Even though we are still feeling the pinch at the checkout counter and the gas pump, travel is still on the agenda for 2024.
In a recent survey conducted by PlayUSA, 41% intend to spend slightly more on travel in 2024 than in 2023. And 25% said they intend to spend the same amount next year.
The travel trends we’re highlighting include a TikTok trend, a trend made popular by Gen Z and an unexpected entry. If you plan to travel next year but haven’t booked those tickets yet, you might want to consider choosing one of these trends:
- Casino resorts
- Dry tripping
- Travel dupes
Life can be stressful, and there is no better way to escape than through adventure. Work-life balance, a focus on experiencing over acquiring and the quest to live with no regrets seem to fuel the travel plans for many.
Whether it is a close-to-home destination like a casino resort, skipping cocktails, or looking for a less expensive destination, it is clear that travelers are ready to explore new ways to take a break from daily life.
Casino tourism is on the rise
Casino resorts have become tourist destinations of their own. Most have everything one needs for an enjoyable weekend getaway. Our readers agree, with more than 70% saying casino resorts are tourist destinations.
Casinos offer spas, world-class entertainment, five-star dining, luxury shopping and more. It is no wonder casino tourism is on the rise. In fact, of those surveyed, 68% plan on spending at least one night at a casino resort next year.
You might think casinos are just for gamblers. But when asked to rank the most important activities at a casino, entertainment came in first, followed by dining. Here is how the respondents ranked each activity from most to least important:
- Dining experiences
- Spa, wellness and relaxation
- Activities outside the resort, such as hiking, sightseeing or golfing
Vacationing at casino resorts is a great way to keep costs down. Generous casino loyalty programs, where customers earn points at both retail and online casinos, along with a casino’s frequent promotions, free drinks and playing responsibly, add up to a budget-friendly vacation.
Dry tripping: A new fad or new way to vacation?
Dry tripping is a relatively new travel term that refers to alcohol-free travel. When asked, just 37% of respondents in the PlayUSA poll had heard of dry trips, but an impressive 70% said they would consider dry tripping next year.
Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands, told Travel + Leisure that Gen Z is driving the trend. Gieselman said, “Sober-curious lifestyles are becoming more commonplace, and many Gen Zers are practicing alcohol-free lifestyles.”
Expedia recently conducted a survey before releasing its 2024 travel trends. Nearly half of those surveyed expressed interest in staying at hotels with unique and signature mocktails. And 40% of respondents are planning a wellness or detox trip.
Amanda Kendle, travel expert and host of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast, agrees. When asked whether dry tripping is a fad or is here to stay, Kendle had this to say:
“I think ‘dry tripping’ is really just an extension of a detox or wellness trip, and while the trendy term might come and go, the idea of taking a break from a hectic working life to look after your health is something that has been around a long time, and we definitely need to continue.
“While it would be nice to imagine we can take care of ourselves on an everyday basis, there’s nothing quite like taking time out from life, traveling somewhere different, and focusing on our own health and well-being: ‘dry tripping’ does a good job of this.”
While the term dry tripping hints at being a fad, the idea of wellness holidays is here to stay.
2024 travel dupes worth a look
Finding “dupes” is all the rage on TikTok. Dupes are less expensive options to name brands such as the latest Free People outfit or Prada handbag. This popular trend has found its way to travel.
A “Destination Dupe” is simply a less-expensive or less-traveled destination. Melanie Fish, chief trend tracker for Expedia Brands, told Explore:
“In online slang, dupes are cheaper versions of luxury brands. In the Expedia Trends in Travel report, dupes are destinations that are a little unexpected, sometimes more affordable, but every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love.”
Fish went on to list some of the more interesting destinations based on recent search patterns on the travel website:
- Palermo, Italy (dupe for Rome or Milan)
- Taipei, Taiwan (dupe for Seoul)
- Curacao (dupe for St. Martin)
- Paros, Greece (dupe for Santorini)
- Perth, Australia (dupe for Sydney)
Travel dupes are a new trend, but it looks like they have staying power. In the PlayUSA survey, nearly 70% said they would look for dupes when planning their vacations next year.
As someone who regularly shares her joy of sustainable and intentional travel on her podcast, Kendle is excited about this new trend.
“While the ‘dupes’ trend might’ve started out as finding cheaper fashion or make-up, I really like the way it’s being applied to travel. While some argue that suggesting a ‘dupe’ destination is derogatory, I love that it’s encouraging people to find alternatives for a bunch of destinations that are really suffering from over-tourism.
“I’ve long found that traveling to lesser-known places has advantages: you have lower expectations, and they’re usually exceeded. You find destinations that are less crowded, as well as being cheaper, and you end up with much more original stories to tell your friends after your trip!”
Regardless of whether or not you plan on following one of the biggest 2024 travel trends listed here, expect the roads and airways to be busy with adventure-seeking, life-balancing travelers from around the globe.
About this story
Looking at the travel trends for 2024, the editorial team at PlayUSA decided to explore the findings of travel giant Expedia and the results of a recent survey. As we started gathering statistics and trends from various sources, we realized a travel trend is in the eye of the beholder.
To add more context to the Expedia survey, PlayUSA and Pollfish conducted a survey of 750 US citizens over the age of 25 from across the country who self-reported having travel plans for 2024. Of those surveyed, 45.73% were men and 54.27% were women. The margin of error is ~5%.
Kim Yuhl, head of content marketing for Catena Media, our parent company, was the lead writer on this project. She is a full-time traveler, which proved helpful in narrowing down the list. Her content and travel expertise, plus scouring travel forums, led us to our final three trends:
- Casino tourism
- Dry Tripping
- Travel Dupes
The story was fact-checked and edited by Matt Schoch and Ron Fritz. Graphics were designed by Jenn Montgomery. Jake Garza contributed to the outreach for the article, while media relations were managed by Danielle Burrows.