Exotic Destinations, Bucket-List Experiences Trending for 2024

Motivated by crossing items off their to-do lists, travelers will roam the world in 2024, prioritizing authentic, customized experiences in off-the-beaten-path locales. This was found in a new advisor survey from American Marketing Group, which forecast the top travel destinations and trends for next year as well as recommended must-have experiences. 

What else did it find?

Europe’s popularity will continue unabated, according to the advisors surveyed. Italy will be 2024’s top destination, with Greece (No. 3) and Portugal (No. 5) also cracking the top five. Alaska (No. 2) is the only U.S. locale to reach the top five, with Riviera Maya (No. 4) rounding out the list of top destinations. In addition, visiting exotic destinations was identified by advisors as a top emerging trend, and their forecasts for 2024’s trending locales range from first-place South Africa and second-place Eastern Europe to a duo of Asian countries—Japan (No. 3) and Thailand (No. 4)—as well as Antarctica (No. 5).

All-inclusive travel is the top trend for next year, as travelers crave extra value and ease of planning in their vacations. River (No. 2) and ocean cruising (No. 4) also ranked highly in the survey, while multigenerational (No. 3) travel and small-group (No. 5) travel are surging in popularity due to a desire to experience the world with loved ones. That said, "bucket-list travel" is the number-one emerging trend, according to the survey, as travelers are converting their dreams into to-do lists. Personalized experiences (No. 2) and authentic travel (No. 4) made the top five, as well, reflecting a heightened interest in cultural immersion tailored to the traveler’s preferences. Off-the-beaten path travel (No. 3) also ranked highly, along with AI-assisted travel planning (No. 5).

When asked about must-have travel experiences for 2024, advisors recommended four styles of trips:

  • Immersive experiences — Discover firsthand how other cultures live. Connect with the nature, history and cuisine of the destination. Custom itineraries, longer stays and purposeful interactions all deepen the bond to the area. 
  • Cruising — With so much variety, cruises offer something for everyone. Ocean and river cruising both provide a taste of different destinations. Try sailing on a new ship to enjoy all the offerings and features. They can also upgrade the voyage with a suite or a premium or luxury sailing.
  • Enhanced vacations — Splurge on travel experiences that make a major difference to the enjoyment of the trip. Secure first-class air and expedited customs service. Treat yourself with a five-star hotel or spacious suite. Book private transfers, tours, yachts and jets.
  • Out-of-the-ordinary destinations — Visit sites such as Alaska’s glaciers, Machu Picchu and the Pyramids of Egypt while you still can. Experience pristine nature with an African safari, or Galapagos Islands or Antarctica journey. Discover different ways of life in places such as Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, even ones that might be out of a traveler’s comfort zone.

Advisors from TravelSavers, NEST and Affluent Traveler Collection agency affiliates in the U.S. and Canada participated in the survey between November 8 and 27, 2023.

Related Stories

Travelers Unfazed by Economic Pressures in 2024: Stats

Squaremouth Predicts the Four Biggest Travel Trends Next Year

“Revenge Travel” Is Here to Stay, Visa Study Reveals

Fora Unveils Its 2024 Hot List