Virgin Travel -- a subsidiary of the international Virgin airline, entertainment and technology corporation -- has put out an intriguing list of what travel trends may be popping up this year.
Flashpacking. A subset of adventure travel for people who want to go to new places -- with a thrill experience front and center. The flashpacker is "more likely to be found tracking wild animals in the Galapagos than hunting down fishbowls on
Khao San Road" in . Bangkok, Thailand
Sailing solo. According to Virgin, cruise lines are focusing more on attracting single travelers.
Automatic airport assistance. "Low-frequency Bluetooth sensors can alert you to when you’re walking past the service you need. This is currently being rolled out across airports from
to Amsterdam Schiphol."
Thermal springs. They're atop many destination wish lists.
In-air networking. Virgin says KLM is testing a Meet & Seat program, where you can "choose your seats depending on your neighbor’s social media profiles."
Food cruises. Noting the popularity of cable TV's cooking channels/shows, celeb chefs and cooking classes are taking to the waves.
Longer flights, fewer connections. Newer planes are more fuel-efficient, and can go farther and for longer. New direct-flights are predicted.
(TMS photo at the top of this post: The coach section of an LAN Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which flies direct between
and .) Santiago, Chile