Times are a-changing – and so are our travelling habits. As we officially bounce back from pandemic travel restrictions, travellers are on the lookout for more under-the-radar destinations and for new excuses to go on holiday.
From visiting popular film and TV sets to trips that celebrate quitting a job, all sorts of travel trends are going to emerge next year according to the travel gurus at Expedia Group. Using first-party travel data and surveying 20,000 global travellers, Expedia has done the research to find out what’s going to be on the cards for travel in 2024. Here’s the low down.
You’ve seen ‘The White Lotus’, but what about actually staying at the iconic Sicily hotel? According to Expedia, next year people will be making pilgrimages to iconic film and TV filming locations by the plane-load. Thailand (‘The White Lotus’ S3), Paris (‘Emily in Paris’) and Malta (‘Gladiator 2’) are all top picks for set tourism next year. Get out your best headscarf and oversized sunnies, because it’s time to channel your inner Tanya McQuoid.
Going on holiday? Tick. Getting to see one of your fave musical artists at the same time? Tick. With the post-pandemic return of world tours, and the success of the Eras and Renaissance tours, Expedia predicts superfans will be travelling the globe for gigs next year.
TikTok loves a good dupe – something that looks and feels similar to something else, but isn’t quite the real thing. In 2024 this will be spilling into travel, as tourists look for more affordable and less busy alternatives to some of the world’s most sought-after destinations. Think Paros instead of Santorini, Perth instead of Sydney and Taipei instead of Seoul.
Drinking is so last year. With more and more people going sober, low to no alcohol holidays could start to become the norm from 2024. Research by Hotels.com found over 40 percent of 20,000 survey respondents said they were likely to book a detox trip in the next year, and half of travellers said would be interested in staying at hotels that offer decent alcohol-free drink options.
A comfy bed and a nice view just aren’t cutting it anymore. When booking hotels, more and more travellers are looking for hotels with specific vibes, be that be retro, quirky, or modern. Reviews mentioning a hotel’s ‘vibe’ in the Hotels.com app were up by a whopping 1,090 percent this year.
Unusual occasions for taking a trip will be on the cards for travellers in 2024. It could be puppymoons, first-date-iversaries, or an excuse for a very special date night. One in four survey respondents said they were looking for ‘any excuse’ to get away with their loved ones, while a third of travellers are planning to take more trips with family and friends next year than in 2023. Anniversaries, milestone birthdays, and work-related occasions (eg a promotion, retirement or even quitting a job) will be some of the most popular trip catalysts.
Pickleball courts, ping-pong tables and outdoor hot tubs are all becoming top priorities for travellers seeking active and outdoorsy holidays next year. In 2024, amenities will be everything. Expedia’s survey data found 42 percent of travellers book holiday homes with amenities they either cannot afford to have at home, or that they want to try out before they buy themselves. Plus, nearly a third said they would choose a holiday home with outdoor amenities, so they’d never have to leave the property.
Generative AI travel aids
We know we’re all scared of AI, but it could become a godsend when navigating foreign lands. While only 6 percent of travellers used ChatGPT to plan a trip in 2023, Expedia Group predicts the ‘generation of generative AI’ travellers will come of age and fully embrace this tech throughout their travel journey. In fact, survey data reveals that half of travellers are interested in using generative AI to plan their next trip, and 1 in 3 say it’s very useful when making travel plans.
Did you see that these are the most exciting destinations to visit in 2024?
Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for all the latest travel news.