Travel trends: Which type of holiday will you be taking in 2014?

NATAL, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 14:  View of Genipabu  lagoon with a Brazilian flag on November 14, 2013 in Natal, Brazil. The Ecological Tourist Park Dunes Genipabu includes a beach, a large complex of dunes, a lagoon and a protected area (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

What's hot in the world of travel this year? Are hotels doing anything different to lure us in 2014? And what are the holidays everyone's talking about?

Whether you're planning to travel in the UK or to faraway lands, there are few holidays travellers on-trend will be taking this year.

Family getaways have never been so exciting, with hotels and holiday firms upping their game and offering epic adventures outside the kids club.

And of course, 2014 is the year for sports lovers to travel and we don't just mean to Brazil for the the World Cup. Russia, Scotland and Paris are just a few destinations where this year's biggest sporting events will take place, giving you the perfect opportunity to combine your holiday with an unforgettable experience.

For those who really aren't into fly and flop holidays, now is also the time to immerse yourself in the local culture, go off the beaten track and explore secret places for an authentic holiday experience like no other.

From local living holidays to twin centre breaks and social media hotels, discover the top travel trends for 2014...

Taking paths less travelled (literally)

More and more travellers are going off the beaten track and following routes that most visitors would not know. 2014 is the year to leave the crowds behind and hire a bike or car to discover new beaches, countryside and even the towns and cities you may have overlooked on the map. There are, of course, more organised ways to beat the crowds - many travel firms will arrange tours in undiscovered places. World Expeditions offers a Great Patagonian Traverse – North to South holiday, which crosses from Chile to Argentina through the little known pass between Laguna del Desierto and Lago O' Higgins, as well as The Old Elephant Trail Trek in Thailand, which revives an ancient trade path near the border with Myanmar.

Life's no longer a beach for families

Having young children doesn't have to mean just going on a beach holiday anymore. These days parents want to discover the world with their children in tow and a whole host of travel companies have caught on to the trend and are making travelling fun and adventurous for the whole family. For 2014, UTracks is adding a number of new 'boatel' family trips across the Mediterranean, including Croatia, where you can witness the spectacular wonders of its national parks by bike and sail the crystal clear waters with your little ones. In the UK, you can treat the kids to a Cornish forest school holiday at The Point at Polzeath and allow the kids to get stuck in building a secret den, making mud pies and hunting for woodland 'treasure'.

Hotels get seriously social

Like it? Tweet it. Seen it? Instagram it. The social savvy are here to stay and hotels are making sure they're always in touch with their guests. Some hotels have even been built around social media - last year saw the opening of the world's first Twitter hotel, the Sol Wave House Hotel in Mallorca, and Thomas Cook launching a range of hi-tech resorts for families, showing us it's not just teens and friends who like to stay connected while abroad. In Sydney, the 1888 Hotel's design was mapped out to maximise Instagrammability, and some of the Melia group hotels have specialist concierges that respond to guest requests via Twitter. Boutique hotel specialist Mr & Mrs Smith hosts #Smithday Fridays, when individual hotels take over its @smithhotels Instagram account and share a #smithstagram series showing a day in the life there. Hotels are set to get even more switched on to social in 2014 and beyond.

Eating our way around Europe

Food and drink breaks have taken off in recent years as holidaymakers are eager to taste different gastronomic experiences, try authentic dishes and sample the regional cuisine. You don't have to venture far to experience wonderful food in 2014 either, as Europe has it all - the local markets, vineyards, cafes. Imaginative Traveller has launched new Real Food Adventure tours, including a holiday in Northern Spain, taking in La Rioja wine region, a Basque-style tapas crawl and the flavours of Barcelona's Santa Catarina Markets. Head for Normandy with UTracks and you can meet with cider and calvados (apple brandy) producers or to Bavaria to find out why beer brewing is an art form in the state.

Getaway go multi-generational

With parents, grandparents and kids travelling together, the multi-generation holiday will be big in 2014. Self-catering villa escapes are an obvious option for couples, children and over-50s all under one roof, but families will be mixing it up by going on a adventurous holidays together, such as a three-generation family safari in Africa. The Selous Safari Company offers a private camp in southern Tanzania, perfect for large family gatherings for up to 12 guests. As 2014 sees the rise of relatives travelling in any number of multiples, Mr & Mrs Smith tells us there are unique boutique hotels catering not just for couples, but for tots and teens too. And the World Travel Market identified the rise of travelling Professional Aunts with No Kids (PANKS) in the USA, so expect to see more hotels with interconnecting rooms, playful pull-out beds and flexible family sleeping space this year. Le Jardin des Douars in Essaouira, Morocco offers quirky built-in bunk beds, while Almyra in Paphos, Cyprus is well-known for its impressive open-plan suites with interconnecting rooms and separate lounges.

