24 Travel Destinations To Visit In 2024

Find out the top travel destinations for 2024!

by stephmylifetravel

Looking for some travel inspiration for the coming year? Here are my recommendations for the top travel destinations for 2024 to help feed your wanderlust and give you some incredible spots to visit this coming year. From hidden gems tucked away in serene landscapes to iconic landmarks you have to see, let this guide be your passport to the year’s most captivating spots. Tell your bank balance I said sorry…

The list below is primarily centred around Asia and Europe, with a couple of spots in Oz, Africa & South America. This reflects where I have spent most of my travels – I have many recommendations for Asia & Europe just because we have spent so much time here.  If you would like to see this list extended to include more of the Americas and other parts of the world – drop a comment below! I know ’34 Places to Go in 2024′ doesn’t have the same ring to it, but we can make it work.

Now, let’s get into the list!

Cook Islands, French Polynesia

Best For: Beach lovers who want seclusion

Skip the busy tourist spots like Bora Bora and Fiji and head to the Cook Islands for a low-key, laid-back, idyllic sun holiday in 2024. Jetstar started running flights directly to Rarotunga in 2023, and I think it’s going to be an up-and-coming spot to visit this coming year. You’ll be hitting the islands at that sweet spot where it’s just become more accessible, meaning there is a lot to do, but before it’s firmly on the tourist trail so tourist numbers will be lower.

Fly into Rorotunga and spend 4 or 5 days here exploring the island. After this, head to Aitutaki, where you can laze on the picture-perfect beaches for the final few days of your holiday. The Cook Islands Pocket Guide does a great 2-week itinerary of both islands.

 

Mérida, Mexico

Best For: History buffs, culture lovers, and foodies


Mérida was the standout of our time in Mexico, and it would be well worth planning your trip to Mexico around this town.

Fly into Cancun airport and rent a car before embarking on a road trip through the Yucatan Peninsula. Here is a quick itinerary to get you started:

  • Playa Del Carmen (Day Trip or Overnight)
  • Cozumel (1 -2 Nights)
  • Tulum (2-3 Nights)
  • Bacalar (2 Nights)
  • Valladolid & Chichen Itza (2 Nights)
  • Mérida (3-4 Nights)
  • Holbox (3-4 Nights)
  • Return to Cancun to drop off the car and get your flight out

You can easily extend this trip, taking in more sights along the coast north of Mérida. Each place we visited had so much more to offer that we could have stayed an extra night in each. It’s worth noting that Mérida is very LGBT+ friendly and has a thriving nightlife scene.

The Kimberley, Australia

Best For: Nature lovers seeking seclusion and something a little different

The Kimberley was added to my 2024 hitlist after reading this article, and I know I have a lot of Aussie readers, so I thought I would put it on your radar!

I travelled and lived in Oz for over a year, so Tim and I have seen and loved many of the hotspots (Adelaide still has my heart!). But when I head back again, I want to check out some of the more remote areas.

The Kimberley is three times larger than England and has a population of less than 40,000, making it one of the most sparsely populated places in the world. Head to the horizontal falls, Bungle Bungles, and King George Falls, see the incredible wildlife and take a 4×4 through the rugged landscape. It honestly looks like such a cool place!

Check out some cool accommodation options below!

Namibia, Africa

Best For: Adventure Seekers who can’t keep still

I’m running a group tour in Namibia next year, and I have heard so much buzz about this country in 2023 that I cannot wait! The group tour is fully booked, but if you are planning a unique trip to an incredible travel destination in 2024, consider adding it to your list.

Namibia is 97% uninhabited due to its climate and landscape – it’s home to the oldest desert in the world! Fly into Windhoek before making your way to Etosha, along the Skeleton Coast, to Deadvlei and the famous Dune 45.  If you’re a solo traveller, booking a group tour for this trip might be best, since getting around can be challenging.

I’m seeing more and more travel bloggers and YouTubers heading to Namibia, so it won’t be long until tourist numbers bump up. It might be worth pencilling it in for this year.



Booking.com

Hokkaido, Japan

Best For: Skiiers, beer lovers and nature lovers who want to see a different side to Japan

The classic trip to Japan usually involves travelling between Tokyo and Osaka, but the north is the place to go! Hop on a bullet train from Tokyo and head to Sapporo before taking a train or car trip through the northern peninsula.

