enRoute hot trends: bags with brains, cycling holidays, Guangzhou

MONTREAL — What have been the hottest travel trends of the year? According to Air Canada’s enRoute magazine, “bags with brains” are among the top high-tech innovations.

The Bluesmart suitcase, for example, comes with a built-in digital scale and a battery for charging gadgets. As well, an app will track its location on your phone. Samsonite and Samsung are also working on trackable luggage, enRoute says.

Apps that allow you to reserve dinner seats in private homes are growing in popularity (the magazine cites Feastly, EatWith and CookApp). And tablet computers installed at airport restaurants are automating the process of ordering and paying for food while waiting for flights.

Other dining and drinking trends include food halls that combine retail and restaurants (examples include Eataly in Chicago and New York) and small-batch vintners and distillers such as Quebec’s Les Subversifs, which adds parsnip to its artisanal gin.

In accommodations, there are high-end hostels in the U.S. (Freehand in Chicago and Generator coming to Miami); “sleep-inducing hotels,” such as Quebec City’s Le Monastere des Augustines, which offers sleep regeneration and wellness packages; and “good neighbour” hotels (including Skwachays Lodge in Vancouver and Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland) that use their profits to support the local economy or in other socially conscious ways.

Among destinations, China’s second cities, such as Guangzhou and Wuhan, are becoming increasingly popular, enRoute says.

And cycling holidays are attracting fitness-minded professionals. Butterfield and Robinson and Trek Travel are among operators offering luxury tours.


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