Picking up new skills

If you love to learn, combining a new skill with your holiday will make your 2014 holiday more rewarding. Photography, cooking and painting are just a few holiday experiences that allow you to soak up your surroundings in a completely new form. Why not try belly dancing in Turkey, perfume making in France or surfing in Morocco? At Abercrombie & Kent's private Spanish villa La Maroma, you can immerse yourself in Andalucian cuisine with cooking courses, garden and gastronomy tours and wine tastings. In Italy, you can enjoy a painting course tailored to your needs at Il Fagiano in Perugia. The charming house features a converted chapel and lies in a huge private nature reserve so you'll have plenty to keep you inspired.

Sport, sport and more sport

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that the FIFA World Cup takes place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July, making it the ultimate destination for football fans in 2014. Elsewhere, the Rugby Six Nations will be a driver of city breaks so watch out for a scrum down to Paris, Rome and Dublin, tells us. At home, the Commonwealth Games come to Glasgow on 23 July and all eyes will be on Yorkshire as the world's greatest cycle race, the Tour de France, begins on 5 and 6 July with The Grand Départ 2014. You don't have to wait until the summer either, as the Winter Olympics and Paralympics take place this February and March in Sochi, Russia, where you can combine your sports holiday with a bit of skiing and sightseeing.

Living like a local

It's out with the expected and in with the unforeseen as local living gets bigger and better in 2014. Whether it's a lunch cooked up by residents of the neighbouring Berber village at Marrakech's Fellah Hotel or traversing the Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide, this is the year to rub shoulders with the locals. According to ABTA, we'll also be attracted by holidays that we see as more simple and authentic, and remove us from our hectic daily lives in the coming year. Farm stays and volunteering opportunities are all the rage and the new form of luxury tourism for those who can't take another five-star hotel!

Exploring more on a twin centre holiday

Travellers no longer need to choose between beach and city, and want to discover more of what a country has to offer, visiting everything from the mountains, cities, islands all in one trip. Two centre holidays will also be huge with honeymoons this year - why spend two weeks on the beach in the Maldives when you can split your holiday of a lifetime into a city break in Dubai and a blissful beach break in the Indian Ocean? In France, you can twin Provence's abundant lavender fields with the Cote d'Azur's beautiful beaches for a fantastic French holiday. Classic Provencal gem, Villa Barbet is an elegant hillside villa within walking distance of the famed attractions of Bonnieux. From inland, head seawards to Villa Orphie, a contemporary beach house in Ramatuelle, close to the glamour of St Tropez.

Which of these holidays will you be taking in 2014. Leave a comment and let us know below.

Now check out the best destinations to visit in 2014...

2014 holidays: Top destinations to visit
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Travel trends: Which type of holiday will you be taking in 2014?

Want a cheap European city break in 2014? Look no further than Portuguese capital Lisbon, which continues to grow among UK travellers after Post Office Travel Money’s annual City Costs Barometer named it the best place for an affordable city break in the Eurozone. Most recently, Lisbon was voted Europe’s Leading City Break Destination 2013 at the Oscars of tourism, the World Travel Awards. And we can see why. With year-round pleasant climate, rich culture and beaches, plus bargain flights from the UK with easyJet, British Airways, Ryanair and TAP Portugal, Lisbon is ideal for a long weekend away.

We don't need to tell you that the spotlight will be on Brazil next year, making it one of (if not THE) hottest holiday destinations for 2014. Host to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the South American country will be on everyone's travel wish list. From beach city Rio de Janeiro to the spectacular Iguaçu Falls, there's more to explore in Brazil than you can fit in one break. Football travellers will head straight for the 12 host cities, which include Brasilia, Natal, Salvador and Recife. But for a taste of authentic and less-crowded Brazil, take a trip to the Amazon forest and meet the Kaxinawá tribe with Bespoke Brazil. Alternatively, a new 15-day tour from Journey Latin America takes in Salvador da Bahia, Olinda and Pipa in Brazil’s exotic northeast, and if you're looking to do Brazil on a budget Real World Holidays offers an affordable World Cup holiday with camping and a 12-day Samba Special trip allowing you to see the top sights, get a real feel for the country and have plenty of time to relax on the beach.

