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6 Travel Trends We’re Keeping A Close Eye On in 2024 (+ Why!)

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Because we work in the travel industry, Scott and I are naturally curious about how travel is – and isn’t – changing. So, with a new year just around the corner, let’s take a moment to discuss the travel trends we’re keeping a close eye on in 2024.

1. The 2024 Set-Jetting Forecast from Expedia

Pretty bridge in Paris, France at sunset
The forecast predicts the next season of “Emily in Paris” will inspire even more people to visit Paris in 2024

In 2023, Expedia predicted travellers would turn to TV sets and movie screens for travel inspiration – and they did. In Expedia’s “Set-Jetting Forecast”, the company predicts this kind of travel shows no signs of stopping in 2024.

More than half of travellers say they’ve researched or booked a trip to a destination after seeing it on a TV show or movie. While one in four admit that films and TV shows are more influential on their travel plans than they were before.

Some travellers even went as far as saying TV shows influence their travel decisions more than Instagram, TikTok and podcasts. [Side Note: I wonder whether travel blogs would be included here, too?]

Following their survey, Expedia Group compiled a “Set-Jetting Forecast”. Their forecast predicts the destinations they think will be on travellers’ radars most next year and the TV shows and movies that will inspire those trips.

Their forecast mentions places like:

  • Paris, France: inspired by the hugely anticipated next season of “Emily in Paris”
  • London, Bath and Windsor, UK: following the new season of “Bridgerton” and “The Crown” season 6
  • Romania: inspired by the second season of “Wednesday”
  • Scottish Highlands, UK: inspired by the remaining seasons of “Outlander”

Take a look at the full Set-Jetting Forecast here >>

Our Take:

Over the years, we’ve seen TV shows and movies “celebrating” the destinations they were either filmed in or set in more and more.

Take the latest season of Upload on Amazon Prime, for example. (Don’t worry: no spoilers here!) Scott and I officially lost count of how many times they showed a stunning panoramic shot of “Lakeview”.

In real life, the exterior scenes of Lakeview were filmed at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York.

Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York - Upload Lakeview filming location
Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York was shown extensively in season 3 of “Upload”

And – at the time of writing – Google Trends shows the search terms: “upload lakeview filming location”, “upload lakeview real location” and “mohonk mountain house” as Breakout topics (aka their search volumes have increased by 5,000%).

We think production companies are getting wise to this particular travel trend.

We suspect we’ll see inspiring locations being used or shown in our favourite TV shows and movies to inspire “Set-Jetting” for many years to come – not just in 2024. After all, it already appears to be working on viewers.

2. Destination Dupes (predicted by Expedia)

Views of Lake Geneva from Parc de la Perle du Lac
Geneva in Switzerland – could this beautiful city be visited less than Canada’s Quebec City next year?

Another travel trend predicted to take off in 2024 is “Destination Dupes”.

The “dupe” trend that shows affordable alternatives to popular products has flooded TikTok feeds everywhere and is now set to take over travel says Expedia Group.

But what exactly counts as a “dupe destination”? Expedia says: “These locations are just as trip-worthy as their tried-and-true doppelgängers, but you’ll pay less and learn more.”

Here are some examples of popular destinations and their “doppelganger” alternatives that Expedia have identified in their report:

  • Liverpool, UK (dupe for London, UK)
  • Perth, Australia (dupe for Sydney, Australia)
  • Palermo, Italy (dupe for Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Quebec City, Canada (dupe for Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Sapporo, Japan (dupe for Zermatt, Switzerland)

Discover more “Destination Dupes” in Expedia Magazine >>

Our Take:

I’m sure we’ve all read the headlines about destinations all over the world feeling the effects of overtourism and how it’s becoming a major problem for some destinations.

Overtourism can contribute to excessive queues, crowds and noise, as well as damage to historical sites and natural ecosystems.

Venice, Italy
“Overtourism” is a major problem for Venice in Italy

During the past few years, we also saw the effects of densely populated areas on people’s health and the spread of illness, which resulted in people exploring outdoor spaces more than they did before.

With all that said, we can completely understand why people might also be turning to lesser-known places instead of the usual hotspots.

