FLRTC-Logo-Full-color-for-TourCayuga-BannerPittsford, N.Y. - According to a review article in the travel sections of U.S. News, travelers are once again looking to 'insiders' for inspiration and guidance when it comes to what's hot and 'on-trend' in the travel world. Experiences like transformational travel, extreme experiences, multigenerational vacations and even emerging destinations are some of the top trends cited for 2018.

The Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council, the official tourism promotion agency of the Finger Lakes Region as recognized by I Love NY, has recently released their own list of travel trends for 2018. The region offers 9,000 square miles of experiences for visitors from the latest, local craft beverages and Finger Lakes Rieslings to travel that spans generations and offers new experiences for all.  

Those 2018 trends are:

Transformational Travel 

Visitors want a vacation experience that informs them of something different and brings home a story to tell. In the Finger Lakes, that story starts with the lakes themselves, eleven in total, spanning the region like a giant handprint. Visitors can learn of Native American legend, that tells of the Great Spirit from above offering blessing by placing a hand upon the land. The finger impressions left behind filled with water and form pristine lakes.

The story continues across the region, with cultural experiences and educational opportunities that further immerse the visitors in the story of the area. Places like Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, NY, remember and interpret the life of the Seneca people, one of the six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The newly built Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan offers a collection of native art and brings the culture and society of the Seneca to life.

Extreme Experiences 

The concept of "extreme" is fluid depending on who is defining it - but visitors are looking for something new, different, and a little bit daring. Two options in the Finger Lakes include Balloons Over Letchworth - offering rides high above the "Grand Canyon of the East" - and glider rides at Harris Hill Soaring Corporation and the National Soaring Museum in Elmira, NY. Considered by some as one of the most scenic and historic soaring sites in America, this experience of being towed up and released with just the wind, an experienced co-pilot and a little prayer has been luring extreme seekers for years.

Multigenerational Vacations 

Also called "skip-gen" trips, this is a trend that looks like it's around to stay. Grandparents take grandchildren on a special vacation while parents are left behind to their own devises. The Finger Lakes has so many experiences that fit into this category it's hard to point at just a few.

Multigenerational travelers are often seen at places like The Strong National Museum of Play, the world's largest collection of things to play with, and dedicated to play. The National Toy Hall of Fame is incorporated into the museum - home to everything from a magic eight ball or a paper airplane to the Atari or a cardboard box. Yes indeed, the cardboard box is in the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Other regional assets that span all ages include places like the Corning Museum of Glass, Destiny USA shopping, dining and entertainment center and the over 25 New York State Parks and Historic Sites found in the Finger Lakes.

Always a trend in the Finger Lakes - Wine and Beer 

The Finger Lakes has become known for the stellar wines produced here and the wine trails that rival all others. But it's the growing craft brew industry that's making headway and turning heads. The  Rochester/Finger Lakes Craft Beverage Trail offers 12 unique breweries and along with all the varied opportunity to experience wine and local food pairings, there are several establishments that have developed unique opportunities to bring a nice craft beverage into your 'diet.'

Young Lion Brewing in Canandaigua, NY offers a three-course beer lunch in March, partnering with the local Inns of Aurora to host. Wineries like  Apple Station Winery in Union Springs, NY and Treleaven in King Ferry, NY partner with Cortland Beer Company, Cortland, NY to offer visitors a combined wine and craft brew tasting.

Pet-Friendly Travel 

The Finger Lakes is a destination for the whole family - down to the furriest, four-legged members of the group. Pet-friendly travel is becoming increasingly popular in the area, and the region has more than enough options to accommodate them.

Hotels like the Marriott Syracuse Downtown in Syracuse, NY welcome up to two pets on property per visitor. During the day, they can accompany their humans on adventures through the numerous state parks in the area, or to pet-friendly wineries and breweries like Americana Vineyards or Grist Iron Brewing Co. Other options abound for furry-travelers, including camping, boating, swimming, hiking trails, and certain restaurants and eateries found across the region. Always call ahead and find out any rules and regulations so your pet can make the most of their Finger Lakes vacation!

Last-Minute Travel Bookings 

Bookings are no longer reserved months in advance - visitors can find the information they need in a flash, and plan their trip just as quickly. Last-minute bookings are becoming more and more common, with visitors making reservations in as little as a week or two ahead. Using resources like the Finger Lakes social media channels Facebook (Finger Lakes Travel), Twitter (Finger_LakesNY) and Instagram (FingerLakes_NY), potential travelers can find inspiration on where to go and what to see and do within the Finger Lakes. Then they can head over to www.fingerlakestravelny.com to get the information they need to plan their trip.

"Our region is constantly changing and growing, and it's important for us to remember that our travelers are too," says Meg Vanek, Executive Director of the Cayuga County Office of Tourism. "We keep an eye on these travel trends each year as they evolve and emerge, to better serve our visitors and provide the best experience possible within the Finger Lakes Region."