Five of the Hottest Travel Trends of 2015

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Commissioned news story (Source: Holiday Cruise LIne)

Spring is upon us, and the summer will be here before we know it. That means that consumers around the country have travel on their minds, and are making plans. Some trends are already emerging. Below, we'll look at five of them.

1. Rental Services

According to TravelAndLeisure.com, rentals are going to look more like hotels, but more and more, but they won't be booked through hotel websites. They'll be booked through Airbnb and similar services.

"Since the apartment-rental behemoth enlisted boutique-hotel guru Chip Conley in 2013 to advise hosts on how to improve the guest experience (scented candles, fresh fruit, ambient music), the line between hotels and rentals has become blurred," writes Amy Farley at the site. "Airbnb has introduced a range of initiatives to this effect, including a Super Host program that highlights some of the site’s most professional-style listings and a three-day conference that offers tips for aspiring hosts. Other rental services, such as the high-end One Fine Stay and the affordable-minded BeMate, are also stepping into this nebulous middle ground, offering guests cleaning and concierge services. BeMate will even store luggage for you and, in lieu of room service, deliver food from nearby partner hotels."

2. Cruises

More people are lining up to take cruises. Within this particular travel niche there are additional trends emerging. Conde Nast Traveler recently explored some, including: cheaper, faster, and better Internet, higher quality entertainment, better food, increased flexibility, and Cuba becoming a hot destination.

"At Holiday Cruise Line, we have certainly seen a major shift in the industry," says Jackie Finley of Holiday Cruise Line. "Travelers are flocking to cruises  in record numbers. While cruises used to be considered a luxury, today, the average family might actually be able to save money by opting for a cruise instead of a non-inclusive or non-packaged vacation. In the end, on a vacation, you don't want to spend your time worrying about details like meals, transportation, and other overhead costs. With a cruise, you and your family get to COMPLETELY relax and take in the surroundings without irritating or anxiety-provoking distractions. I think taking a cruise will become one of the hottest vacation trends in 2015."

3. Seeking Local Experiences

Travel Channel says more travel companies are starting to cater to people who want to experience places through the eyes of those who live there. They're attempting to do this by offering "unique ways to connect with locals."

"Black Tomato, a bespoke luxury adventure company, tailors trips to include immersive experiences that connect travelers with local experts, such as arranging a meeting with a bossa nova musician in Brazil or a private tour of the Sydney Opera house with a local vocal coach," says Kathleen Rellihan at TravelChannel.com.

4. Travel Curation

According to HuffPost Travel, curated experiences are an emerging trend, though it's described as a cross between a couple of other trends.

"A well-curated vacation is a personalized blend of meetings with locals, visits to cultural and historical sites (with minimal repetition), and a rich variety of eating experiences - all tailored to a specific traveler or group," explains Edward Piegza, President and founder of Classic Journeys. "The idea is actually the hybridized result of two other trends. First, even the most dedicated travelers are often spending fewer days a year on their travels, and they want to invest wisely in the ones that remain. Add to that the societal shift toward customization from bespoke jeans to Pandora music channels. 'I want what I want when I want it.' More and more companies are meeting that demand with specialized product lines. At my company Classic Journeys, we started made-to-order Private Journeys in 2000 and 2015 looks like the biggest year yet."

5. New Eating Experiences

Another emerging trend lies in how travelers are getting their meals while on vacation.

In another article examining 2015 travel trends, Forbes contributor Alexandra Talty says, "Sites like EatWith or BookaLokal pair visitors with home cooks, for a fee. Tourists are invited into hosts’ homes or restaurants to dine and experience the culinary world of a particular neighborhood or region."

Out of all of these, cruises seem to be one of the most talked about trends of the year. If you look around at a lot of travel trend articles on the web, you'll find that many of them include this one.