The Top 7 Travel Trends of 2024

Ever felt like just another tourist lost in a sea of selfie sticks and rushed itineraries? There’s a better way to see the world, and it’s anything but cookie-cutter. If you’re the type of traveller who likes to slow down, savour the moment, and connect with the people you meet along the way, you’re in luck.

With over 105 years in guided travel, Collette has been taking notes on travel trends for more than a century. Solo travel has been popular. Quick, domestic getaways have been a highlight for travellers in recent years as the weeks-long trek across Europe fades in and out of fashion. We’ve watched it all and we’re ready to share.

1. Low-Season Travel

Summer travel is predictable… and often just a little too busy. When you opt to travel during off-peak times, you can get closer to those must-sees a little easier and save some money. Savvy travellers know this. There’s a slightly more relaxed feeling when the crowds are smaller and there’s more of an opportunity to watch authentic daily life unfold. It’s easier to gain the local perspective when there are more locals around.

2. Supporting Women-Owned & Small Businesses While Traveling

Shopping from women-owned businesses and small businesses has become popular practice in countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia. It’s an opportunity to put our money behind diverse business owners who want to make a positive impact. This is just as true afar as it is at home, but there’s a deeper impact globally. Women-owned and small businesses are more likely to invest earnings back into the community to support families. Supporting these industries plays a critical role in promoting sustainable economic growth while travellers make valuable connections with locals.

3. Private Touring

Small group touring has been a travel trend for quite a while, but we’re starting to see an increase in private touring in 2024. Travellers who choose this style of touring can build a guest list of 10 or more people for their own departure of whatever tour they want. While building camaraderie with like-minded travellers is a staple in the guided travel space, there’s something special about a curated travel roster with some privacy, too.

4. Culturally-Reflective Accommodations

Where you go to sleep at night can be so much more than a place to rest your head. Culturally curious travellers want accommodations they can brag about when they tell the story of their trip. Ana Rooney, our Vice President of Product Design & Operations, identified this as a huge consideration for our tours. “Our travellers have made it clear —” she said. “They see hotels as an extension of the destination experience and see that unique properties can offer insight into culture. Chateaux, castles, riads, even glass igloos are some of the popular options that our travellers love.” And thanks to our local experts, only the most authentic accommodations are chosen to truly bring a destination to life.

5. Safari Tours

People spend their lives dreaming of going on a safari. And in 2024, adventurers are taking the leap and making those dreams a reality. In Swahili, “safari” means “journey” and to you, it will mean that and so much more. Game drives across serene plains and sprawling grasslands. Searching for the elusive Big Five animals: the African lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and the Cape buffalo. These tours also go beyond the wildlife and take you closer to the culture. The best is that it’s all within reach and super easy with a tour.

6. Chasing the Northern Lights

The elusive northern lights have had a hold on adventurous travellers for decades and that trend continues to shine bright this year. Whether travellers are chasing them in Europe or North America, there’s seemingly no end in sight to the lengths people will go for this natural phenomenon. Adventurers search for the northern lights on tours to Iceland, Finland, and even Alaska. Travellers have over a 90% chance to see the dancing lights when they spend three nights in Fairbanks.

7. Spontaneous, Last-Minute Bookings

Over the years, we’ve noticed that sometimes travellers book trips in advance – we’re talking 12-18 months in advance. Anticipation is one of the reported best parts of the customer journey, but lately people are cutting to the chase and saying “c’est la vie.” Our team has seen a significant increase in travellers booking within three months of their departure date. There’s an extra layer of comfort added to the “pack up and go” method when you opt to book a guided tour. There’s no stress about the details being missed in the crunched timeframe because we have those covered.

This article is courtesy of Collette. CARP members save an additional $100 per person off any tour – combinable with all other retail offers! Learn more at www.collette.com/carp