As an example, Skyscanner data suggests “historically popular locations such as the Amalfi Coast are losing out to the Adriatic’s Rimini” while searches for “quaint cities such as Vigo in Spain and Bydgoszcz in Poland” are trending higher than before.

Scott and I have never been big on crowds. I hated being elbow-to-elbow with other tourists on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, so I quickly found some quiet streets to wander around instead.

Today, we rarely travel anywhere during its peak season, which is why you’ll often find us exploring cities in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn instead. Or why we’ll often enjoy day trips on a weekday rather than a weekend.

Of course, not everyone has this level of freedom when it comes to travel.

Maybe you have children in school so you can only travel during school holidays? Or maybe you work Monday to Friday, so you have to make the most of your weekends?

Even if this is the case, you’ll probably find that many places are quieter in the mornings (before 11am) or the late afternoon/evening (after 3pm).

And now with this destination dupe trend potentially taking off, maybe this is the new way to travel?

Funnily enough, Scott and I have been planning a blog post about a topic that might take an especially interesting angle now that this “destination dupe” trend has come to light. Watch this space!

3. Go-ccasions (predicted by Vrbo)

Travelling with our dog, Kai in Bude, Cornwall
Pet birthdays could be a popular reason for people to travel more in 2024

New research from Vrbo has uncovered another emerging trend for 2024. They’re calling it the “Go-ccasion”.

One in four people say they’re looking for any excuse to get away with their loved ones, while some are finding increasingly imaginative reasons to justify their trips.  

That means puppymoons, First-date-iversaries and trips celebrating work-related milestones (even quitting a job!) are potentially in the cards for travellers next year.

Check out the other “Go-ccasions” predicted to be popular in 2024 here >>

Our Take:

While Scott and I often celebrate our birthdays abroad, I can’t say we’ve ever celebrated quitting a job or achieving a business milestone by going on a trip together.

Views of Split from Marjan Park in Croatia
Split, Croatia – where we spent my 30th birthday

Maybe we’ve been missing something all along? Or maybe we (and you!) don’t really need a reason to travel?

According to Expedia, research shows that “an adventurous one in six are planning to take a trip every month in 2024.” Perhaps what we’re seeing is the rise of the “just because” trip. Only time will tell.

4. “Gen Gen AI” (predicted by Expedia)

Justine photographing Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
Will AI really take over our travel planning?

If 2023 was the year that generative AI won headlines, 2024 will be the year it transforms travel booking forever, says Expedia. In other words, “Generation generative AI” (“Gen Gen AI” for short) has arrived.

In 2023, just 6% of US travellers used conversational AI to help them plan their trips. But in 2024, Expedia Group predicts the generation of generative AI travellers will come of age and fully embrace this technology throughout their travel journey.

Recent survey data from the Expedia Group reveals that:

  • Nearly 40% of travellers say they would use this technology to find the perfect stay
  • 35% would plan activities and things to do
  • 33% would compare flight options
  • 20% of travellers would change or cancel their travel plans because of AI

Read more about this travel trend in Expedia Magazine >>

Our Take:

Sao Vicente, Madeira
We hope people will still want to read personal experiences about destinations

Scott and I have a love-hate relationship with AI (as many content creators do). We’ve gladly used AI to help us be more productive in our businesses.

For example, I sometimes use a dictation device, which automatically translates and sends my speeches to Google Docs, which I then edit and add to when it comes to actually writing the articles. This speeds things up and I’ll often end up sharing extra info because I’m talking rather than typing 100% of the time.

BUT! We don’t agree with using AI to write passages or even entire articles without some kind of human intervention. Sadly, we’re seeing the web taken over by AI-generated articles that never see a human eye during the editing process. Often, there probably isn’t any kind of editing process in the first place.

Also, if more and more people turn to AI to plan their trips, I truly hope they’re aware that it will become less helpful in the future.

If content creators are unable to make a living from their travel blogs, videos and the like, many will share less information online, while some may even quit altogether.

And where would AI be without other people’s content? Non-existent.

Instead, we hope the traditional blog reader still wants to read personal experiences from people like myself and Scott, rather than copy-and-paste AI content that’s frequently incorrect!

5. Cool-cationing (predicted by Booking.com)

Thingvellir National Park in Iceland in the snow
Could we see snowy destinations like Iceland and Finland become more popular in 2024?

