7 Travel Trends to Watch in 2024

With open borders, a thirst for discovering new places, and a chance to experience old favourites again, there hasn’t been a dull moment for travellers in the past year. Curiosity made 2023 a year of fruitful travelling, but now it’s time to wave goodbye to the last 12 months and focus on what’s to come in 2024. 

At Epic we keep a keen eye on what’s changing in the travel industry, where adventurous souls and curious travellers wish to visit next, and the latest research or trends emerging in the market. Here are a handful of travel trends that Epic will be paying attention to in 2024, and we hope it inspires you to think outside the box too.

Reshaping what it means to travel sustainably in 2024

The next evolution of sustainability will be about deeper, richer travel that connects you with the roots of local communities. The antidote to mass tourism or overtourism, which causes issues and permanently alters a destination, is slow and sustainable travel that takes you deeper and connects with the soul of a place.

Deep travel is part of our DNA, and we know you can have a positive impact by going off the beaten path and have a truly immersive, rich and rewarding vacation while visiting lesser-known places. Sustainable travel will be a way for travellers to integrate, create genuine connections with the local community, and have increasingly authentic experiences.

We like to co-create with locals in Morocco and Portugal so there’s a positive and lasting impact on the community. This might mean developing experiences with master artisans in Morocco so they can share their skills, understand their worth, and bring wealth to their families, or giving an extra income stream to a shepherd in Portugal who still maintains the traditional act of transhumance, taking the herd to the high plains for the summer months.

In September last year a terrible earthquake struck Morocco, and sustainable tourism is proving to be essential in helping the mountainous areas to renew and rebuild.

Remote retreats

Everyone wants to find the perfect balance between work and play in life. With the rise of remote work and the ability to take the office anywhere, the idea of mixing business and pleasure has never been easier. One of the travel trends we expect to see more of in 2024 is remote retreats, combining work and play.

Some businesses are entirely remote, while others have multiple headquarters – that’s why a remote retreat is a perfect excuse to gather the team in person for a week of bonding, strategy sessions, wellness and relaxation

Getting the team together face-to-face is a chance for workers to properly connect, reflect and plan for the next year, and celebrate wins together. That might mean renting a farmhouse on the Alentejo coast like Praia do Canal or Immerso in Ericeira to spend the week bonding over surf lessons and sunset yoga sessions, or escaping to a Moroccan desert camp for a few days reconnecting beneath starry desert skies.

Read next: The Epic Hot List: The Must-Do Experiences in Morocco in 2024

Beyond the bucket list

Expedia’s Travel Trend Report 2024 highlighted the TikTok trend of “dupes”. One of three people they polled said they’d booked a duplicate destination as a more affordable alternative. Beyond cost saving, these alternative city, beach and mountain destinations are usually less crowded and offer up the unexpected.

We’re a huge fan of this trend and definitely encourage travellers to venture beyond the bucket list highlights. In Morocco that might mean venturing north to Tangier, a re-emerging destination we expect to pop. Or in Portugal, skip the Algarve for the quieter Alentejo coast to find a place lost in time, or follow your adventurous side to the lesser-known Azorean Islands.

Transformational trips

Why do we travel? Is it to make a difference? To chase an adrenaline rush? To experience new cultures? While we want travel to make a difference to local communities, we know travellers also want to be agents of change – and, even more, return home transformed by their own experiences. 

In 2024 we suspect wellness getaways will continue to rise as a way of travelling and returning home as a better version of yourself. While a yoga or meditation retreat are two main forms of transformational travel that come to mind, the range is much wider. There are cultural trips connecting travellers to artisans, adventure trips like surfing with locals and in fishing villages, culinary travels discovering a country through taste and smell, or even adding a volunteering day to any itinerary so you can give back to the community in a more direct way… 

The sky’s the limit when it comes to transformational trips. It’s about more than a healthy body — it’s about returning refreshed with a healthier mind and soul. 

Read next: Searching for wolves – 3 Days in Portugal’s Peneda-Gerês National Park

The value of togetherness

In a post-pandemic world, families are valuing the chance to gather today more than ever. Time moves fast – the kids are growing up, parents are getting older – and families are looking inward. Time spent around the table, sharing stories and swapping tales is no longer taken for granted. This means finding more time to spend with one another.

Connecting with family – or your chosen family – will be one of the top travel trends in 2024. Spending time together somewhere new is a chance to make special memories you’ll look back on for years to come. It’s also time to get to know the people in your life more deeply – what moves them, what motivates them, what do they think about the future? Deep conversations had around a campfire beneath stars in the Sahara Desert sure beat those had at Christmas lunch.

New excuses for travel

While holidays were once reserved for traditional honeymoons, clichéd birthday celebrations, or an annual girls’ weekend… these days just about anything ‘calls” for a trip – and the list of reasons is endless. 

Puppymoons, babymoons, first anniversaries, birthday presents, celebrating a promotion, family reunions… People are looking for any excuse to get away, go somewhere new, and enjoy life with their loved ones while discovering a destination. Research from Vrbo showed one-third of respondents would book a weekend trip to celebrate a first date anniversary or quitting their job.

To that list we want to add trigger moments. A change of circumstance, a new decade, a craving for adventure, or becoming an empty nester are all good reasons to set off for an experience that makes you feel alive again. Put away your phone for a moment in 2024 and set out to experience the richness of life, culture, food, and nature on this marvellous planet.

Read next: The Epic Hot List: The Must-Do Experiences in Portugal in 2024 

Surprise travel

If you like diving into the unknown or simply saying YES to adventure, this travel trend will be your cup of tea in 2024. Surprise travel is leaping into the unknown and not knowing what your destination is until you arrive. 

Travel site Booking.com surveyed 27,000 travellers across 33 countries and some 52% said they’d be “keen to book a surprise trip where everything down to the destination is unknown until arrival”. They say 2024 will be the year of “surrender seekers”. 

While we always add moments of surprise and delight to our trips, if you’re willing to hand over total responsibility to our team of travel pros, we’ll design the ultimate Morocco or Portugal trip and let you know where you’re going and staying on the day you arrive. Go on, open yourself up to chance.

So, where will 2024 take you? If you’re feeling inspired by these travel trends in 2024 and are thinking about Portugal, Morocco, the Azores, Madeira, or São Tomé and Príncipe, reach out to our team at info@epic.travel and we’ll create and curate your dream trip.

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