Going solo. It’s not only divorced, widowed or other single people who are taking trips without a partner. Experts say travelers seem more willing to go it alone when their loved ones don’t share their interests — whether it’s hiking or cruising or fly-fishing. For instance, Intrepid Travel, an Australia-based adventure travel company, has seen the number of single bookings for its small group trips grow by 40 percent in the past five years, and it's introducing a range of solos-only adventures for 2018.  

Family at water park
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"Skip-gen" travel. Multigenerational trips are big, says Vicky Garcia, chief operating officer of Cruise Planners, especially the “skip-gen” sort — in which a generation is skipped and grandparents take grandkids on adventures without their parents. Road Scholar, a nonprofit that provides educational travel tours mainly geared toward older adults, has seen a surging interest in skip-gen vacations. It now offers more than 150 different trips for grandparents and grandchildren, and has declared 2018 the Year of the Grandparent.

Adventure or bucket-list cruises. Boomers who can afford high-end travel are choosing luxury expedition-style cruises to exotic places such as Antarctica or the Galapagos Islands. Many favor smaller ships (less than 100 passengers) that allow for off-ship adventures. They’re lovely boats, Garcia says, but for these travelers, “it’s not about having fluffy pillows. It’s about having a trip of a lifetime.” 

Woman at farmer's market
  Krista Rossow/National Geographic/Getty Images

Foodie travel. Travelers are increasingly looking for trips either devoted entirely to exploring an area’s cuisine or to incorporating it (a hands-on cooking class in Paris, say, or shopping at farmers markets with a local chef in Santa Fe) into their vacation. The World Food Travel Association reports that the top reason travelers cite for their focus on food is an “interest in authentic experiences.” 

High-tech cruising. Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas — set to be the world’s largest cruise ship when it launches in April — is introducing an app that will, among other things, allow passengers to check in remotely and unlock their cabin doors. Carnival has just begun offering passengers on its Regal Princess a wearable “medallion” that keeps track of a passenger’s preferences and, through an accompanying app, offers activity reminders and onboard directions.