With data from a global study involving 27,000 travellers across 33 countries, explore our top seven 2024 travel predictions, including local market insights from the UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, the USA and Latin America.
We’ll (re)invent ourselves
You’ve heard the phrase ‘new year, new me’, right? Perhaps it’s a cliché, but it’s more relevant than ever. A whopping 68% of travellers believe they transform into the best version of themselves while roaming. But which version of themselves do they choose to showcase? With 62% relishing the cloak of anonymity that travel offers, 37% telling fictional stories about their lives and 57% exuding ‘main character energy’, travellers are adding an element of intrigue in 2024. And in the quest to be at the helm of their adventures, 42% would even consider renting a swankier car than what they drive at home.
We’ll dive into retreats and cooler waters
With the warmer weather, over a third of travellers (36%) are looking to water-centric getaways as a quick fix. 75% of travellers find instant relaxation by the water’s edge. Turning to sanctuaries rather than riverbanks for solace, 20% of travellers are curious about health retreats, while 14% are interested in psychedelic retreats. In general, 18% are looking to deepen their connection with themselves. For some, an uninterrupted night’s sleep is the priority, enticing 58% towards sleep-focused retreats – but not all! 48% express intrigue in tantra retreats, wanting a deeper physical connection with their partners.
We’ll surrender to the unknown
52% of travellers want to book trips where the destination remains a mystery until they arrive. Seeking an escape from the everyday, 56% are inclined to explore off the beaten path, and 34% are willing to travel with strangers. We’ll also see a noticeable shift from rigid planning to embracing spontaneity. A majority (55%) prefer to embark on their journeys without set plans, while two thirds (69%) opt for loose itineraries, allowing them to adapt as they go. With this, AI is set to become a mainstream feature of travel next year. 48% of travellers now trust AI to plan their trips, a trend exemplified by Booking.com’s AI Trip Planner.
We’ll savour familiar and fresh tastes
When it comes to culinary ventures, 78% of travellers hunger for fresh flavours over the tried and true. Half are planning their trips around specific restaurants or dishes, with 61% prioritising learning about the origins of a destination’s iconic dish. Tech is also reshaping how we enjoy food, with 46% seeking immersive ‘phygital’ (physical plus digital) dining via VR or AR. While 63% are fascinated by innovative plant-based options like 3D-printed vegan steaks and mushroom ‘foie gras’. Over a quarter of travellers (27%) are open to hiring personal chefs next year, with Gen Z leading the charge at 37%.
We’ll enhance our relationships
In 2024, travel will see a profound transformation driven by a collective thirst for deeper connections and self-discovery. 24% of travellers want to strengthen their bonds with their partners. Travel will rekindle relationships and ignite new romances: 39% seek matchmaking trips, while 35% hope to heal heartbreak overseas. However, solo travel is also booming, with 59% looking to venture alone. Even parents are joining the trend, with 58% planning child-free trips, prioritising self-growth. Men, in particular, are embracing solo travel (63% compared to 54% of women).
We’ll prioritise affordable luxury on a budget
Travellers will balance budget constraints and luxury cravings. 47% may take children out of school for off-peak travel, and 46% plan to reduce tips. 50% plan to pay for holidays on credit cards to help spread out the cost. 39% of pet owners would bring their pets along to cut pet-sitting costs. But just because we’re looking after our pennies in 2024 doesn’t mean we can’t look fabulous! 34% of travellers would borrow designer clothing and accessories from family or friends to wear on their trip to avoid paying the price for luxury tags. However, over half (54%) would pay for accommodation upgrades, and 47% are willing to invest in flight or train upgrades – just as long as it doesn’t break the bank.
We’ll choose sustainability and hidden gems
The world of travel is poised for a sustainable makeover. Over half (53%) of travellers are seeking accommodation that blends comfort with innovative sustainability features. They crave the serenity of nature indoors, with 65% desiring green spaces and plants in their stays. Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword – it’s a lifestyle. Travellers are keen on eco-friendly choices and, even more so, on app rewards for making sustainable decisions (60%). Authenticity is key, with 47% eager to connect with locals in less-travelled areas and 44% venturing into less touristy spots.
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.