Wanderlust in 2024: Discovering the next big travel trends

According to Expedia Group, Hilton, and other travel industry experts, 2024 is expected to bring about some exciting and unique trends in the world of travel. As the number of people traveling is predicted to climb to new record highs this year, travelers are seeking new experiences and ways to enhance their journeys. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top anticipated trends for travel in 2024.

AI-Assisted Travel Planning: With technological advancements, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly integrated into our lives. In 2024, AI-assisted travel planning is expected to gain popularity. Travelers will rely on AI-powered tools and platforms to personalize their itineraries, recommend activities based on individual preferences, and even assist with booking arrangements. Nearly 40% of travelers say they would use this tech to find the perfect stay, 35% would plan activities and things to do, and 33% would compare flight options. This trend aims to simplify the travel planning process and provide tailored recommendations for a more seamless experience. According to Expedia, nearly 40% of travelers say they would use this tech to find the perfect stay, 35% would plan activities and things to do, 33% would compare flight options

Traveling for Better Sleep: Sleep has become a precious commodity in today’s fast-paced world. Recognizing the importance of quality rest, travelers in 2024 are expected to prioritize destinations and accommodations that promote better sleep. Hilton’s research found desiring in-room white noise is an emerging trend, driven by the nearly 10% of global travelers who say they travel with a white noise machine, and that nearly 1 in 4 Baby Boomer travelers look for trusted hotel brands with quality mattresses to achieve a good night’s sleep. From hotels offering specialized sleep amenities to wellness retreats focusing on relaxation techniques, the travel industry will cater to those seeking restorative experiences for a rejuvenating journey.

Fan Tourism: Taylor Swift’s “Era’s Tour” stop last year in Mexico City, August 24 to 26, generated millions of pesos and drove 70% of hotel occupancy, according to the city’s Chamber of Commerce, and Sicily’s popularity skyrocketed in 2023 with fans of “The White Lotus” flocked to locations seen in the popular HBO series’ second season. Expedia found that more than half of travelers say they’ve researched or booked a trip to a destination after seeing it on a TV show or movie, and 1 in 4 admit that TV shows and films are even more influential on their travel plans than they were before. In 2024, fan tourism is predicted to grow as fans seek to immerse themselves in the worlds they adore, creating unforgettable memories and connecting with like-minded enthusiasts.

Dry Tripping: Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest in wellness and mindful living. In 2024, the trend of dry tripping, which involves traveling without consuming alcohol or opting for low-alcohol alternatives, is predicted to gain momentum. Travelers will seek destinations that offer non-alcoholic beverage options, wellness activities, and alcohol-free social spaces, providing a healthier and more conscious travel experience. More than 40% of travelers say they are likely to book a detox trip in the next year, and half of travelers say they would be interested in staying at hotels that offer easily accessible alcohol-free beverage options, according to Expedia.

Self-Discovery: As people prioritize personal growth and self-improvement, self-discovery will be a prevalent theme among travelers in 2024. Roam Realm predicts a surge in the popularity of wellness retreats, learning vacations, adventure travel, and volunteer tourism. Travelers will seek destinations and experiences that allow them to connect with themselves more deeply. From wellness retreats focusing on mindfulness and self-reflection to immersive cultural experiences that foster personal growth, travel in 2024 will be an opportunity for self-discovery and transformation.

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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