Following a recent survey commissioned by Booking.com of over 27,000 travellers across 33 countries, Booking.com is now predicting more people to become “cool-cationers” in 2024 and swap sun-seeking for trips to colder climates.

The survey found that as temperatures soar close to home, 56% of people say they’ll use their vacation to cool down elsewhere.

This trend could also mean a rise in “water-centric trips” as 75% agree that being close to water instantly makes them feel more relaxed while 36% say they’re interested in water-centric vacations in 2024.

Read more about this travel trend here >>

Our Take:

Lake Garda views from Monte Baldo in Malcesine, Italy
Could “water-centric trips” to places like Lake Garda in Italy become more popular next year?

Across the world, countries are experiencing record-breaking temperatures.

While here in the UK, we had a relatively wet and cold summer this year, we hit over 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) last summer.

It was so hot that our website actually went down for two whole days because Google’s London data centre overheated!

Of course, this is a tiny drop in the ocean when you think about the impacts all of this is actually having on our beloved planet.

I’ve never been a fan of hot weather. I rarely travel anywhere during the summer months; instead making the most of the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn.

But I always thought this made me abnormal. To hear that many people are now considering travelling outside of hot climates is very interesting indeed.

6. Sustainable Tourism (predicted by no one or everyone?)

Pretty little waterfall in Madeira
Travelling sustainably protects stunning nature destinations like Madeira in Europe

While many people are wising up to the importance of sustainable travel, we didn’t see it explicitly mentioned in as many travel trend reports as we thought we would.

But this one is important to us, so we’re including it and our findings anyway.

Back in January 2023, Travel Agent Central reported: “69% of travellers are actively seeking sustainable travel options” (as indicated by a joint study from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Trip.com Group and Deloitte).

This suggests we started the year placing a huge importance on sustainable travel. Has this changed as we head into 2024? Not necessarily.

In Booking.com’s “cool-cationing” prediction mentioned earlier, they found that 42% of UK travellers said climate change will impact their travel plans in 2024.

Meanwhile, Skyscanner noted in its 2024 travel trends report that “while 64% of travellers globally believe sustainable travel is important, 18% would be reluctant to pay for more sustainable options.”

But doesn’t this mean a whopping 82% might be willing to pay more for sustainable travel options? Without seeing this part of Skyscanner’s findings, it’s hard to say for sure.

Still, with all of this put together, we’re quite clearly seeing sustainable tourism coming to the fore more than ever.

Perhaps the reason why sustainable tourism hasn’t appeared as a travel trend as we thought it might, is because it’s not a trend.

Maybe sustainable tourism is classed as a change in how we travel both now and in the future. If something is prevalent year over year, does that then prevent it from being dubbed a “trend”? Possibly.

Our Take:

Grand Place Brussels
Pretty Brussels is just a short train ride from London!

Okay, so the above trend was pretty much our entire take on the matter. But I still want to finish with a look at what Scott and I are doing differently in 2024 compared with previous years.

We’ve started offsetting our carbon footprint by planting trees. And we’re prioritising trips where we can enjoy more sustainable ways to travel, such as travelling by train to France and Belgium and choosing public transport or coach tours rather than driving ourselves.

We already significantly reduced our reliance on single-use plastics many years ago and we almost always travel hand luggage only these days. Plus, we continue to live minimal lifestyles – both at home and when travelling.

These are all things that can contribute to travelling (and living) more sustainably. But we’re also on a mission to learn more as we head into 2024. Watch this space as we’ll likely share our learnings with you!

One More Thing…

Those of you who are also keeping an eye on the upcoming travel trends have probably noticed that the trends we’ve shone a spotlight on above aren’t the only ones being discussed right now.

We’ve focused on the ones that are most relevant to us and our readers here at Wanderers of the World.

If you want to read about other travel trends, here are some top resources to check out:

Over to you now: what travel trends do you think we’ll see in 2024 and how do you feel about the ones mentioned above? Let us know in the comments below…

And do you know someone who would also enjoy reading about these travel predictions? Why not share this blog post around now?

Travel Trends We're Keeping A Close Eye On Next Year (+ Why!)
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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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