Five Vacation Ideas Perfectly Aligned With 2024’s Top Travel Trends

Travel in 2024 is all about prioritizing quality time and seeking out meaningful wellness experiences. The pursuit of deep, lasting impressions is at the heart of travel this year, avoiding overtourism destinations and a focus on slowing down to appreciate nature’s beauty.

And after the popularity of Netflix’s documentary Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, engaging in wellness practices that promote longevity.

The value of time — and the significance of how and with whom we spend it — is now a focal point for many, and Virtuoso travel advisors report that their clients are more interested than ever in fulfilling their travel aspirations.

“At Judy Perl Travel, we are observing a growing trend among our luxury clients who are asking to book unique and memorable multi-gen family vacations with their children and grandchildren while their families are still eager to travel with them. The small-ship cruise line, Aqua Expeditions, in particular, does an outstanding job of planning and executing multi-generational cruise programs that appeal to three different age groups,” shares Judy Perl, the president of Judy Perl Travel.

With sustainable safaris, exotic yacht expeditions, and luxurious island-hopping experiences on the rise, it’s clear that travelers seek more than just a typical holiday. They want unique, immersive, and socially responsible travel experiences.

These five vacation concepts not only resonate with the top travel trends of 2024 but also provide distinctive experiences and activities to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and environment.

A whopping 94% of travelers are incorporating wellness into their travels. The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) forecasts that the wellness travel market will reach $817 billion in 2022 and soar to $1.3 trillion by 2025 — the fastest growth rate of any wellness market through 2025.

With renewed interest in self-care, travelers hoping to head abroad needn’t sacrifice their wellness journey to travel internationally. Many desirable locations offer premium wellness experiences, perfect for those wanting to soak in the sun and a whirlpool spa.

All About Italy

villa with pool in umbria italy
Image Credit: Casandra Karpiak

According to Google Trends and Places to Travel, Italy is the leading summer vacation destination in most U.S. states. New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Arizona report Italy as their top vacation destination — and with good reason.

While Virtuoso reports travelers’ pandemic-era vacation desires drive many vacation plans, plenty of voyagers seek luxury locales, delighting in the exclusivity of being the “first” to visit a destination. When exploring under-the-radar locations or cities less traveled, vacationers can skip the dense crowds that come with Italy’s most popular cities.

For a more authentic and intimate cultural experience, sightseers can head to the countryside and stay at the luxurious family-owned Tenuta di Murlo, a stunningly exclusive private estate in the heart of Umbria.

Surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, and medieval villages, this tranquil and secluded 12th-century property offers nine luxury villas, a charming apartment, three deluxe rooms, and a romantic cottage nestled among lush olive groves. Additionally, the property is a short drive from popular cities like Florence and Rome.

A breathtaking medieval farmhouse, meticulously reconstructed atop the ruins of a 14th-century defensive tower, has been elegantly transformed into a chic restaurant.

If you can, book the exquisite villa Molinella. It boasts two en suite bedrooms, a private underground whirlpool bath, a sauna, a private outdoor pool, and an outdoor hot tub overlooking the river. The ultimate in luxury and privacy, Molinella is the perfect romantic getaway for couples or a dreamy family vacation.

Immerse yourself in the authentic Italian way of life — sip on local wines by the poolside, indulge in farm-to-table meals made with fresh ingredients from their gardens, take part in cooking classes and wine tastings, explore the nearby towns and villages, or relax in the serene countryside.

Wellness Retreat at Euphoria

indoor pool with dome
Image Credit: Casandra Karpiak

Virtuoso cites Greece as the No. 2 most popular global destination.

Overlooking ancient Sparta and just below the Byzantine ruins of Mystras, Euphoria Retreat is a holistic-wellbeing destination spa in the heart of the Peloponnese, just a 2.5-hour drive from Athens.

Retreat founder Marina Efraimoglou, whose personal transformation informs Euphoria’s globe-spanning healing philosophy, blends cutting-edge science with ancient wisdom.

All programs infuse philosophical influences from Greek philosophy and Hippocratic healing to Taoist philosophy and Chinese medicine, though each experience caters to travelers’ individual needs.

Euphoria Retreat has become Europe’s leading wellness destination spa hotel, with World Spa Awards naming it Greece’s Best Wellness Retreat in 2023.

