Top 10 travel trends in 2010 - look out for "granny chic," "ecoluxe," "bleisure" trips

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The Independent Travel

Consumers can expect to see "granny chic," "eco luxe," and "bleisure" trips exploding in 2010.

A list of top trends, compiled for Relaxnews by Mr and Mrs Smith Editor-in-Chief Juliet Kinsman, suggests that holidays next year will still be affected by the economic downturn, but consumers will demand a more individual style when booking their trips.

"If our hotel bookings are anything to go by, people are still determined to travel but are choosing how and where they spend their money much more carefully," commented Juliet Kinsman. "Value will continue to be important, whether that means creative online searching for great deals, exploring new destinations that offer currency advantages, or joining travel clubs for exclusive discounts."

Many consumers will welcome the end of stark, minimalist hotel design as 2010 ushers in the era of "granny-chic" - comfortably, homey places with a fashionable twist. Green travel will remain key, said Kinsman, with consumers being more critical of green credentials and destinations responding by pushing the innovation boundaries. Mixing business and pleasure to create "bleisure" holidays will also grow in popularity as business travelers take the opportunity to tack a few extra days onto the trip or bring a spouse along for the ride.

2010's Top Travel Trends
Compiled by Juliet Kinsman, Mr & Mrs Smith

1. Cheap-chic holiday houses and apartments
A high level of looks and service in a traditional setting; the self-catering cottage.

2. Boutique B&Bs
Guesthouses with gusto adopt come-hither sexiness from the boutique big boys. For the US, boutique motels like made-over motel Hotel San Jose in Austin, Texas.

3. Upmarket all-inclusives
Money is still a major issue for people - even at the luxury end - so we're looking for value more than ever: upscale packages are desirable as there aren't any hidden costs or room service extras above and beyond what you've already shelled out.

4. Eco luxe
Hotels are starting to become more and self-sufficient wherever they can and travelers are considering the environmental credentials of a hotel more - this is constantly on the increase so hotels going the extra mile to lower carbon emissions. For example Fregate, a private island in the Seychelles, is saving sea birds and makes its own spa products whilst Vigilius mountain resort in South Tyrol, Italy, harnesses natural energy.

5. Mixing business with pleasure
'Bleisure' trips are on the rise - people who travel a lot and want every corporate need but feel anything but businessy. Alternatively, they like to tack on time-off onto business jaunts and bring their spouse along for the ride.

6. Latin adventures
This part of the world is seeing huge growth as a luxury travel destination, for example Francis Ford Coppola's Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize, the Haciendas luxury hotel in the Yucatan - and there are other outposts in San Jose, Uayamon, Santa Rosa and Temozon (Mexico).

7. Traincations
Rail travel in Europe means getting there is more fun, especially with new high-speed rail links into Spain and Italy.

8. Flashpacking
Backpacking with a bigger budget and laced with a lot more style. Travelers who are more accustomed to five-star hotels than youth hostels are doing places such as the Sal Salis safari camp (Australia).

9. Granny chic
A move away from look-don't-touch minimalist to traditional-with-a-twist homey comforts as exemplified by Dean Street Townhouse in London.

10. Family-friendly hip hotels
Grown-up getaways that don't just tolerate children, but help you enjoy an adult escape with your little ones in tow.

Mr & Mrs Smith has been uncovering, personally visiting and anonymously reviewing boutique hotels around the world since 2003.