A new year means new vacations.
Not the type of vacations from last year.
As experienced luxury travelers would say:
That's so 2012.
This is 2013, and if the trends on this list pan out, you can expect a year filled with the most luxurious travel opportunities to date.
Here are some of the hot trends we're following in 2013...
1) Luxury for the Young and Young at Heart
As the economy rebounds, we'll start to see the younger generation of luxury travelers making their way to some of the world's most sought-after destinations.
While these younger travelers are doing well for themselves — especially at such a young age — they're also more tech-savvy, which gives them the opportunity to use the Internet to their advantage and find the best deals.
(Stay tuned for a similar trend on this list!)
This younger clientele shouldn't scare off the veteran luxury travelers, however.
In fact, having more age diversity will actually enrich everyone's experience — be it in India, on an exotic island in the Caribbean, or at the Milan Fashion Show.
2) Look for More Collaboration
The next time you book a room at that fancy, 5-start hotel in Chicago, you might receive a perk from the exquisite restaurant down the street.
More travel companies are teaming up to make the experiences they deliver even better.
The Ace Hotel in New York City is currently offering in-house suit services from a prestigious Brooklyn tailor.
The Lodge & Spa at the Cordillera in Beaver Creek, Colorado has teamed up with a local sleigh ride company down the hill from the hotel to give guests a winter wonderland experience, which is followed by an impressive dinner in a quaint cabin among the Rocky Mountains.
Collaboration is key for travelers this year.
3) Let's Get Social
Are you tweeting about your experience?
Checking in at the restaurant you're eating at on FourSquare or Yelp?
More luxury travelers are going to take advantage of fun social media experiences this year that not only let them brag to their followers where they are at, but also score a fun deal at the same time.
It's not just about the major social networks, either.
Just like Starbucks offers free app downloads each day by giving out business cards with a promo code on the back, hotels might be including something similar that deals with the city you're visiting.
Download that city-specific app for an even greater experience.
4) Theme-Centric Vacations
Long gone are the days where you simply show up and take in as much as you possibly can in a destination.
There is simply too much to see in some of these most sought-after destinations.
That's why more luxury travelers are planning theme vacations.
Take a food tour of Spain, the country that features the most Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than any other around the globe.
Or how about an adventure vacation where you can bike halfway up a mountain in Northern California, followed by a rigorous hike to the top?
Don't worry about your bikes — a mountain concierge service will have them cleaned and ready for you at the bottom.
Planning a theme vacation takes the stress out of traveling, because you're not trying to squeeze in a hundred separate activities.
5) Event-focused vacations
Vacations just don't have to be built around the idea of "getting away."
Sometimes there's an even better reason to relax for a week.
Maybe it's attending the Super Bowl, and taking in all the pre-game activities a week before kickoff.
Or perhaps attend New York City's Fashion Week and combine a day at the spa along with a fun makeover to make you look and feel like the ultimate fashionista.
Oh, and don't forget to buy some new clothes on the luxurious Fifth Avenue.
6) Hyper-local is the New Authentic
Fans of luxury travel want that authentic experience, but for the past several years, they haven't been looking in the right places.
If you're looking for a truly authentic experience, visit the nooks and crannies of popular destinations.
Go out and rediscover some of the most beautiful inner-city villages.
If you're in Europe and traveling to Berlin, don't just check out the historic city.
Also travel to Mitte, which is similar to how Brooklyn relates to New York City.
In these villages, you can often find delightful boutique hotels and restaurants that are a city's best-kept secret.
7) Skyscrape Your Luxury Travel Adventure
When you check in at your next hotel, don't just accept any old room.
Request the room on the highest floor possible.
Most of the time, this means paying a little extra for an executive suite, or some equivalent, but the experience is stunning.
You'll take in an amazing view of whichever city you're visiting and beyond, and have a perfect opportunity for that family Holiday card photo.
Just remember to use some fill flash so you can see your family and the stunning cityscape in the background.
8) China is Still Calling
It seems like China is on the bucket list for most luxury travel enthusiasts.
And why shouldn't it be?
