12/20/2013 09:57 am ET Updated Feb 19, 2014

7 Mashup Global Travel Trends

With 2014 just around the corner, we are again awash in disparate amounts of Big Data, Mad Men-like public relations BS, the never-ending mindless Internet chatter (Anyone really want more "Things to do in 2014" lists?)...and just plain weird data points. Frankly, who really knows what is going on -- let alone what will be. And the wonderful world of travel is no different.

That said, I scanned all the travel magazines (aka travel porn), read all the PR placements and checked in on all the travel blogs and newspaper travel supplements. I found that river cruises (Flocations, really!) will be big next year, along with Brazilian slum tours in conjunction with the World Cup (American's like soccer? Right!) and that selfies will become the new version of postcards (I seflie, therefore I am!). Hmmm...

Unsatisfied, I took an even deeper look-see behind the curtain at some rather untraditional 21st century mashup travel metrics, that all point to an even bigger (and better) year for traveler's in 2014. So, attempting my best Nate Silver-like impression, here are the top seven global travel-related trends for 2014:

2014 Travel Mashup Index
2014 Travel Mashup Index

Finally, I am as optimistic as anyone (In fact, my glass is half full right now!), but please don't tell me that space travel is on the rise. Not only is it a bad pun, but it hasn't happened yet...and until it does, let's leave it off our travel trends list in favor of real and satisfying terrestrial pursuits.

What trends have you noticed?