Happening Now: Savvy Travel Tips & Trends

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Here, what’s #Trending in travel and savvy strategies to get the most for your travel buck.

#1 Hotels designed for generation everyone

As the world gets smaller and travellers of a certain vintage get greater in numbers, hoteliers are looking to create an environment that is high quality and high functioning yet luxurious in its comforting hospitality. And they’re tapping into architects of that same vintage, too, to make it happen.

“Design needs to evolve with the needs of the clients; and needs are continually changing,” says Jean-Michel Gathy, 60, principal designer at Malaysia-based Denniston Architects since 1983.

“That means for everyone – from grandparents to toddlers. And, as mobility becomes an issue for the aging population, we as architects and designers have to adjust our thinking to make things happen. We have to envision how a guest who may have an issue with his or her mobility enters a room and then utilizes the space.”

Gathy’s vision is currently in focus on projects for One&Only in China, Bellagio in Mumbai and Mandarin Oriental in Bali. He’s also the design mind behind Aman Canal Grande in Venice (above), where George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin wed.

“[Design now] requires much more of an effort in thinking ‘outside the box’ but it is absolutely necessary,” he adds. We’d expect nothing less from an architect who travels more than 240 days a year. —Vivian Vassos

#2 Cruising: Savvy Strategies

Right now, you’ll get the best perks and added value savings from travel agents certified with CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) during the “wave season [see below].” Their agents are up to speed on the dailies: anything from room upgrades to ocean-view or balcony suites to complimentary amenities including spa or dining packages, free shore excursions or pre-paid gratuities and a latest pricing guarantee if things change.

Definition: Wave Season: “A three-month period – typically January through March and sometimes into April – when cruise companies offer their best bargains. Take advantage of deals now and cruise through 2016.” —Mary Jean Tully, founder/CEO of Canadian-based Tully Luxury Travel

Do not scrimp on travel insurance and check your coverage for emergency care, including airlift in remote locations. Avoid tight flights before embarkation. And by booking your next cruise while on board, count on a reduced deposit, and the line will credit your agent.

Tip: Purchase cruise/air packages, as the cruise line is responsible for flight delays or interruptions. —Toby Saltzman

CLIA, www.cruising.org

#3: Flying: Book now, take off later

California dreaming? June is a busy month for San Diego: Air Canada Rouge begins flying seasonal daily non-stop from Vancouver to the So-Cal city through Oct. 16; WestJet is also flying to San Diego from Vancouver in June, three days a week until Oct. 10 (Air Canada Rouge flies year-round daily from Toronto, WestJet flies from Calgary year-round three times a week).

If Down Under’s more your thing, on June 17, Air Canada launches its daily Vancouver to Brisbane, Australia, service.

Closer to home and if you’re Ontario-based, you can fly Porter Airlines direct seasonal service to mini-putt mecca Myrtle Beach through May 23. Fore! www.aircanada.com; www.westjet.com; www.flyporter.com –VV

#4 Divorcee Destinations

Hey, Divorcees! Singletons and couples have long been given the opportunity to meet and greet or reconnect when it comes to destinations and hotels. Second honeymoons, matchmaking sessions, the list goes on. But, what if you’re divorced? Sure, that may count you as single, but maybe your needs might be just a little more nuanced?

Enter Casa Velas’ Divorcee Getaway. The Mexican property on the Pacific Coast is also unique as it’s a boutique all-inclusive hotel among the gargantuan resorts of Puerta Vallarta we’re more familiar with. The getaway, which takes place this month (May 4 to 8), is hosted by relationship expert and author Natalie Moore, and more than five days of workshops, socials, mini makeovers – even a wedding ring burial – are on the agenda. Oh, and did we mention the tequila-pairing party? Olé, to an idea whose time has come. divorceeweekend.velasresorts.com; 1-877-418-3011 —VV