The country's economy is booming, its food is absolutely delicious and you have plenty of exotic islands (Thailand, the Maldives, etc.) that help you extend your trip and make it more luxurious.
Bangkok is ultra-luxe and a must-see for 2013.
9) Quirky is in
Business Insider recently released its 2013 luxury travel trends, and included a fun one at the end:
"Expect to see more hotels bringing the fun, from quirky staff uniforms to unusual features such as pinball machines in bedrooms, screening rooms, DIY Martini kits, cigar bar, pet treats, glam guest bikes and scooters for hire."
Sure a pinball machine sounds crazy, but your kids will certainly like it.
And you shouldn't be too annoyed by the dinging of the machine as you craft the perfect martini.
No, not that thing you did as a child.
This unique trend is staying in luxury apartments that you'll never find on any popular travel website.
From a recent Reuters report:
"Couch-surfing is a hospitality revolution, thinks Robert Reid, travel editor for the Lonely Planet, one of the leading guides for consumers in a multi-billion dollar travel industry courted by almost every country on the globe."
The idea is simple: People visit popular cities and find chic residential apartments to stay at for the week and live like a local.
Talk about authentic.
This will help court in the younger-generation of travelers, mainly because of the price.
A typical New York hotel room could cost $300 per night.
Stay in a luxury apartment in Brooklyn and you may only pay $100 for the night.
Plus you'll have more space, a full-kitchen at your disposal and yes, even an opportunity to meet your neighbors for the week.
Oh, and parking won't cost you an arm and a leg.
11) Outer-Space? Meh…
Let's be straight: If you have $250,000 to $500,000 to blow and money is no object, then you need to call up Virgin Galactic and book a spot on their flight into outer space.
But you'e been warned!
While you'll have bragging rights for a lifetime, you're also going to spend a fortune for about 10 minutes outside of the Earth's atmosphere.
But people are definitely interested.
It's been said that the space tourism industry could hit $1.6 billion in revenue in its first decade.
12) Is it Time to Join a Luxury Travel Club?
If you know you're going to travel — and travel a lot — it's not a bad idea to consider a luxury travel club.
There are certainly plenty out there.
For the more affluent luxury traveler, you can join Exclusive Resorts.
If you're looking for a more economical value, there's Portico and Inspirato.
All of these clubs charge a one-time, up-front fee that give you access to their properties.
You then have to pay for your nights on top of that.
Exclusive Resorts charges about $1,100 per night, with most members choosing to travel 20-30 days per year.
That total amount is a member's annual dues.
Portico and Inspirato allow you to book luxurious rooms and villas at a competitive rate that is only available to members.
13) The River Cruise is Cool Again
The river cruise went through a period where it was designed for the "more seasoned" luxury traveler.
And I'm not talking about the 40-60 year-old age group.
But today, the river cruise has evolved into a cultural experience that will appease all ages.
Since the river cruise — such as an experience down the Danube River, visiting all of the little villages along the way — are great for all ages, it might just be the perfect opportunity for a multigenerational family getaway.
14) Valuable Vacations
Luxury vacations aren't about high-dollar amount experiences.
Luxury travelers want to see the value of their hard-earned dollars.
This could mean choosing a destination that your circle of friends or family have never visited before, or traveling to an event like The Masters golf tournament — a great idea for golf fans.
Remember, luxury travel is not about the money.
It's about the experience.
15) Tasmania, Cambodia and Vietnam
This list had to include some specific destinations, right?
Well, here are three that are a must-see this year.
Tasmania is Australia's only island state an home to the adorable Tasmanian devil (adorable photo above).
Why is everyone raving about Cambodia?
Here's what the New York Times says:
"From the forests of Laos to the beaches of Vietnam to the ruins of Cambodia, you can find we--conceived, well-out-fitted, well-run hotels that will sleep you in a style for hundreds of dollars a night."
And Vietnam: We've been talking about this chic country for some time now.
The people are friendly, traditions remain vibrant and its history is unbelievably rich.
Travel this year, though.
As more people travel here, prices will continue to go up.