You can find out more about Hokkaido and plan your trip using my Japan Travel Guide, which has had a big update in 2023.  The best thing about this region is that it has so much to offer throughout the year:

  • Skiing in Winter
  • Beautiful flower fields in Spring
  • Beer festivals and lake swimming in the Summer
  • Stunning nature trails in Autumn

Plan your trip with my guide!



Booking.com

Tulong Bay, Vietnam

Best For: Budget-seeking travellers who want to see something different.

If you are planning a trip to Vietnam, no doubt you will have the famous Halong Bay on your itinerary. This stunning bay attracts boat trippers who come for day and overnight trips each day. During peak months (March / April & Sept / Oct), the bay can get very busy and really affect your experience.

If you’d like to avoid the crowds, head to nearby Tu Long Bay for the same stunning sights without the crowds. You could book into a luxury cruise if you are on a medium to high budget. If you want a great deal, your best bet is to book from a travel office in Hanoi for the best price! This cruise is currently on sale as of Jan 2024. 

If you have your heart set on Halong Bay, check here are a couple of options for seeing the famous Halong Bay:

Blenheim, New Zealand

Best For: Travellers who love wine and road trips!

If you are planning a trip to New Zealand this year and like wine, you must add Blenheim to your itinerary. Located in the Marlborough region, Blenheim is home to some of the most famous wineries in the country. It’s also an absolutely stunning location.

We were on a budget when we were in NZ, so we joined a wine tour and stayed outside the town. This ended up being a really budget-friendly option, and we had a fantastic day. We camped, stayed in hostels, and did our trip on a shoestring. Spending a day driving between the famous vineyards and drinking delicious white wine was such a treat.

I wrote a guide to our time here, which should help you plan your trip.

Find a hotel deal in Blenheim.

Abruzzo, Italy

Best For: A budget-friendly trip to Italy for hiking, wine tasting, road trips, and days at the beach

travel destinations 2024

Maybe I’m biased as we spend our summers here, but you need to add Abruzzo to your travel bucket list this year. Not only does this region have gorgeous beaches, wineries, historical villages, national parks, and incredible hiking, but you can also ski here in winter, making it a year-round travel destination.

Abruzzo is also an incredibly affordable part of Italy, so it’s a great stop for budget-conscious travellers. Flights to Pescara from London start at around £10 if you book in advance. Accommodation is mid-range, but food, drink and activities are extremely affordable.

I’d recommend checking out the Trabocchi Coast, spending a day in Vasto, seeing the free red wine fountain, driving to Santa Stefano Di Sessanio and hiking the nearby Rocca Calascio. If you want to head to Abruzzo and would like help planning, you can book a travel planning call with me. Or, for general enquiries, you can drop me a DM or comment below.

Check out some great accommodation options below. I like to stay south of Pescara, between Francavilla and San Vito Chietino. If you don’t want to stay by the coast, head towards Santo Stefano, Scanno, Caramenico Terme, or Guardiagrele.

Mallorca, Spain

Best For: Those seeking a quick getaway to sunshine and beaches.

If you are looking for some European sunshine this year, Mallorca is a great spot for a chilled-out time but with plenty to explore. Consider renting a car so you can explore the quieter beaches and off-the-beaten-track spots.

While this island is popular with tourists, most people tend to head to the same areas – so there are plenty of hidden gems to discover. Avoid Palma and Magaluf in favour of Cala Figuera, Canyamel, Consell and Santa Maria del Camí. While the beaches are beautiful, there is so much beyond them – you can also enjoy underground lakes, charming towns, and beautiful hikes (Serra de Tramuntana is stunning!).

Find a Deal in Mallorca

Rajasthan, India

Best For: New visitors to India who are looking for a safe trip and to make unforgettable memories. 

travel destinations 2024The jewel in India’s crown and a great entry point for new travellers is the northwestern state of Rajasthan. This is, without a doubt, my favourite part of India to explore, and I particularly recommend it to new travellers or those who are nervous to travel in India.

Rajasthan has a rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes – a large portion is covered with the Thar desert. I would recommend planning a trip to:

  • Jaipur (the pink city)
  • Pushkar
  • Jodhpur (the blue city)
  • Jaisalmer (the brown city)
  • Udaipur (the white city)

You can follow the route in this link and give yourself plenty of time to explore each city. The best way to get around is by train, but Udaipur is the trickiest spot to get to.  If you would like an itinerary for your trip, hop on a call with me, and I can write you a custom plan! I also have an India guide coming in spring, so keep an eye out for this. You can sign up for my mailing list to be notified when it drops.

Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Best For: Travellers who want to get away from the chaos, history buffs, budget backpackers who want a road trip.

travel destinations 2024

Many travellers to Thailand visit Khao Sok National Park for their water bungalows, but Kanchanaburi is a great – but much quieter – alternative. A three-hour drive west of Bangkok will take you to Erawan National Park, where you can stay in a bungalow floating on the River Kwai.

Prices are more reasonable than Khao Sok, but the standards tend to be higher.  It’s also much more accessible for a shorter trip to the country. Definitely visit Erawan Falls and Hellfire Pass. If you love hiking, head towards the border of Myanmar for great hikes.

Kanchanaburi is both a province and a town. The province covers about 20,000 km² and has multiple national parks and towns. Kanchanaburi town is quite touristy, so only stay here if you have no car and you want to join day tours to the national parks, or if you feel like a night out. Otherwise, you might be better off staying on the river in one of the stunning lodges.

View the river lodges here:

Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Best For: Backpackers who have exhausted all of the most popular touristic spots and want something completely different.

Mongolia was my top trip in 2023, and so it had to make my list of recommended travel destinations for 2024! If you want to get off the beaten track and visit a country that is so wildly different from anywhere you’ve been before, book your flight to Ulaan Baataar and start exploring.

From our visit in 2023, I could already see more construction happening as China is investing heavily in the country. I feel like we’re going to see big changes in Mongolia over the coming years, so I think now would be the best time to visit. Go and enjoy it before mass tourism arrives.

You can check out my Instagram if you want to read more about our itinerary. We did our tour with Travel Buddies Mongolia, who were a fantastic company – I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. You can ask them to take you on the tour I did – just mention my username and that I travelled with Trova Trip in July.  You can self-drive, but considering the long distances and difficult terrain, I would opt for a solo or group tour instead.

 

Pekoe Trail, Sri lanka

Best For: Those looking for a hiking or walking holiday, to be immersed in nature – and budget backpackers. 

 

The Pekoe Trail is Sri Lanka’s new – and first – long-distance hiking trail, which opened in 2023. The route spans 300 km from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, in the heart of the hill country. Nuwara Eliya is the most beautiful and scenic section of the famous Sri Lanka train journey from Kandy to Ella.

This trail was built with US and EU funding by linking the trails the British used to export tea from the country. The trail passes many remote villages and allows visitors to see a different part of the country outside the cultural triangle.

The trail has been sectioned into 22 parts, each about 12km long. You can hike the entire trail over about two weeks or choose sections to do, with sections taking between 2 and 6 hours, depending on the elevation.

Here is a map of the trail:

pekoe trail

The best time to do the hike is between December and April. May – June & September – November should be avoided due to rain, and July – August is shoulder season where you will see rain, but the trail is still doable.

The new trail is positively impacting the women of Sri Lanka, which is a great side effect. It will also bring tourists to communities that badly need the footfall and income after a hard few years.

If you would like to hike the trails, you can find the different sections on AllTrails. You can also do a guided tour of the entire route or sections of it. Try to book with a Sri Lankan operator so your money stays in the country. All sections of the trail will be open by March 2023, but you can access stages 1 & 2 right now. You can find out more information here.

Read my travel guide to Sri Lanka here. 

 

East Coast Malaysia

Best For: Beach lovers who don’t like sharing the beach and aren’t looking to party.

The gorgeous islands of East Coast Malaysia are so often overlooked for Thai islands, and it’s such a shame! That’s why they are firmly on my top destinations for 2024. It’s time everyone gets to see their beauty!

If you’re looking for some budget-friendly paradise islands without full moon parties and wild nightlife, this is where you need to go. They’re perfect for a couples trip, solo trip, or holiday for those who want a quiet time instead of heading out at night.

I have a guide to the east coast of Malaysia here and individual guides to my favourite islands: Pulau Babi Besar, Pulau Lang Tengah, and Pulau Kapas.

Nong Khiaw, Laos

Best For: Budget backpackers who want to get off the beaten track and who love to hike

Nong Khiaw is a remote, scenic town 3 hours north of Luang Prabang. With the creation of a high-speed railway between Luang Prabang and the cities to the south, tourism has peaked in Vang Vieng and Vientiane – but has slightly fallen off in the north.

