Where to Travel in 2024
Here are the best places to go in 2024, according to our experts.
Associate Director of Content
December 13, 2023
If you’re anything like us, you’re seeing 2024 approaching and asking, “Where should I travel this year?” Well, after conducting some research, speaking with the experts behind the creation of EF Ultimate Break tours, and digging into our own traveler data, we’ve got some recommendations, ranging from specific countries to broader regions.
Our first tip? Try somewhere you’ve never been. We’re all for adventure, and according to American Express Travel’s 2023 Global Travel Trends Report, 89% of respondents want to travel to destinations they’ve never visited before. For many experienced American travelers, that might mean traveling to destinations in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. “That’s certainly what we’re seeing with our travelers,” says Alyssa Sands, Associate Director of Market Development at EF Ultimate Break. “Someone who hiked Bryce Canyon in Utah with us might decide their next adventure awaits in another arid and mountainous region. Or someone who has enjoyed the Greek islands might hop across the Mediterranean to Kuşadasi in the Turkish Riviera or choose to explore Thailand’s beaches for their next getaway.” As for other trends, Alyssa added that “city escapes, short getaways and beaches are in for 2024.”
So what are some places worth checking out? We put together a list of top destinations for the coming year. Behold, the EF Ultimate Break guide for where to go in 2024.
Interest in travel to Asia has been on the rise, and Japan is the country leading the way. Ultimate Break trips to Japan range from an 8-day Tokyo immersion to a 14-day, 6-city jaunt around the country—which has seen a huge boom in tourism after being one of the last nations to fully reopen to visitors after COVID. With ancient history, one of the world’s best food scenes, and stunning natural beauty, it’s a bucket-list destination for any traveler.
A safari can be a lifechanging experience—which is why we knew we had to take our travelers on one, and why Ultimate Break’s Kenya: African Safari has become one of our most popular tours. Starting from Nairobi, the fast-growing Kenyan capital, you’ll stay in handpicked hotels at night and see some of the world’s most magnificent animals during the day. With an Ultimate Break Tour Director and an experienced safari driver, you’ll be in excellent hands on this trip of a lifetime.
“Send me to Eastern Europe!” Alyssa Sands also spoke to us about the destinations on her own 2024 radar. “I’m craving medieval charm, comfort foods and a deeper knowledge of WWII history. It’s a region with something for everyone—in Budapest alone you can relax in a thermal bath AND hang out in a ‘ruin’ bar all in the same day.” Any time is a good time to go on a trip to Eastern Europe, but if we had to pick just one, we’d choose December for the Christmas market tours. You’ll also want to consider Turkey, home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the world.
As Alyssa hinted, Thailand is a must-visit for many Ultimate Break travelers. It’s almost as popular as Japan, and with five Thailand-specific tours to choose from, you can pick a trip that works for you. Looking for a specific rec? “Khao Sok National Park in Thailand is a gem—where rainforest, wildlife and a stunning lake all compound,” Alyssa advises. See it for yourself on the new Ultimate Southeast Asia tour.
Mexico’s capital is having something of a moment. The city of over 9 million people has a rich and complex history, and it’s also a foodie favorite. “A trip to Mexico City to cheer for the luchadores [professional wrestlers] and ride down the canals of Xochimilco in style is next-level cultural immersion,” she says. New for 2024 is the Mexico City: City Experience tour, which lasts seven days in the city that’s over 7,000 feet above sea level.
Head a little farther south for some seriously underrated places to visit. “The Atlantic side of Central America is beautiful, and you can find some amazing beach towns to explore like Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica and Bocas del Toro in Panama,” Alyssa says. American travelers often default to European destinations when choosing a trip, but our own hemisphere has so much to offer. In Central America alone, Ultimate Break has tours of Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize.
Why not keep heading south to Colombia, a nation that has it all? It’s got fascinating history in places like Cartagena (which happens to be one of the most colorful and Instagrammable cities on the planet), easy access to tropical islands, and big-city living in Bogota. Alyssa approves: “Exploring artsy streets, lounging by the beach, and eating all the arepas is a perfect escape,” she says. Choose from two different Ultimate Break tours for your Colombian getaway.
You might not think of Africa when you think of cruises, but maybe you should. Because with Ultimate Break you can cruise the Nile River while exploring one of the most historically fascinating countries in the world. If you prefer to stay on land, we’ve got you covered: Ultimate Break has three tours that take you to the land of the Great Pyramids.
Portugal is the European country where Europeans vacation. It’s a great place for a short getaway, Alyssa says. “You’ll find classic European charm and warm breezes in Lisbon. Day trips are super easy—find wine, stunning vistas and medieval villages in the countryside.” Lisbon has the famous streetcars, Porto has the legendary anulejo tiles, and the whole country’s got wine. It’s also the home country of Cristano Ronaldo, which might be reason enough to visit by itself.
Why trust Ultimate Break
Chris Abell is the Associate Director, Content at EF Ultimate Break. Prior to his time at Ultimate Break, Chris spent years at Travel + Leisure as a writer and editor, most recently as the Associate Editorial Director, Commerce. Before that, he helped found a travel startup called walkli, and he’s been working in the travel space for close to a decade. He’s been to 19 countries and counting.
For this article, Chris interviewed Alyssa Sands, Associate Director of Market Development at Ultimate Break, for recommendations. In her role, Alyssa plays a key part in researching destinations and creating Ultimate Break itineraries. In addition, he conducted his own research and pored through EF Ultimate Break data and statistics to figure out where people want to travel most in 2024.
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