Looking to pack up and run to the sun in 2024 for a well-deserved vacation? Well, strap yourself in for a relay around the planet as The Wise Traveller highlights some of the hottest places to be seen in.
With New Year just days away, curious and adventurous travellers are eyeing their options and budgets for an unforgettable getaway. Sri Lanka is one of the most talked about places coming back on the holiday radar.
The island, a mere teardrop off one of the most bustling countries on the planet, India, offers a welcome embrace with history, surfing, beautiful beaches, staggering mountain views, and charming wildlife.
This charming ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ is an adventurer's dream where you can relax on a beach, hike into jungles, capture a train from teeming Colombo to Galle in the South with eye-opening windows on the nation, come across leopards and elephants in nature parks, and dine on fantastic food that won't cost a mortgage.
Condé Nast's readers have Japan firmly in their sights, having voted it the best country in the world to visit. Whether it's because of the unique cultural experiences it poses, the fantastic food fusions or seeing the sakura cherry blossoms in spring, the nation has more to experience.
American Express has been scouring its travel data and offered a comprehensive list of trending places to head out to in 2024. The Adelaide Hills of Australia and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico are among the places piquing their clients' interests.
One of the standout places to visit is the pretty coastal town of Bodrum in Western Turkey. For decades, recognized as the best the Turkish Rivera can offer, it has everything a jet setter could want. From beautiful beaches and superyachts to spot, culture and history mixed in with international cuisine, it is a vacation that balances a glamourous swagger of old and the chic, modern demands of today's travellers.
The best of the rest include Cervo in Italy, Santa Fe in New Mexico, the US, and the shimmering Seychelles.
Expedia has taken a snapshot of travel trends based on customer purchasing data and a survey of thousands of travellers. Many are tapping inspiration from the TV and movies. Over half said they researched or booked a trip after seeing a destination featured in a TV drama or movie.
This has seen interest spike for South Korea inspired by Squid Games, Romania from the Netflix release of Wednesday and a 200% rise in searches for Paris after the last season of "Emily in Paris." The White Lotus inspired searches for Thailand, while Bridgerton and The Crown series saw searches for London, Bath and Windsor in the UK.
Meanwhile, online travel agent Booking.com's travel list for 2024 points to a few holiday destinations that may not have been considered yet.
Beppu, a city and spa resort on the west coast of Kyushu Island, Japan, has come onto the radar with travellers looking at its natural hot springs and nutrient-rich water baths, sand baths, and mud baths. The eight geothermal springs at the Hells of Beppu, with bubbling mud and a vast natural geyser, offer an intriguing look-see.
While the likes of Vlorë in Albania and Portland, Oregon, offer diverse experiences, Valkenburg in The Netherlands is a surprising but beautiful alternative. A small city close to the Belgian border, it is renowned for historic buildings, underground caves, and hiking and biking trails.
While bustling Buenos Aires, in Argentina, is well and truly back on the travel beat, a new name to conjure is Panglao in The Philippines. The island in the Bohol Sea is a fascinating place for divers, while its beaches, particularly Alona Beach and Danao Beach, offer a paradise getaway from the 9-5.
Whichever destination you are intent on in 2024, travel safe and travel smart.
Andy Probert is an experienced freelance business travel journalist and PR specialist.