The most exciting travel trends for 2024

Photo of Jacob LewisPhoto of Jacob Lewis
By Jacob Lewis

5 January 2023 | Updated 12 January 20245 min read

Looking out from crystal-clear turquoise waters towards the pristine white-sand Santa Maria beach in Sal

Cape Verde Emerging destinations like Cape Verde will continue to rise in 2024

As the calendar flips to 2024, the world of travel could be in for some big changes. From AI-powered holiday itineraries to new high-speed rail lines, travel is changing at pace.

No matter if you're an avid sports fan, a stargazer, or a Swiftie, there's something for your next adventure in 2024.

Here, we reveal the eight most exciting travel trends that are set to dominate the year.

1. Sports travel set for a landmark year

The coming year is gearing up to be a big one for sports travel. With major events like the Paris Olympics and UEFA EURO 2024 in Germany on the horizon, sports tourism packages to Europe are expected to grow by 15% according to Euromonitor International. Fans will be flocking to stadiums, embracing the thrill of the game, and soaking up local cultures.

If you want to save cash for those all important Olympics tickets, our guide on Paris on a budget will help. Football more your thing? Get to Germany with cheap holiday deals from just £156pp.*

2. Emerging destinations keep rising

Here at TravelSupermarket, we’ve seen a significant upswing in interest for burgeoning travel spots such as Montenegro, Cape Verde, and Tunisia, which is expected to continue into 2024.

Our data reveals that Montenegro's allure skyrocketed in 2023, with search queries surging by 156% over the previous year. This trend is expected to continue, bolstered by the introduction of new Jet2 flights to Tivat from London and Birmingham this summer.

Cape Verde is also making waves, climbing by 25% in 2023. TUI's new departures to Cape Verde for summer 2024 from East Midlands, Glasgow, and Newcastle could further its popularity. Furthermore, Tunisia has emerged as a favoured choice, particularly during the festive season.

Chris Webber, our Head of Holidays and Deals, notes: “These unique destinations are drawing increasing attention due to their unique offerings and a raft of extra flights being laid on by the UK’s biggest package holiday companies.”

3. The renaissance of European rail

The year 2024 marks a rail renaissance across Europe, with an array of new routes and services launching.

Notable additions like the Brussels-Berlin-Prague and Paris-Berlin high-speed and night trains are redefining the way travellers experience the continent. These new links not only offer a sustainable alternative to air travel but also an opportunity to sit back and savour Europe’s picturesque landscapes.

A high-speed Paris-Madrid link debuts in late 2024, and the Amsterdam-Barcelona night train follows in spring 2025.

4. Gazing into the cosmos with dark sky tourism

While space flights might still be a budget-buster for all but billionaires, the allure of the cosmos is drawing more earthbound admirers to spectacular celestial events and making stargazing a significant trend.

The total solar eclipse on April 8 is a major draw, offering an awe-inspiring spectacle across North America. Prime viewing locations include Radar Base, Texas, for the longest total eclipse; the charming Kerrville, Texas; Lampasas for those near Austin; and the picturesque Niagara Falls, New York, promising stunning eclipse images.

Hotels along the path of solar eclipses and meteor showers, coupled with Dark Sky Parks, are becoming sought-after destinations for those looking to explore the galaxy while travelling the Earth.

Feeling starry-eyed? Check out holidays to the USA from £491pp.*

5. Cool-cationing in chillier retreats

Travellers are expected to continue seeking out the cooler months for their holidays. The emerging travel trend, in which holidaymakers book holidays outside of the peak summer travel period, also presents unique money-saving opportunities for savvy travellers.

TravelSupermarket’s analysis of 2022 to 2023 search data across the five shoulder months of February, March and April, and October and November found that destinations such as the Algarve had seen a 10% jump in searches for travel in November 2023; with Majorca seeing a 7% rise in April, and Rhodes and Antalya seeing a 7% and 6% jump respectively in October.

6. Gig getaways for a harmonious holiday

Pack your best concert tee and your wildest festival outfit because music and travel are merging in 2024 as fans follow their favourite artists around the globe. From gigs in ancient amphitheatres to large-scale festivals in remote locations, the mashup of music and travel can create incredible experiences.

The gig tripping trend will hit all the right notes this year, not least with Taylor Swift's 'The Eras Tour' continuing to make waves worldwide, with fans travelling thousands of miles for the chance to see their favourite artist in action.

But it's not just about one pop star’s mega-tour. The entire live music scene is on an upswing. After a few quiet years, the stages are alive again with the sound of music, and fans are more than ready to dive back in. Industry projections by PWC show live entertainment revenues reaching a high note at £54 billion, with live music and cultural events strumming past 2019's pre-pandemic peaks.

7. Grand adventures with skip-gen travel

In a heart-warming turn, more grandparents are choosing to take their grandchildren on special journeys, bypassing the parents for a unique bonding experience. These trips often hold sentimental value and are tailored to creating lasting memories.

Whether travelling with parents or grandparents, many travel companies offer free child places. See our guide to booking a holiday where kids travel free.

8. Navigating the future with AI travel

People have already started to experiment with using AI to help plan their holidays, but with mixed results. Paul Taylor from The Mirror used ChatGPT to explore London and found it pushed him out of his comfort zone, though he noted some of the AI's suggestions were a bit vague.

Meanwhile, an investigation by Which? revealed that while AI could offer some helpful insights for a trip to Greece, it also provided outdated or inaccurate information, underscoring the need for additional human research and fact checking.

Still, we expect the trend to continue as AI systems improve. In a future where AI integrates more seamlessly into our travel planning, it could promise personalised experiences and perhaps a few unexpected adventures along the way.

*Please note: all prices correct as of January 12, 2024.

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