old Town Havana is one of the most evocative neighbourhoods in the world. And a bike ride means you can experience the Cuban capital’s beauty first-hand. Peddle between colourful buildings as you drink in the rich communist history of a place that inspired everyone from revolutionary icon Che Guevara to writer Ernest Hemingway. As Flashpacker Amy Ruud shares (above), the route includes a pit-stop cocktail inside Havana’s glorious opera house. The whole experience taps into a current shift towards slow travel, with an emphasis on connections to culture and place.

The wellness must-try: jungle yoga


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Post Ariel Yoga vibes in #ubud #bali @ubudyogacentre #yoga #adventuresworthsharing #traveltheworld #wellness #picsworthsharing

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The jungle town of Ubud found fame in Elizabeth Gilbert’s travel tome Eat, Pray, Love in 2006. And to this day, it remains a classic destination for self-discovery and wellness. Transformative travel is a trend that radiates from every nook of this creative hilltop town, from rousing rainforest treks to local painting classes. Al fresco yoga is practically a rite of passage at the Svarga Loka Resort, a spiritual retreat offering daily hatha sessions in harmony with the natural setting. Balinese massages and hot spring baths complete the restorative theme.

The ultimate night out: Andrés DC, Bogotá

For all our love of wellness, a wild night out is always welcome. And for a free-spirited vibe, you can’t do better than riotous Bogotá hot spot, Andrés DC. This hip and happenin’ hangout promises a dizzying introduction to the delights of the Colombian capital. And if you’re already suffering culture shock (and/or jet lag) upon arrival to the country, prepare for it to triple on entry here. Expect retro neon signs, stained glass murals and rhumba aplenty in the giant, circus-like interior. Get the Sabajón (Colombian eggnog) in, and let your hair down for the ultimate night on the tiles.

The wild-swim hot spot: Antelope Falls, Belize


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Waterfall swimming in Belize #belize #flashpack #adventuresworthsharing #picsworthsharing

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The world is brimming with handsome waterfalls, including some rather lovely spots for picnics and wild swimming. Antelope Falls in Belize wins points on all fronts. Situated in the heart of Mayflower Bocawina National Park, it’s accessed via a short but steep hike up through tropical canopy. This makes the serene pool at the top all the more welcoming for a cooling dip, surrounding by the calls of the jungle wildlife. And just for good measure, we’ll pause for a waterfall feast, too. It’s a small ritual with big meaning; a key 2019 lifestyle trend.

The beach-hopping hit: El Nido, Palawan

Our growing need to travel unplugged finds its answering call on the planet’s most spectacular beaches. El Nido on the Philippines island of Palawan is one of them. Regularly voted the best island on Earth, this dreamy location offers a canvas of powdery white beaches and emerald lagoons. The snorkelling here is second-to-one, and visitors will also find solace in chilled beach-side bars and coastal coves. Increasingly, consumers want to find meaning and connections via travel; and beautiful Palawan provides the head space for both.

Images: Flash Pack, Instagram

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