The trend? Micro Trips
What is it? Elle Magazine found that more than half of travellers are planning to take more weekend trips, rather than one extended holiday. This means 2019 will be about using your time wisely and exploring as much as you can in a short time!
Where in Ireland? When you visit an island that can be travelled top to bottom in eight hours, the micro trips trend is tailor-made for Ireland. Everywhere is pretty easy to get to by car or by the regular buses and trains, so you won’t miss out – even if you’re only here for a weekend. Take a bite out of the spirited Titanic city of Belfast, indulge in some slow travel with a weekend around the Fermanagh Lakelands, or head to Cork city, making sure to tuck into its delicious food and a boat trip to award-winning Spike Island.
The trend? Carbon Conscious
What is it? Booking.com has found that people’s travel decisions are highly influenced by the social issues in their destination. They are reluctant to visit an area if they feel there would be a negative impact on the environment. Green is the way to go.
Where in Ireland? We’re all about being green here in Ireland, with stunning landscapes dedicated to slow travel, including the Kingfisher Cycling Trail, Great Western Greenway and the delightful Blueways around the Shannon-Erne! For those who want to eat, sleep and breathe green, try a night in Downpatrick’s eco-friendly Hemp Cottage or the Gyreum Eco Lodge in Sligo, and forage for your supper in Northern Ireland's Sperrins and along the beaches of the Wild Atlantic Way!
The trend? Unique Accommodation
What is it? Elle Magazine found that two thirds of travellers want something that makes their trip truly special and places to stay have to reflect this too. The quirkier the better!
Where in Ireland? We’ve got barges, bubble domes and lighthouses. We’ve got Martello Towers and luxury glamping, or you can be king of the castle in Durhamstown Castle, or sleep in a yurt if bohemia is more your style. Quirky accommodation lets you catch up on your beauty sleep and make memories that last a lifetime, even if that does include perching yourself in a treehouse hanging high up in the trees!
The trend? Authentic Foods
What is it? Intrepid Travel reported that people wanted the authentic experience when they visited a destination. From going off the beaten path to sampling unique cuisine, people want to try the local food and see where it all began.
Where in Ireland? Aside from Irish stew (which has always been a hit), Ireland’s traditional dishes have been given a creative twist by innovative chefs in Ireland. Must-eats include the Ulster fry with soda farls, champ (a creamy onion mash), boxty (a type of potato pancake) and soda bread slathered in real Irish butter. Some food originating in Ireland is so tasty, it’s been given Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), so watch for the Comber Potato from County Down, Clare Island Salmon, Connemara Hill Lamb, and the Waterford Blaa (soft bread roll), to name just some of the ones you really must try when here!
The trend? Discovering Your Roots
What is it? Now that DNA kits are the norm, it’s easier than ever to find your family tree. Lonely Planet found that in 2019 more people plan to use this opportunity to visit countries where their ancestors lived. It can help them feel closer to their past, and they can explore their heritage, whilst also exploring a new place.
Where in Ireland? If you’re one of the incredible 70 million people in the world who claim Irish ancestry, the good news is that genealogy in Ireland is pretty straightforward. More and more resources are available online, and there’s plenty of advice and support out there from official organisations, genealogy experts and enthusiastic amateurs who are on a similar journey. Even if you have no Irish DNA, a visit to EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin, will show you just how much the Irish have travelled the globe over the centuries.
The trend? Off Peak Travel
What is it? Intrepid Travel found that more people were travelling in the cooler months than ever before to avoid the summer crowds. It makes total sense: with cheaper flights, accommodation and less tourists, you can linger just that little bit longer!
Where in Ireland? Oh, Ireland, and its mild temperate climate. Never too hot or too cold, it’s another trend that means the island is tailor-made for off-peak travel. In fact, there's no such thing as a perfect time to visit. Summer is great, of course, but autumn, winter and spring bring long, leisurely walks across deserted beaches and around wonderful big houses and gardens, fabulous city breaks, fun-filled festivals and events – and plenty of ways to keep warm when the sun goes down.
The Trend: A Learning Experience
What is it? People want to do more than just soak up the sun, they want to learn or try something new whilst travelling. According to Elle Magazine, 56% of people surveyed said that their previous travels had taught them something invaluable, from volunteering to mountaineering, and everything in between.
Where in Ireland? Learning doesn’t mean labour intensive in Ireland, and there really are too many ways to mention. You can learn how to bake soda bread in Meath’s Causey Farm, try your hand at speaking Irish on the Aran Islands, volunteer with Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or indulge your competitive spirit by picking up a hurley and sliotar (ball) at a Gaelic games experience.
The Trend: An Experience of a Lifetime
What is it? As Elle reports, people are becoming more adventurous and willing to try out uncharted territory. Thrill seekers and adventurers want to tick things off their bucket list, experience a one of a kind event and create lasting memories.
Where in Ireland? We may be small, but we can really stack up those once-in-a-lifetime-experiences! How about whale spotting around West Cork or Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula? Perhaps you could kayak at night time over the twinkling Lough Hyne in County Cork? Maybe you could spot the Northern Lights dancing over the north Antrim coastline, or drive along the magic roads that defy gravity around the Cooley Peninsula? Or you could ride the cable car to Dursey island, the only cable car in Europe to cross open seawater!