Sail the Galápagos Seas on Aqua Mare

yacht in ocean
Image Credit: Casandra Karpiak

Exploring the remote wilderness of the Galápagos Islands is one of nine must-have experiences for 2024, reports Virtuoso.

Growing numbers of travelers seek to merge the opulence of luxury travel with the thrill of global exploration, kick-starting an unprecedented surge in the popularity of explorer yachts.

The Galápagos Islands’ only year-round super yacht, Aqua Mare, is perfect for travelers with an adventurous soul and penchant for high living. This 163-foot luxury vessel offers a unique and intimate exploration of the Galápagos Islandswith minimal human interaction.

“Ever since I left Ecuador in 2006 with the clarity to build my own business, I have wanted to return to the Galápagos Islands with our very own luxury expedition ship. It has been 15 years since we ventured to Peru as a family and then onward to Asia to finally come full circle with Aqua Mare back to where it all started,” shares Aqua Expeditions‘ owner Francesco Galli Zugaro.

Guest can choose between two seven-night itineraries with different islands and wildlife encounters, a two-week itinerary, or customize their experience by private charter.

Aqua Mare’s seven spacious cabins accommodate up to 16 guests and boast a 1:1 guest-staff ratio. The large windows in each cabin offer stunning views and allow natural light to fill the space. The yacht also has a rooftop Jacuzzi, outdoor lounge, and dining areas where guests can enjoy gourmet meals prepared by the onboard chef.

Guests on Aqua can partake in adventurous activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. They can also observe and interact with the Galápagos Islands’ diverse wildlife with the help of two onboard Naturalist Guides.

Sustainable Micato Safaris

Herd of elephants in african savanna
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Go2Africa’s annual State of Safaris report shows interest in these excursions rose throughout 2023, with a 25% increase in safari journey spending.

South Africa is the premier safari destination, per Go2Africa, with Tanzania and Kenya second and third, respectively. These three locations account for 60% of the total interest in African safari adventures.

Interest in sustainable safaris has risen a staggering 1,000% over the last four years, according to Go2Africa. This surge is part of a broader eco-travel trend extending into more specialized travel niches like safaris. More travelers are now consciously choosing trips that positively impact their destinations.

“Micato Safaris has an unconventional view of sustainability. Since we opened our doors nearly 60 years ago, Micato has believed the most powerful tool for sustainable change in Africa is education. And for more than 36 years—with intensified dedication to the educational needs and well-being of the community during the pandemic—Micato’s tribute to our birth continent has been our nonprofit, Micato-AmericaShare,” explains Dennis Pinto, Managing Director of Micato Safaris.

Micato’s safari experiences are vast and extraordinary. You can channel your inner Indiana Jones in the Turkana Basin, jog through the Great Rift Valley alongside a barefooted Maasai warrior, or come face to face with Silverback Gorillas in Rwanda.

Caribbean Island Hopping With Belmond Hotels

resort on Anguilla in the caribbean
Image Credit Belmond Cap Juluca

The 24% of Americans traveling outside the U.S. will likely head to warm-weather locales, with the Caribbean an optimal choice for sun and sand.

The United States is the leading contributor to Caribbean tourism, with an estimated 16.3 million stay-over arrivals and an annual growth rate of 12.7%.

The Canadian market is increasingly interested in Caribbean tourism, with a 46.1% increase from the previous year, amounting to around 3 million visitors. The expanded availability of flights from major Canadian cities incentivizes travelers.

On the islands of St. Martin and Anguilla, guests can island hop with Belmond Cap Juluca and Belmond La Samanna as their home base. The properties allow explorers to relish both islands’ culture, history, and natural beauty.

Belmond Cap Juluca is famous for the white sands of Anguilla’s Maundays Bay, one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. The property promotes escapism, with beachfront access in every room, giving guests an exclusive slice of the Caribbean Sea. Guests seeking enhanced relaxation can book a slot at Cap Juluca Spa by Guerlain and enjoy Anguilla’s Arawak tribe-inspired treatments.

Meanwhile, Belmond La Samanna on St. Martin offers a stylish private beach and spa oasis embodying the island’s French spirit. At L’Oursin, overlooking Baie Longue, two-Michelin-starred chef Marcel Ravin adds his signature to the restaurant’s menu. Additionally, the property boasts the Caribbean’s largest wine cellar.

Travel Writer at Savoteur | + posts

Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.