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Aer Lingus unveils 2024 travel trends – travellers show a strong preference for spontaneity

Aer Lingus

60% of adults in Ireland took two or more holidays abroad in 2023.Spain is the top European destination for 60% of travellers in 2024, followed by Portugal (30%), and France (26%).

Over half (60%) of adults in Ireland took two or more holidays abroad in 2023 and that trend is expected to continue this year, according to Aer Lingus’ new travel trend research revealed during the January sale, which ends midnight Monday 15th January. Over 4 million discounted seats are available on 2024 flights including up to an incredible 25% off flights to Europe and the UK and North American flights start at just 179 euros each way as part of a return trip.

New Year’s resolutions have shown a distinct focus on travel for this coming year, 63% of those surveyed set resolutions, with travel being a key priority for 41%, alongside health and financial goals.

Dream destinations:

When it comes to the most popular destinations for 2024 European travel, Spain leads the way as the top choice for 60% of travellers, followed by Portugal (30%), and France (26%). Other favoured destinations include the Greek Islands, Turkey, and Sicily. This growing interest in exploring new locales aligns with Aer Lingus’ introduction of new routes in Summer 2024 to Crete, Sicily, and Turkey, offering exciting opportunities for travellers seeking to indulge their cultural curiosity.

Further afield, the most popular North American destinations for 2024 travel are New York (61%), followed by Florida (29%) and Boston (21%).

Travel trends

The majority of those surveyed are longing for a relaxing holiday this year, with 57% citing leisure as their main reason for travel. This is followed by 16% who plan to travel to visit friends or family, and 15% seeking adventure.

The research also reveals that lounging at the beach (55%) and city exploration (53%) top the list of most anticipated activities for 2024 travel. Other popular choices include outdoor adventures (34%), attending cultural events and music festivals (26%), and participating in or watching sporting events (14%). Notably, a preference for beach relaxation is more prevalent among women (61%), whereas men show a greater inclination towards city exploration (53%).

In 2024, travellers from Ireland are showing a strong preference for spontaneity. A majority, 57% say they favour self-guided and impromptu experiences, as opposed to just 13% who prefer guided tours and structured activities. Additionally, 31% enjoy a blend of both holiday styles.

Travel influences

Over half of Irish jet setters (54%) are finding inspiration for their travels through recommendations from friends and family. Instagram is the next most popular source at 30%, closely followed by review websites (28%). For Gen Z travelers, social media plays a more significant role, with inspiration from friends and family remaining strong at 52% and an increased preference for TikTok (39%), and Instagram (38%). Among those who rely on social media, women are more engaged than men, with an 8% higher usage of Instagram and a 5% greater preference for TikTok.

Loyalty programs and rewards offered by airlines are influential for nearly one-fifth of respondents in their travel booking decisions.

When it comes to deciding factors for travel, cost is the primary consideration for 36% of respondents, followed by the desire for sunshine (24%) and the appeal of the destination (17%). For those aged 65 and older, cost is less of a concern, influencing only 13% of travellers in this age group, compared to over a third (35%) of younger demographics who cite cost as their primary consideration.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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