It may have a few economic problems but demand for Greece is still high and the country is set for a bumper year in 2014. Home to the nation’s must-see sites, such as Olympia and the Epidaurus theatre, and the backdrop for 2013 indie film Before Midnight, the Peloponnese in particular is set to experience a surge in interest. With a new generation of boutique properties, including Kinsterna and Kyrimai, this is the year to discover mainland Greece. Not only this, but rumour has it Sex and the City 3 will be set in the unspoilt Messenia region in the southwest of the Peloponnese, so it could become the next hottest film location. Sunvil Holidays offers escapes to the beautiful Peloponnese, including stays at five-star hotel Kyrimai.

With the exchange rate making South Africa more favourable to British tourists, we think 2014 is the year to visit the enriching country. The minimal jetlag, wine trails and beautiful beaches are just a few of the things that attract travellers. Next year, South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom and democracy and Cape Town has been awarded World Design Capital 2014. WEXAS Travel's Cape, Wine, Garden Route & Safari trip takes in the buzz of Cape Town, the vineyards of the Winelands and the scenic Eastern Cape. While DialAFlight offers a five-star self-drive trip with a stay in beautiful town Montagu and a drive through stunning vineyard country.

In the UK, everyone's eyes will be on Yorkshire as the world's greatest cycle race, the Tour de France, will start in Yorkshire on 5 and 6 July for The Grand Départ 2014 bringing millions of fans to the Yorkshire roadside to cheer on the champions of the sport. The route will take cyclists through some of the county’s historic cities, including the Roman walled city of York, as well as the breathtakingly peaceful atmosphere of the Yorkshire Dales. Pride of Britain Hotels has two properties close to the action - Middlethorpe Hall and Spa in York and The Devonshire Arms in Skipton.

There's a new corner of Sicily to explore thanks to Ryanair launching flights to Comiso in the south east of the island. The new route has opened up what many believe is the most appealing part of the island, with extraordinary baroque art treasures, glorious white sandy beaches and magnificent natural landscapes. 2014 is the year to grab a cheap flight and visit the towns of Noto, Ragusa, Scicli and Modica, swim in the crystal clear water of the Vendicari Nature Reserve and sample the highly-acclaimed local Nero d'Avola red wine. soloSicily has a collection of villas in Sicily in sought-after locations. Real Holidays offers a variety of accommodation options and tailor-made trips. For villas within easy reach of Comiso, The Sicilian Villa Company has a selection with gorgeous views and pools. 

It's a rising star for 2014 and tourism in Zimbabwe is set to truly take off next year. The African country is not yet a mainstream safari destination so now is the perfect time to experience it without the crowds. Guiding is phenomenal (certification is a tough four-year process which is the envy of the rest of Africa), enabling visitors to get much closer to game. Expert Africa offers authentic bushcamp safari holidays in Zimbabwe. For all-inclusive luxury safari holidays, Bailey Robinson has trips combining Victoria Falls with private transfers. While Acacia Africa specialises in overland expeditions for families, older travellers or those aged 18-13 with various itineraries.

Garuda Indonesia launches the first ever and only non-stop flights from London to Jakarta in May 2014, bringing beautiful Indonesia closer to UK travellers. And that's not the only reason to visit the Asian country next year as top tourist spot Bali was recently named best value long-haul holiday destination, so if you're looking for an affordable destination outside Europe you won't find better than Bali. With Bali being popular with couples and backpackers, you  may want to go beyond the island and discover more of Indonesia. G Adventures offers tours of Java and Sumatra, taking in local culture, terraced rice fields, Buddhist sanctuaries and natural hot springs.

Weird natural phenomena have always proved a huge draw for tourists and next year it's all about experiencing the midnight sun in Norway. Travel companies say they've already seen a surge in bookings for holidays within the Arctic Circle for next summer, with more people looking to see the midnight sun than ever before. If you saw the Northern Lights last year and fancy witnessing another amazing spectacle, head for Norway to see the sun shine at night (just don't forget your sunglasses!). Simply Sweden offers midnight sun holidays in Norway, including stays in traditional fishermen cabins on the Lofoten Islands.

With British Airways launching a new direct route from London to Austin in March 2014, Texas is set to become America's next holiday hotspot. With great all-year weather, tax-free shopping and warm Southern hospitality, 2014 is a brilliant year to venture further than New York on your US getaway. The capital Austin is where locals live and breathe music so you'll want to spend your nights exploring the indie rock, jazz and alt-country scene. During the day, the Colorado River will keep you active with kayaking and swimming, and don't miss sampling the delicious Tex-Mex cuisine. For authentic backcountry living, head for a dude ranch, ideal for families or adventure travellers, where you can enjoy horseback riding, hiking and western entertainment in Texas.


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