The Year Ahead: Welcome, 2008
Every year, travel forecasters look into their crystal balls and speculate on New Year trends.
Italy: In (That country is like Meryl Streep at the Oscars.)
Canada: On Its Way Out
Airplanes: Still Delayed
Let's see what else those wizards -- guidebook experts, travel associations and consultants, ad agencies, the feds -- have prophesied for 2008.
Americans will take shorter trips, won't travel as far and are gearing up to see the Beijing Olympics--live. (Hmmm, doesn't that cancel out Outlook No. 2?) Europe -- minus Italy, of course -- is yesteryear, but it shouldn't take the rejection personally: It's the currency, stupid. For its plunging status, the Caribbean can blame the U.S. State Department, whose new passport rule (Americans need passports to return from the islands, among other foreign lands) has been a giant storm cloud that won't disperse.
Of course, plenty of travel analysts are also predicting that things won't get better this year in the air, but we already figured that much, didn't we?
One of more interesting predictions came from Lonely Planet, the guidebook stalwart that relies on people traveling to countries that end in "stan" or have more monkeys than residents. LP proclaimed the United States as the Destination of 2008. Whoa, here I come Buffalo. Whoa, not so fast. Thankfully, it then proceeds to winnow down our 50, emphasizing Hawaii and U.S. National Parks.
As I reflect on where to go this year -- Sri Lanka or Madagascar, Bolivia or Indonesia -- maybe I should be a good American and go all-American. I have always wanted to trek around Maine's Acadia National Park and, embarassingly enough, have never seen the Grand Canyon. But as we all know, you need to support the underdogs, so perhaps I'll give some attention to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska or the Saint Croix National Scenic River in, no not the Caribbean, but Wisconsin. However, to really make the most of Lonely Planet's prognosis, I should head to the Kalaupapa National Historical Park or the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail in Hawaii. Yes, I'm proud to be an American in 2008.
Do you have a favorite domestic or national park destination I should add to my 2008 travel planner?
By Andrea Sachs |
January 2, 2008; 7:08 AM ET
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