2024 Travel Special

Travel Special

2024 Travel Special

Oh the places you’ll go…

Words by Liz Skone James

As we come to the end of a year in which the world truly moved forward from the pandemic, with airports full and borders open, we look at what the year ahead holds for travel

While our wallets are being squeezed by rising prices, our desire to travel seems unwavering. Indeed, consumer behaviour research published by booking platform Skyscanner in October showed that 80 per cent of UK travellers plan to take the same number, if not more trips abroad in 2024 compared to 2023, and over a quarter (27 per cent) plan to spend more on travel next year than they did this year. Reinforcing these sentiments, Hilton’s recent third annual trends report finds that 64 per cent of global travellers aim to reduce other areas of their personal spending to prioritise leisure travel in 2024. “Even with ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty, travel demand has remained strong as consumers continue to prioritise the value of experiences and connections over things,” explains Kevin Jacobs, chief financial officer and president of global development at Hilton.

It seems we are still making up for lost time – holding on to a renewed sense of wanderlust in the post pandemic world. So, how will we be travelling 2024?

Travel Special 2024 North Pole Take a journey through the seldom-seen sea ice of the geographic North Pole

Ever found yourself catching up on your current box set binge and dreaming about jetting off to explore the places where it was filmed? You’re not alone, Skyscanner reveal that, with 54 per cent of UK travellers inspired to take a trip to a destination they’ve seen on the big or small screen, film and TV is the second most popular source of travel inspiration for UK travellers, only beaten by word-of-mouth recommendations. And the trend looks set to continue into the New Year.

Whether craving self-discovery, seeking the independence that comes with going it alone, or wanting to take sightseeing at their own pace, the trend is clear – solo travel is soaring in popularity amongst travellers of all backgrounds. Research by Marriot Bonvoy, the hotel chain’s loyalty programme, shows that it is especially popular among younger travellers. Of those they surveyed who intend to go away in the next three years, 47 per cent of those aged 18-24 and 46 per cent of those aged 25-34 are planning a solo trip.

In a world that is always on, more and more of us crave a holiday that allows us to switch off from modern life. We want to travel at our own pace, taking time to explore local history and culture, while disconnecting from digital technology and being mindful of our impact on the environment. Authenticity is key, according to research by Booking.com, with 47 per cent of respondents eager to connect with locals in less-travelled areas and 44 per cent venturing into less touristy spots. Meanwhile, Marriot Bonvoy’s research reveals that nearly half of UK travellers (46 per cent) say they have already been on a ‘slow’ holiday, and half (49 per cent) say they plan to go on a slow holiday in the next three years. (skyscanner.com; hilton.com; marriott.com, booking.com) So that’s the how, but what about the where? We asked the team at award-winning luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent to reveal their destinations to watch in 2024. Here’s what they had to say.

Travel Special Norway Norway is known for its dramatic fjords and beautiful landscapes

“For all our recent Scandi obsession, Norway remains the least explored of the trio. But with this summer’s record temperatures causing more holidaymakers to look north, it won’t stay that way for long.”

Book it: The new 10-night Dazzling Gems of Hidden Norway is a super-bespoke journey from Oslo to Bergen, with action-packed adventures in birch forests and fjords, and stays at some of Europe’s most extraordinary wilderness hotels. Price on request, depending on choice of experiences and hotels.

Saudi Arabia

“Saudi Arabia emerges in 2024 as the new frontier for pioneering travellers seeking unspoiled ancient sites like Hegra and vast desert landscapes, as well as futuristic developments, now more accessible than ever.”

Book it: The seven-night Classic Saudi Arabia journey travels to ancient and modern wonders across Saudi Arabia, taking in the little-visited rock-carved tombs of AlUla (comparable to Petra), and includes a stay in Jeddah on the Red Sea waterfront. From £12,375, including flights, transfers and guiding.

Travel Special 2024 Arizona Explore the cactus-filled Arizona deserts

“Arizona emerges as 2024’s hottest US travel trend with visitors flocking for its incredible diversity beyond the iconic sights. Extended vacations are surging as travellers deep-dive into the state’s ancestral lands, spiritual vortexes, UNESCO-lauded food scene, and up-and-coming wine region.”

Book it: The new 16-night Immersive Grand Canyon and the Southwest journey travels to the American Southwest, including the lesser-visited North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and two nights

Travel Special 2024 Columbia Colombia is South America’s hottest spot for intrepid travellers

“Colombia is sky-rocketing into 2024 as one of the most exciting emerging destinations on the planet. Our high-end bookings have tripled since last year, as travellers go for longer and immerse themselves in the rich culture through experiences, from tastings on coffee farms to swimming in bioluminescent Tayrona lagoons amid ancient ruins.”

Book it: The new eight-night Colombia: Bogotá to Cartagena Escorted Tour travels across the country via little-visited sights which reveal the rich culture. From £8,645pp (excl flights), including transfers and guiding.


Travel Special Morocco From the sand dunes of the Sahara to the colourful souks of Marrakesh, Morocco is very much open to visitors

“The travel world was shaken after September’s earthquake in the High Atlas Mountains, its effects felt even in Marrakech’s Medina – but within days the country had pulled itself up by the bootstraps to welcome visitors again. The best way to support Morocco’s ongoing recovery is to visit, and there are plenty of fresh reasons to go in 2024.”

Book it: The new seven-night Secrets of Morocco’s Memory Road journey travels along the little-visited Memory Road in southern Morocco and includes three nights at Dar Ahlam. From £9,180pp including flights, transfers and guiding.


A room with a view at Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island in South Australia A room with a view at Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island in South Australia

“In 2024, South Australia emerges as the new frontier for repeat explorers of Australia, and for those wishing to extend their trip and discover less-obvious parts of the country. As Australia was one of the last places to open to British travellers after the pandemic, we have witnessed a rise in travellers returning to visit friends and family, then staying for longer to explore the country.”

Book it: The 16-night Classic Australia journey travels across Australia, including Sydney and the Red Centre, and includes three nights at Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island. From £16,300pp including flights, transfers and guiding.


Travel Special 2024 North Pole Take a journey through the seldom-seen sea ice of the geographic North Pole

“Luxury expedition cruising emerges as one of the biggest trends in cruising for 2024. Abercrombie & Kent’s North Pole Expedition Cruise takes its inaugural voyage to the top of the world this year. Departing from Longyearbyen in Svalbard, eco-friendly icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s first luxury hybrid electric polar ship, will venture far beyond the point that other Arctic cruises usually go, charting a course ever-northwards into seldom-seen sea ice to the geographic North Pole.”

Book it: The 17-night North Pole Expedition Cruise departs from Oslo in July 2024. Priced from £42,760 per person all inclusive, including charter flights, all meals, drinks and shore excursions. Special offers available.