These Are the Top Travel Trends of 2024, According to Experts

The saying, “The only constant in life is change,” couldn’t be more true than when it comes to travel trends. Each year, the tourism industry morphs and evolves to keep up with the new desires and dreams of globetrotters worldwide. Over the last few years, the industry has seen all kinds of trends emerge, from glamping in national parks to international solo travel to wellness tourism and even voluntourism. However, 2024 is proving to be vastly different than ever before. This year, travelers are rewriting their itineraries and adding all-new destinations, travel styles, and more to their agendas. Ahead, learn more about what to expect from this year’s top travel trends with knowledge from industry experts.

Trend 1: Less Solo Travelers

Solo traveling became popular in recent years as travelers took their vacations into their own hands. However, following a rise, the fall is already coming. “After COVID-19, there was a massive surge in solo travel throughout 2023,” Peter Strebel, President of the Americas region of RateGain (a global provider of travel and hospitality data), tells HAP. “We are now seeing couples or duos surpassing the proportion of solo travelers,” he explains. “The desire for shared experiences and connection is shaping travel preferences toward more intimate and culturally immersive journeys for couples or pairs of travelers. In fact, the trend of ‘friendcations’ is on the rise, with travelers coming from different origins to stay together at a destination.” This goes to show that people are now more interested in creating shared memories and experiences as opposed to independent ones.

White Lotus Season 2 Filming Location, Credit: HBO Max

Trend 2: TV-Inspired Travel, Also Known as Set Jetting

Thanks to movies, TV, and social media, a new trend has appeared. ‘Set jetting,’ as it has come to be known, describes how people are now traveling to different locations that have been the backdrop for movies and TV shows. “In line with this trend, it is anticipated that Thailand (featured in The White Lotus season three), Malta (setting for Gladiator 2), the Scottish Highlands (as seen in Outlander), South Korea (anticipated for Squid Games season two), and Greece (spotlighted in Argylle) will emerge as prominent tourist destinations in 2024,” says Strebel.

Trend 3: More Last-Minute Travel

According to Willie Fernandez, Chief Marketing Officer of Rental Escapes, 2024 is proving to have an increase in last-minute travel plans. “Typically, we would see a strong percentage of guests booking six to nine months out, but that lead time is shifting, with guests looking to travel within 90 days,” he explains. The main reason for this is the flexibility of work, with remote work and flexible scheduling now found at most companies. Additionally, new online travel sites and apps have made it easier than ever to find and book last-minute accommodations, flights, and activities, often at discounted rates. 

Photograph from Taylor Swift’s performance in São Paulo, Brazil

Trend 4: Entertainment Traveling

This year, more people are traveling for something – such as concerts, shows, and events. (Just think about Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour and how many people trekked across the world to see her perform.) Traveling to watch favorite artists, performers, and sports teams live has become a prominent trend in the travel industry,” says luxury travel expert Stephanie De Santi-Davis. “Whether it’s traveling across continents to catch an iconic performance or across the country to see a once-in-a-lifetime sporting event, people are seizing the opportunity to combine their passion with a bespoke travel experience.” Being able to pack an event into a trip is essentially like killing two birds with one stone.

Credit: Taj Lake Palace Udaipur

Trend 5: Luxury Travel

If there’s one thing we love, it’s luxury travel, and it looks like we aren’t the only ones. According to De Santi-Davis, “Luxury travel has surged in popularity as people are drawn to the allure of stunning accommodations and experiences they see showcased across social media and the internet. Travelers are motivated by the captivating content and videos they see online and seek out these experiences to make their dream vacation a reality.” What’s more, luxury travel is more accessible to people these days. 

“What was once thought of as something only the wealthy could afford, people are learning to leverage various strategies to make luxury travel accessible,” she says. “Whether it’s through credit card points, or airline and hotel loyalty programs, travelers can accumulate points to offset the cost of their vacations and experience luxury without breaking the bank.”

Trend 6: More Global Business Travel

Following the global pandemic, when people were unable to travel for business (or pleasure), it makes sense that business travel has seen an uptick in recent years. In 2024 specifically, there has been an increase in global business travel bookings, with the main reason for this being the increasing interconnectedness in the global economy. As businesses work to expand their reach and tap into new markets, the need for face-to-face interactions with others can’t be ignored. And, despite advancements in technology and communication methods, it’s true that nothing quite replaces connections with those face-to-face.

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