While travel used to be an escape from life, new research from Booking.com reveals that travel is life in 2024 with more than three-quarters (78%) of Australians saying they feel more alive than ever on holiday.
With the majority of Australian travelers (66%) thinking they are the best version of themselves while on holiday, and 68 per cent wanting to be more like their holiday selves in their everyday lives at home, these trends reveal how Aussies will set about bottling up those cozy holiday vibes so that they are not left on the doorstep when they get home.
Booking.com’s annual Travel Predictions survey, which gathers insights from more than 27,000 travelers from 33 countries and territories, including more than 1,000 from Australia, explores how travel will take people off autopilot in 2024 and live their best travel lives.
“Going into the new year, Australians are showing a renewed sense of optimism when it comes to travel, looking for opportunities to refresh and rebuild, whether it’s international trips or simply exploring their own backyard, to enhance their everyday lives. the day lives on,” commented Todd Lacey, Regional Manager for Oceania at Booking.com.
“Our travel predictions for 2024 reflect the idea that travel is not a way to escape life, but rather a catalyst to living our best lives. At Booking.com, our mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, and we’re committed to powering the extraordinary experiences that resonate with every traveler’s heartbeat in 2024 and beyond.”
1. (Alter)Ego enthusiasts
People often take on different personas when they travel to make themselves feel more alive, with some even going so far as to make up stories about themselves to those they meet on the trip (30%), with the majority of Australians (61%) saying they enjoy the anonymity of travel and the opportunity to recreate.
Encouraging the idea that people take on different personalities when they travel, more than two-thirds (66%) feel they are the best version of themselves on holiday, able to shed inhibitions and embrace new aspects of their personality. What’s more, more than half (63%) of travelers feel a ‘major character energy’ on their travels, empowered to be the stars of their own lives.
2. Cold cations
With Australia facing a hot summer, the hot conditions are fueling an increase in the number of travelers seeking cooler climates to cool off. Almost half of Australians (42%) said climate change will affect how they plan their holidays in 2024, with 41 per cent saying that as temperatures get closer to home, they will use their holidays to cool off elsewhere.
As a result, there is an expected increase in travel in the center of the water which reduces the sharpness of the heat. Three-quarters (75%) agree that being near water currently feels more relaxing, and more than a third (35%) are interested in water-focused holidays in 2024. This will see floating yoga, water sound baths, snow meditation, ice therapy retreats and underwater hotels are growing, and water is no longer the background but the main event.
3. Surrender seekers
Moving from rigorous planning to chance encounters and roll of the dice experiences, these surrender seekers relinquish control. More than half of travelers (57%) would prefer not to have any plans set in stone before traveling in 2024 so they can go where the wind takes them, while nearly two-thirds (68%) prefer to travel with loose plans so they can change direction based on what is good for you at the moment.
4. Culinary excavators
Australian travelers want to dig deep into the roots of cuisine, bucking next-generation food trends in favor of experiencing heritage flavors, with the vast majority (81%) looking to enjoy indigenous cuisine while exploring the world.
Moreover, more than half (56%) are interested in learning about the origins of must-eat delicacies at a destination. Culinary diggers are committed to preserving the true craftsmanship of traditional dishes and embracing the unique history, geography and products that make up a unique cuisine.
5. Restart Retreaters
Amid global volatility and our ever-busy world, Australians are booking self-improvement trips to get their dream lives back on track. Enter, a new era of sleep tourism, welcoming sleep gatekeepers and cutting-edge technology to serve the 55 percent who want to focus solely on uninterrupted shut-eye on their trip in 2024.
Some of the most sleep-deprived among us parents are seeking solace in all-solo vacations, with half (50%) planning to travel alone in 2024, leaving children and their partners to prioritize themselves. On the other hand, 30 percent of travelers would take vacation time to find the spark with a new partner or lover.
6. A la carte rich people
Driven by cost-of-living pressures, travelers will use money-saving tricks in 2024 to cut costs yet elevate vacations with ‘à la carte’ luxury. These à la carte ‘wealthy’ will create low-cost travel itineraries with the help of artificial intelligence, with nearly half (48%) of travelers upgrading their vacation experiences with suggested add-ons and offers after insights and advice from artificial intelligence.
In addition, more than half of travelers (54%) plan to choose destinations in 2024 due to cost-of-living pressures, while traveling closer to home is also attractive to some who will seek luxury holidays for less to cut costs. Almost half (49%) of all Australian parents plan to take their children out of school to travel outside the school holidays to keep their money traveling further in 2024.
7. Careful aesthetes
The growing movement of hotels and unique accommodations respond to significant environmental and social challenges through architectural design. Discerning travelers will look for architecture that delights and has eco-friendly features at its core, with almost half (47%) looking for accommodation that has the wow factor of sustainability innovation, and many (53%) wanting to see the outdoors brought indoors with green spaces and plants in dwellings.
In addition to contributing to conservation efforts, sustainable itineraries will give travelers exclusive access to places that help with conservation, in the most careful and responsible way. Almost half (47%) of Australian travelers are interested in sustainable travel apps where they can unlock experiences, such as adventures with locals in off-the-beaten-track areas (58%) or visiting remote locations that tourists normally have limited access to (51%).