Travel Trends

2024 will be the biggest travel year in history, so says “the media” if you trust them!
If last year is any indication, 2023 was a record-breaker, huge volume of travelers, with off-the-charts air travel, cruises, and destination vacations. The curve has been trending upwards since 2021… seems the lockdown resulted in pent-up travel demand and now the globe is getting smaller – more reachable – and people’s desire to vacate and go road-tripping is greater than ever.

For frequent flyers like me, this is bad news. I loved traveling in 2020 when no one else was. Seriously, I love skiing the Alps when most Americans and Canadians are pouncing on Epic and IKON pass resorts, flocking to ski areas in North America. I like to seek out places not yet on everyone’s radar.

Portugal was amazing and affordable in the fall of 2021, dubbed the California of Europe for its west coast and wineries. Biking the Danube River from Germany to Austria in the fall of 2022 was so special! In 2023, we biked France’s Loire Valley – castles and wineries in October which is typically “off-season” which was perfect, perfectly uncrowded and splendid!

Paris, however, fall of 2023, was not-so-intimate, the City of Light was overrun with tourists. Asian bus tours, huge groups, and pre-Olympic sightseers clogged the otherwise romantic city. In Paris, we experienced lines for every attraction and museum! It seems most UNESCO World Heritage sights are now on travelers’ bucket lists – and often crowded – since the goal for many is to get the selfie and check off as many of these incredible places, parks, and preserves, as possible.

So, what’s your travel goal for 2024? Are you a vacationer or a traveler?
Are you a jet setter? Are you merely after the most chic, upscale lifestyle in your travels, wanting to see and be seen among the most fabulous fashionable crowd? How very bourgeoisie! Then Fashion Week in Paris is for you. Or New Year’s on a yacht in St Bart’s with Beyonce, Michale Jordan and Jeff Bezos. Usher might be there to usher in the New Year with a private performance. Just bring your unlimited Amex Black Card posh privilege has its price tag! Keeping up with those kitschy Kardashians means overpaying!

Or are you a set-jetter – the new travel term coined for movie set visits? Dubrovnik Croatia is on every Game of Throne’s fan list.

Set jetters are like cattle steering for Montana desperate to see Yellowstone’s Dutton Ranch and then actually visit Yellowstone National Park. White Lotus locations are starting to bust at the seams – travelers who want to be like Tanya McQuaid in Hawaii, and Italy, yachting the Ionic Sea on a Mediterranean charter. Fun fact, set jetting trends started back in the 80’s with Boston’s Bull & Finch Pub becoming famous from the TV show Cheers, everyone hoped to see Woody and Sam behind the Bar. Emily in Paris shooting locations are now super popular throughout the chicest arrondissements of Paris.

Are you an experiential traveler – a hiker, biker, boater, skier – an athleisure tourist? Active vacations are on the rise as people look to stay fit and explore on bike, on foot, on a boat or on skis. We love our cycling trips in Europe, having biked the Danube, and the Loire Valley, next is the Netherlands. We have chartered yachts in the Fjords of Norway, France, The Caribbean and the East Coast of Maine, Rhode Island and The Chesapeake in Maryland. We have skied resorts all over The East, The West, Canada, and the Alps of Europe – Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain. We love these incredibly scenic dynamic ski vacations, touring mountains on skis and ending each day with après ski in some magical alpine village.

Do you want to explore culinary destinations – like a week in Tuscany feasting on local Italian specialties accompanied by wine from their vibrant viniculture scene. Foodie tours are trending everywhere from New York, to Paris, Cinque Terre Italy, and Barcelona Spain, and even more remotely in Vietnam, Marrakesh, Bangkok. Cooking schools are another feast for the eyes, tastes and all the sense, as you immerse yourself in local products and culture, you learn some new culinary skills to take home as well.

Wine and Liquor tasting tours span from Scotch and Whiskeys in Scotland to Ireland, wine in California, France, Italy, and Spain. Our trip to Chile revealed amazing South American cuisine (amazing asado) paired with the top emerging wines in the world in the Colchagua Valley. Tequila tasting in Mexico is as authentic as you can get!

Eco-travel, green travel, Blue Zone and regenerative travel is trending – as vacationers look to visit smaller civilizations, meet locals, stay in green lodging, learn and respect their culture, even volunteer to immerse themselves in their destination, with a minimal footprint, low environmental impact. It’s a positive trend that people are recognizing they need to be aware and respectful of the historic places they are visiting. My only concern here is that throngs of people visit small special civilizations and then overcrowding becomes a problem. Also exploitation of animals, of local people, littering, disruptive behavior, are all travel no’s no’s! Be sure to be a conscientious traveler wherever you go, leave only footprints – take only pictures.

Whatever your travel goals and flights of fancy, stay tuned here at The Luxury Vacation Guide.

This year, we will be skiing the Alps of Austria, cruising the Caribbean on the latest greatest cruise ship, charting our own yacht off the Coast of Maine, and cycling The Netherlands – known to be the best bike-friendly country in the world! Oh, and we will be observing the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8 2024 – from some fabulous place – Cabo Mexico, Stowe Vermont or Sugarloaf Maine.

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“If happiness is the goal- and it should be – then adventure should be a top priority”
– Richard Branson