This is the time of year when many speculate what may shape the travel industry in the coming year. We tend to read, listen to, and discuss a wide range of industry figures, so we’ve put together some of these predictions. These are shared by most of the experts, so, while none of us have a crystal ball, they are more likely to carry weight.
From detox trips to trips off the beaten path see what travellers wish to experience in 2024…
During the pandemic in 2020, a survey (conducted by Public Health England) stated that 80% of its participants wanted to change their lifestyle in the next year to become healthier. So, post pandemic (after a time of reflection and restrictions) it’s no surprise that health has grown to become more important than ever before. For example, there is a growing awareness of the need to maintain positive mental wellbeing. Some do so by spending more time in nature, others are more food conscious or increased physical activity throughout their daily lives.
As a result, an interest in wellness travel is prevalent and 21% of global travellers now set off into the sunset to meet their wellness-driven objectives. These objectives include maintaining, enhancing, or kick-starting a healthy lifestyle. The growing category of wellness holidays now include sleep retreats. It seems more people are aware of how important getting enough sleep is, and how far short they are. Detox trips are growing in popularity as people become more in touch with their relationship with alcohol and wish to gain more control. The hospitality industry has responded. More alcohol-free alternatives can now be found in hotels, as well as in wellness retreats.
Aesthetic retreats and nature-based holidays.
Today, wellness holidays don’t just include spas. Wellness holidays are sought by travellers who wish to escape from their digital devices and the pressures of an always-available work culture. Here, they can unplug to reconnect with themselves in nature. Dubbed “reboot retreaters“, these travellers focus upon an aspect of their life that has been neglected while staying in nature.
Holidays spent in nature are ideal for resting and recuperating – perhaps much more so than in busy beach resorts – as they’re genuinely peaceful. Examples include stays in National Parks, mountainous areas or a retreat with stunning surroundings. During their break people can reflect, while taking part in outdoor activities such as forest bathing, river kayaking, mindful hiking, and cold-water swimming.
Overall, stays in natural settings with amazing views can benefit both the mind and body. In future years to come, the NHS may increase the number of ‘green prescriptions‘ to encourage more people to spend more time outdoors in nature to enhance their health. This initiative will support wellness tourism too.
Trips to cooler locations
Travelers’ travel preferences during the summer months are changing. Remember the heatwaves in Europe last summer? Travellers have taken note. Heatwaves can lead to wildfires and other natural disasters that can burn out any traveller’s dream of a happy summer holiday. Perhaps even more of a factor, the peak 2023 European temperature of 45+ degrees is too hot for most UK travellers. Despite this, a holiday cannot be cancelled if a heatwave is taking place in your chosen holiday destination.
To ensure a relaxing summer holiday, travellers are increasingly considering cooler destinations. This has led to an increase in trips to the Nordic countries, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and The Alps during the summer months.
Therefore, travellers are going to be more mindful of which locations to visit in the summer. They will be looking for sun but wary of blistering heat. They’ll also consider taking their ‘summer’ holidays later in early September or during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) to avoid extreme temperatures. This have the other advantage of avoiding peak season travel costs…
Holidays continue despite the cost of living.
How much each traveller spends on a holiday is dependent upon many things. What is apparent is that no matter how squeezed we become, holidays are one of the last things we will cut out. On balance, most travellers are adjusting to inflation and their new costs of living.
In fact, there are many reports which state that our preference to have at least one (or more) holidays a year still holds. Nearly a third (27%) of UK travellers are budgeting to take the same amount of trips or more in 2024 (compared to 2023).
While travellers look for ways to holiday well – for less many well-known travel blogs are here to help by sharing travel tips to help us plan affordable and indulgent breaks.
Indulgent trips in lesser-known holiday destinations
To keep the cost of their holidays down travellers are looking to lesser-known holiday destinations in a popular country or county, while keeping an element of lux.
Booking.com states that 43% of travellers are now looking for different destinations which provide a luxury experience within their budget.
One example is the coastal city of Vlorë in Albania. In Vlorë the sun and sandy beaches are a stepping stone away from laidback Inns, alongside spontaneous boat trips around the Bay of Grama. Best of all, the price tag is much lower than other established european destinations.
Once a lesser-known holiday destination has been decided, travellers will then look for a – very reasonable – five-star all-inclusive hotel, before organising their budget-friendly itinerary, to avoid spending more than they need to.
Other travellers will stay in private holiday homes with fun amenities not found at home – like hot tubs and tennis courts. These pleasurable amenities keep travellers and their companions happy, with less need to book excursions (which saves them more money).
On the other hand, other travellers plan to book holidays where their private accommodation comes with luxurious amenities, to enhance a party or celebration…
Life events and reaching milestones often motivate people to travel. These milestones include milestone birthdays or weddings. Today, they’re celebrated during multigeneration holidays where families come together to celebrate someone’s life event, while they have the time and freedom to travel.
Most celebration vacations take place abroad within exclusive settings, such as Greek villas, French castles or even on private islands or yachts. In fact, 49% of UK travellers have group trips in mind for 2024, to bring their friends and/or family together.
Also, it’s possible that these holidays will be organised by grandparents who wish to treat their family. This generation are increasingly motivated to create memories with their families, and see younger ones enjoy themselves on holiday. In a recent article in the Sunday Times, it was uncovered that some will consider spending up to £100,000 on this type of family holiday – all that is left is to decide on a milestone to base it around.
Meaningful travel experiences
Travellers are becoming more open to travel that includes highly meaningful discoveries. This may be a wish to discover something new or grow their understanding of something special to them. It can often mean enough to them to justify a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
These adventures can include trips to a country that means a lot to them, to learn about its culture and unique character. For example, a safari is a popular choice on many people’s bucket lists. However, taking the opportunity to not only see incredible wildlife but to also meet the Maasai community exposes an adventurous traveller to an unforgettable experience.
This is alluring enough for many to plan to really push the boat out for new experiences that can’t be found at home.
Other meaningful experiences that travellers are looking for include watching traditional dances, while tasting local cuisine in iconic cultural cities.
Travel insurance for travellers in 2024
As us Brits show no signs of staying at home in 2024, ensure you and your clients travel with confidence by sourcing one of our innovative travel insurance policies.
Whether the holiday is £100,000 or £1,000 make sure everyone has the right level of cover.