Vacation ‘alter ego,’ budget-friendly luxuries

Booking.com 7 travel predictions for 2024: Vacation 'alter ego,' budget-friendly luxuries (Getty Images)

Booking.com 7 travel predictions for 2024: Vacation ‘alter ego,’ budget-friendly luxuries (Getty Images)

New data from Booking.com reveals that Canadians are looking forward to “unleashing their best life” for 2024 travel.

According to a survey conducted in July with 27,730 respondents across 33 countries, including 1,009 from Canada, 74 per cent of Canadians said they feel “more alive than ever” on vacation. Additionally, 63 per cent think “they are the best version of themselves while on vacation.”

It’s that mentality to travel that will guide expected trends for travellers next year.

“Our 2024 travel predictions reflect the idea that travel is not a means to escape life, but instead a catalyst to live our best lives,” a statement from Arjan Dijk, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Booking.com reads. “From thrilling adventures in a new destination to feeling the pulse of a new culture and every experience in between, travel allows us to become the best version of ourselves.”

Two friends are walking in San Lorenzo market in Florence, Italy (Getty Images)

Two friends are walking in San Lorenzo market in Florence, Italy (Getty Images)

Vacation ‘alter ego’

According to Booking.com, Canadians are going to lean into a vacation “alter ego” while travelling, with 52 per cent indicating they enjoy “anonymity” while travelling and the opportunity travel provides to “recreate themselves.”

Cool weather travel and water seekers

While many Canadians are known to seek out warm weather destinations, things may be cooling down next year.

A total of 36 per cent of Canadian respondents specifically indicated that as seasonal temperatures continue to get warmer at home, they’re looking to seek out cooler weather destinations for a vacation. Additionally, 40 per cent of Canadians indicated that climate change will impact their vacation plans.

In terms of what Canadians will want to do on these vacations, 76 per cent believe being near the water makes them “more relaxed,” and 43 per cent specifically highlighted wanting a water-centric vacation in 2024.

According to Booking.com, wellness travel is expected to see a surge in interest, including opportunities for floating yoga, water sound baths and snow meditation, in addition to booms in ice therapy retreats, underwater hotels and “mermania.”

Smiling friends at lake (Getty Images/Johner RF)

Smiling friends at lake (Getty Images/Johner RF)

Leaning into the unknown

Exploring the unknown is expected to be a trend in travel next year, with 40 per cent of Canadian travellers particularly interested in booking a “surprise trip,” meaning “everything down to the destination is unknown until arrival.”

A total of 48 per cent of Canadian respondents prefer to travel “off the beaten path” and 58 per cent want to have no set plans for 2024 travel, “so they can go where the wind takes them.”

One way the travel industry is responding to this more spontaneous travel desire is with more flexibility in booking services, including options to cancel or change plans, and pay later options.

Close up of a group of seniors relaxing in a cafe after exploring the city (Getty Images)

Close up of a group of seniors relaxing in a cafe after exploring the city (Getty Images)

Must-eat delicacies

Food is expected to be a particular draw for 2024 travel, with 53 per cent of Canadian travellers more interested in learning about “origins of a destination’s must-eat delicacies,” compared to previous years.

‘Self-improvement trips’

Travel designated as “self-improvement trips” are expected to be popular next year. This includes things like “sleep tourism” to serve travellers (46 per cent of Canadians) who want to focus on getting more sleep while travelling in 2024.

A total of 29 per cent of Canadian travellers plan to set time aside for possible matchmaking, while 25 per cent want to use 2024 travel to get over an ex-partner. For travellers in a relationship, 23 per cent want to travel to strengthen their connection.

But that doesn’t mean solo travel won’t be popular. In fact, 43 per cent of Canadians plan to travel alone in 2024.

Aladdin Luxury Camp Phuket

Aladdin Luxury Camp Phuket

Budget-friendly luxuries

While there have been increased concerns about cost of living, money saving hacks will be particularly important for travel next year, but “à la carte” luxuries are expected to be popular.

Booking.com identifies the “affluencers” for 2024, which they describe as individuals who “want to appear wealthy, sweeping away the reality of having to make financial sacrifices, but behind the scenes are focused on see-through spending and curating budget-friendly travel itineraries.”

A total of 44 per cent of Canadian travellers want tips from AI on vacation upgrade possibilities and deals, and 48 per cent plan to pick their 2024 destination based on locations where the cost of living is less expensive than where they live.

Additionally, 35 per cent of Canadians are willing to pay for day passes to amenities at five star hotels, instead of taking on the cost of staying at the more expensive properties.

For families, 36 per cent of parents plan to take their children out of school to travel outside of peak times to save money.

Mindful travel

Next year, travellers are expected to be more mindful with their travel, while Booking.com highlights the trend of unique and aesthetically pleasing places to stay that still prioritize sustainability.

A total of 40 per cent of Canadian travellers are looking for a place to stay that has a “wow factor” and 50 per cent want to see sustainability in action. Meanwhile, 56 per cent want to “see the outside brought indoors with green spaces and plants.”