For female travelers, 2024 promises to be a year brimming with exciting new travel trends—from retracing the steps of favorite on-screen characters to booking women-led group tours. After years of COVID-imposed restrictions, travel has undeniably rebounded, and wanderlust is now burning brighter than ever, fueled by a growing desire for meaningful experiences, adventure, and personal growth. Here are some of the most popular travel trends shaping women’s journeys this year.
1. Recharging is Now Joy Therapy
Gone are the days of whirlwind itineraries. In our ever-busy and digitally-tapped world, prioritizing one’s well-being has become a priority, while finding time to relax and recharge has become a sought-after indulgence. This year, women are seeking destinations that foster relaxation and rejuvenation in a trend now known as “joy therapy,” according to CN Traveler. Picture spa getaways in Bali, yoga retreats in Costa Rica, or mindfulness journeys through the Scottish Highlands.
2. Curated Group Trips
Group travel has proven itself an enduring trend, offering solo travelers the chance to venture to new destinations with the comfort of a planned trip and a group of like-minded travelers. For women, especially, group travel has surged in popularity, allowing them to find safety and community in numbers in destinations they may otherwise be wary of venturing solo. These experiences offer the freedom to explore at your own pace and forge meaningful connections with like-minded women while foregoing the need to plan your own trip itinerary. Nowadays, group travel has expanded, offering a little something for everyone, from women-only tours, tours that pair professional development with a destination, and trips targeted at specific age groups. In a similar vein, tours and retreats led by female guides have risen in popularity.
3. Tapping into Local Travel
While travel is rebounding, the cost of travel is skyrocketing. “A round-trip airline ticket to Europe is now about $1,000 — 20% more expensive relative to this time in 2019 and 32% more costly than last year,” Hayley Berg, a lead economist at Hopper, told CNBC. “A round-trip flight to Asia costs $1,600 — about 60% pricier than a 2019 ticket.” With rising travel costs and a renewed appreciation for local gems, domestic destinations are flourishing this year. Rather than burn a hole in your wallet traveling abroad, this year, travelers are opting to explore nearby national parks, discover charming coastal towns, or embark on a road trip through breathtaking landscapes.
4. Experiential & Eco-Conscious Travel
This year, it’s not just about the destination; it’s about the journey and our collective impact as travelers. Women are seeking enriching experiences that connect them to local cultures, communities, and the environment. Think volunteering alongside elephants in Thailand, learning artisan crafts in Mexico, or participating in traditional cooking classes in Italy. Eco-conscious women are also choosing travel companies and hotels committed to responsible tourism and sustainability, such as eco-lodges.
5. Wellness Travel
Just as joy travel is a trend promoting relaxation, wellness travel is an enduring travel trend prioritizing self-care. Blending relaxation with adventure, wellness travel is booming this year. From detox retreats in the Himalayas to fitness holidays in Greece, women are prioritizing holistic well-being while exploring new horizons.
6. “Set-Jetting” to Pop Culture Hotspots
Another travel trend? Retracing the footsteps of favorite on-screen characters. Inspired by movies and TV shows, destinations like Paris and Sicily have spiked in popularity as travelers flock to the scenes of their favorite shows, such as Emily in Paris or White Lotus. Speaking of White Lotus, the third season is gearing up, and with it, news of its upcoming locations in Thailand. After the surge in tourism to Sicily following the second season of White Lotus, we are anticipating a wave of tourism to the already popular destination of Thailand. According to AFAR, “filming will take place in the capital city of Bangkok and on the islands of Phuket and Ko Samui, as announced in statements released this week by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and HBO.”
7. Off-the-Beaten-Path Gems
Every year, this trend makes its way on travel lists, and for good reason. In the unending pursuit of travelers searching for exciting and undiscovered locales, finding an “off-the-beaten-path” gem is a coveted experience. This might sound easy enough, but when you consider how much of our world is extensively captured and documented on social media, it can be challenging to find a remote corner of the globe that is free of selfie sticks and influencers. This year, women are venturing into unexplored territories, seeking authentic experiences and avoiding crowds. Imagine navigating the Amazon rainforest, discovering hidden villages in Vietnam, or embarking on a wildlife safari in Botswana.