Go-ccasions, girls-go-solo and stargazery… the 2024 travel trends you need to know.
The pandemic may have “almost killed travel”, but the sector’s bouncebackability has been remarkable, with all the data out of World Travel Market at the end of last year suggesting the boom years are back!
The last month or so has seen a plethora of positive trends being predicted, below are a few of our faves…
Girls going solo
With the success of Barbie, Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and women’s sport booming like never before, it’s got to feeling like it really is a woman’s world. So, it’s no surprise that tourism operators have flexed towards this trend and the number of hols exclusively catering to women’s travel experiences and featuring female guides has quadrupled.
These female-led tours go beyond offering a mere break and are often designed as transformative journeys promoting self-discovery, empowerment, and meaningful connections.
It feels like we’re only in the early foothills of a surge in girl-solo-friendly holidays from tour operators as they leverage the growing demand in this evolving market.
Ever thought about letting ChatGPT define your trip? AI has the potential to be a game-changer for travellers navigating foreign lands, although only 6% of travellers used ChatGPT for trip planning last year; Expedia Group anticipates a surge in the adoption of this ‘generation of generative AI’ as travellers fully embrace this technology throughout their journey. Other data from Expedia Group underscores this shift, with half of travellers expressing interest in leveraging generative AI for planning their next trip, and one in three deeming it very useful in the travel planning process.
2024 is the year of ‘any excuse’ to travel, whether it’s a babymoon, first date-iversary, or treating yourself ‘just because.’ Travellers will be planning more trips with family and friends to celebrate the big, and small, milestones
As wanderers crave moments that pack a punch, transformative adventure travel is set to rule their roost. Off-the-beaten-track escapades? They’re not just trips; they’re gateways to forging deeper connections with local vibes, perfect for anyone yearning for more genuine experiences. Notably, more families are catching on that active travel isn’t just a way to explore—it’s a chance to bond, have a blast, and take on the world together.
As we embark on a new year, a captivating trend is set to redefine travel in 2024 – the allure of exchanging the familiar for something refreshingly new, yet remarkably similar.
This strategic approach not only opens doors to budget-friendly spots with breath-taking backdrops (because, let’s be honest, the quest for Instagram-worthy content will never disappear), but also serves as a savvy way to escape the crowds, particularly during peak seasons.
As an example, consider opting for domestic alternatives instead of overseas travel, like the tranquil beauty of the Lake District over the Italian Lakes, or transition from one island to another by trading the bustling sunset scenes of Santorini for the serene charm of Paros, all while retaining the magic of an unforgettable sunset.
No Netflix, just chill
In the midst of life’s increasing busyness and noise, it’s no wonder that travellers are increasingly seeking moments to relax, reset, and rejuvenate during their breaks.
Whether yearning for a complete digital detox, seeking some much-needed headspace, or simply desiring complete tranquillity, we’ve become acutely aware of the significance of our well-being.
A reset retreat doesn’t always have to entail a rigorous detox involving yoga classes and guided meditation though. It could be a cosy spot by a log fire with a book, or a serene and enchanting outdoor location where we can indulge in the luxury of nature. This year is all about prioritising wellness, in whatever form resonates with you.
Cruising home or away
Depending on who you ask, travelling by sea trends this year may vary.
The popularity of expedition voyages, granting passengers access to Earth’s more remote corners, is expected to surge, with the sector doubling in size over the past couple of years. Exploring by sea offers the allure of adventure, time, and meaningful experiences, whether you’re yearning to encounter extraordinary wildlife (another trend for this year) or delve into pristine landscapes.
On the flip side, the demand for UK coastal cruises is on the rise. Initially gaining attention out of necessity during the pandemic due to restrictions on overseas travel, these cruises are anticipated to maintain consistently high levels of interest this year.
Time will tell which direction becomes the dominant trend, but those who prefer to travel by sea will find themselves well-covered, whether they prefer the familiarity of home comforts or the thrill of off-the-grid exploration.
We’re currently going through a period of intense solar activity with 2024 into 2025 expected to be the peak when we will have the most impressive aurora borealis in over a decade. You’ll still need clear skies, but this is the year to go hunting for the planet’s most dazzling display.
It’s not just the Northern Lights which are fascinating us. Interest in stargazing is at an all-time high with more countries designating areas away from light pollution too.
Travelling to experience a solar eclipse has also caught our imagination. The big one for 2024 has been dubbed the Great North American Eclipse and it will be the only total solar eclipse in the 21st century where totality will be visible in the United States, Mexico and Canada.