2024 Travel Trends: Generational Changes, AI Itineraries and More
Join us as we navigate the shifting landscape of travel and get a jump on 2024 to ensure your next journey is nothing short of extraordinary.
The signs are all around of trends like these:
2024 Travel Trends
The end of shoulder season as we know it
The shoulder season, for the uninitiated, is that magical time in late spring and early fall when travel demand (and prices) aren’t at peak-season levels but the weather is definitely travel-friendly, with mild temps and green countrysides.
The shoulder season is feeling pressure from three sides:
- From digital nomads, remote workers and others who have the freedom to work from just about anywhere
- From travel providers, who see an opportunity to lengthen their peak season
- From the weather, which is increasingly inhospitable during the height of summer
Already, search traffic is up for springtime trips to Europe, and accommodations in Greece and other hot-weather European destinations are shifting the peak season into May and September, with rates to match.
Look for more of this as summer becomes a less-desirable time to visit southern Europe in particular.
More weather-related uncertainty
It wasn’t just Europe that experienced weather-related travel disruption in 2023; from wildfires in Canada and Hawaii to storms in California, exceedingly dry and wet weather caused many travelers to change their vacation plans.
Weather patterns have become more unpredictable, and are likely to trend further in that direction in 2024.
What does that mean for your 2024 vacation plans? For starters, you may want to focus on destinations that haven’t been as impacted by climate events lately, such as Scandinavia, Alaska, or the southern regions of Argentina or Chile. These destinations give travelers a better chance of having a vacation that goes off as planned … at least as far as the weather is concerned.
Another big year for Europe
It’s hard to recall, but European travel was set to shatter all records in 2019 before the pandemic struck. We could be heading back to those days – or we could blow past them without blinking.
If you’re thinking of Europe next summer, make reservations early, especially for things like river cruises, which tend to book fast. Since demand often equals inflation, lock in prices now. And buy travel protection from Generali to be prepared for the unexpected.
Here’s another reason to buy travel protection for your European vacations: COVID is back, and could threaten summer travel.
No one is saying that COVID is going to be the vacation-wrecking scourge it was a couple of years ago, but you do need to check your destination’s vaccination requirements and follow CDC guidelines on vaccination, just to be on the safe side.
Gen Z traveling on their own
Gen Z is driving much of the consumption in areas like clothing and food and beverage, but not so much in travel … yet.
However, there are signs that Gen Zers are starting to travel on their own more, after a lifetime of traveling with their parents. And not only are they traveling on their own, but they’re traveling frequently and making travel a priority.
Gen Zers are showing their independence in how they travel as well as in their choice of destinations, with the focus on sustainability and destinations threatened by environmental change. There’s a sense of urgency with some of their trips, a feeling that if they don’t see it now, they may never see it.
In addition to a see-it-now mentality, there’s also some bargain-hunting going on, with Expedia reporting a spike in searches for travel out a few weeks, as opposed to months in the future.
Trips like those should really include travel insurance, and while Gen Z isn’t the top travel protection buying group yet, they may get there sooner rather than later.
Mature travelers returning to their ways
Prior to the pandemic, mature travelers were driving much of the world’s travel spending. Older Americans were going everywhere and doing everything, from cruises to adventure travel. Once the pandemic hit, though, mature travelers shut down their travels almost completely – much more so than other groups.
However, now there are signs that older travelers are venturing further afield and taking bigger trips.
Obviously, a COVID rebound could short-circuit those gains, but the non-COVID signs point to a big year for senior travel in 2024.
From Expedia to startups to DIYers, everyone seems to be experimenting with AI to suggest things to do and places to stay, and even create entire travel itineraries.
It sounds great, but remember that ChatGPT and its ilk can only parrot what it finds on the internet, so if you’re looking for something unique that isn’t just a reshuffling of the puzzle pieces you need to look elsewhere.
On the other hand, most travel itineraries and experiences are a reworking of someone else’s travels, so why not use AI?
If you’re looking for general travel advice, go ahead – give AI a shot. But if you want something truly custom, you may want to look for some human-powered travel advice.
Where Will You Travel Next? Try Our Random Vacation Generator
When it comes to travel protection, you don’t need AI to tell you it’s a have-to-have for any big trip. Generali Travel Insurance has plans to fit all your travels, in 2024 and beyond.
Get a quote today.