Top 5 Travel Trends of 2024: Experience, Values & Lifestyle

Top 5 Travel Trends of 2024: Experience, Values & Lifestyle

Angel Castellanos Angel Castellanos
4 minute read

Tracking the top 5 travel trends of 2024? First, some good news. Our travel industry recovery is finally here, and in 2024 the travel industry will finally rebound to, and even exceed, pre-pandemic levels. The 2024 global airline passenger traffic forecast is 9.4 billion passengers, surpassing 9.2 billion airline passengers in 2019. While consumers are traveling more than ever — notably Gen Z and Millennials — their habits have changed, ushering in new 2024 travel trends. 

Experiential Travel

While resorts and sunshine still drive worldwide tourism, there is a noticeable shift to meaningful experiences. According to the Allianz Partners US Annual Vacation Confidence Index, 54% of 18- to 34-year-olds report wellness and self-care as 2024 travel priorities. Data by tourism specialist Mabrian confirms that experiential activities such as wellness, nature, and food tourism increased by over 10% compared with 2019.  

Hot Air Balloon, Segovia, Spain

A hot air balloon ride above Segovia, Spain is a thrilling experience, and offers a different perspective on this ancient city — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo Credit Angel Castellanos

"Experience is the new luxury," said Peter Krueger, chief strategy officer and CEO of holiday experiences for mega-agency TUI Travel, who recently spoke at World Travel Market London. "It's the experience that triggers the sale; it's no longer sun and beach." 

Sustainable Travel

As climate change continues, traveling in a lower-impact way is a priority for many consumers. Travelers yearn for their travel experiences to go far beyond plastic recycling, and reflect their core values and ethics. Eco-conscious tourists are gravitating to countries like Germany that offer clean public transportation, restaurants and food tours with organic ingredients and farm-to-table philosophies, and where activities like cycling and sustainable hotels are commonplace. 

German cycling and sustainable hotels

Eco-conscious tourists are gravitating to countries like Germany where cycling and sustainable hotels are commonplace. Photo Credit Roman Kraft

Second Cities

According to the travel app Hopper, some of the most booked destinations in 2023 were capital cities London, Paris, Rome, Lisbon, and Athens. In contrast, one of the top 5 travel trends of 2024 is for travelers to seek second cities for cheaper airfare, reduced overtourism, and increasing opportunities for meaningful experiences.  

Cities like Porto, Kyoto, Lyon, Bologna, Leipzig, Belfast, and Oaxaca all expect to see an increase in visitors. Each destination holds the attention of the traveling public due to its cultural significance, accessible transportation options, dynamic food and nightlife scenes, and relative scarcity of tourists.

Second City Kyoto, Japan

Travel to second cities like Kyoto, Japan reduces overtourism and increases opportunities for meaningful experiences. Photo Credit Diamond Dogs

Bleisure and Paycation Travel

The new vacation trend of blending business and leisure, known as paycations or bleisure travel, is one of the top 5 travel trends of 2024.

The Allianz Partners US Annual Vacation Confidence Index has reported that three in 10 Americans will work remotely from a vacation destination this year. And 42% of 18- to 34-year-olds plan to travel to a vacation destination to work remotely. 

Silver Palm Restaurant, Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman

The transcendentally beautiful Silver Palm restaurant and bar in the newly restored Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman is an elegant location for a remote-work paycation. Photo Credit Angel Castellanos

Many destinations have repositioned themselves to embrace this trend, as individuals enjoy greater post-pandemic workplace flexibility. For example, countries like Aruba, St. Maarten, Portugal, Mexico, and Colombia are actively marketing themselves as ideal work-from-home locations.

Sports & Event Tourism

With so many prominent world events on the 2024 calendar, consumer event travel will be one of the top 5 travel trends of 2024.

In Q1 of 2024, the most prominent American sporting event, Super Bowl LVIII, will be held at the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. 

And in Q2 and Q3, Germany will host the UEFA Euro 2024 Tournament in ten cities, with the championship game in Berlin. Reuters has reported over 20 million ticket requests from 206 countries. UEFA said there are nearly 2.3 million applications for the July 14 final alone. 

Leipzig Stadium

Leipzig Stadium is one of the 10 German venues hosting the UEFA Euro 2024 Tournament. Photo Credit Angel Castellanos

In 2024 the summer Olympics will also return to Paris. Paris is no stranger to hosting major sporting events, having hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2023, the UEFA Euro in 2016, and the World Cup in 1998. Six hundred thousand spectators are expected to attend the opening ceremonies, and 6.8 million tickets had already sold by May of 2023.

And last (but not least) Taylor Swift's Eras World Tour will continue until December of 2024.


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