Nong Khiaw is proof that the trickier journeys are often well worth the time and trouble. We spent just one night here, doing a gorgeous sunset and sunrise hike and exploring the town. If you have time, I would recommend staying for a little longer and heading further north by boat to Muang Noy. Come here to hike, kayak, see waterfalls, and get back to nature.

You can see more information on Nong Khiaw on my Instagram (I created a highlight for the trip), and I will be updating my Laos posts with a travel guide for the town.

Find accommodation in Nong Khiaw:

Siargao, Philippines

Best For: Beach lovers who want quiet beaches and a little adventure. Surfers and snorkelers.

travel destinations 2024Siargao is a small island in the east of the Philippines, just a 2-hour flight from Manila. It’s been popular with surfers, digital nomads and long-stay backpackers for a while now and has been gaining in popularity in 2023.

This island isn’t quite off the beaten track but is definitely less visited than Palawan and Boracay. It would make a great addition to your itinerary if you want to surf, explore by motorbike, and stay on a more low-key island.  Many of my friends in Bali spend a couple of months of the year here, and the General Luna area is often compared to Canggu. Cloud 9 is the surfing hotspot, while Dapa is a less busy place to stay.

Check out accommodation in Siargao here:

Duoro Valley, Portugal

Best For: Wine tasting, relaxation and nature.

Portugal is one of my favourite countries to visit in Europe, and the Duoro Valley is firmly on my top travel destinations list for 2024. 6o miles from Porto, this wine-growing region is a UNESCO Heritage site that is perfect for wine lovers seeking a chilled holiday.

The landscape here is stunning, with vine-covered hills falling steeply towards the Duoro River. You can arrive here by car, train or boat – and the journey is incredibly beautiful. A picturesque steam train runs along the Linha do Douro from May to October on Saturdays.

I recommend staying in Régua, Pinhão, or Lamego. Regua is by the waterfront, so it’s a lively and picturesque spot. Combine the Duoro Valley with time in Porto, which was one of my best European city breaks of 2023. I have a Reel with my favourite spots here.

Find accommodation in Regua:

Venissa, Italy

Best For: A secluded and romantic trip near one of the world’s most popular spots


Situated in a small walled vineyard on the Venetian Lagoon, Venissa is a hidden gem that’s perfect for a unique short-haul holiday in Europe. The estate was created as part of a rejuvenation project to revive the islands of the Venetian lagoon. It is just a short boat ride from Venice but feels like it’s a world away.

Room prices are pretty reasonable, especially during the off-season when you can pick up great deals for about €80 per night. But this would be more for the mid-range traveller than an ultra-budget backpacker. I plan to stay here when we come back to Italy, as I haven’t been to Venice precisely because of the crowds – and I feel like this would be a great way to visit. The estate has a vineyard and restaurant and is super quiet and chilled. But you can hop on a boat to Burano or Venice to sightsee.

Scottish Highlands NC500 Route, Scotland

Best For: Those who want a unique European camper or train journey.

A camper van trip through the Scottish highlands has been on my bucket list every year since 2019, and alas, I still have not ticked it off. So,  I am adding it to my top destinations in 2024, so if I can’t visit this year, perhaps one of you will!

I watched a great YouTube video of a couple travelling through Scotland by camper, and it looked so rugged, beautiful, and scenic. It felt like our road trips through both Ireland and New Zealand at the same time. I priced up a trip, and it actually wasn’t as expensive as doing a similar trip in Ireland.  I can’t find it anymore, but I did find this video guide from a Scottish travel creator.

The NC500 is a 500-mile road trip around Scotland’s North Coast, starting and ending in Inverness. People take a week or two to complete the trip and usually do so by camper. It gets busy in the summer, so many travellers opt to go in September or October to avoid the crowds.

If you don’t want to do a self-drive tour, G Adventures runs a group tour to the highlands.


 

Esperance, Australia

Best For: Those looking for quiet and beautiful beaches in a quieter part of Oz

travel destinations 2024Another spot in Australia for those looking for lesser-visited travel destinations in 2024, Esperance has possibly the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen!

Tucked away in the southwest of the country, 750km south of Perth,  Esperance is quite a detour from the top spots in Oz – which means many tourists don’t take the time to go here. It’s still popular with Australian tourists, but the beaches don’t have the Gold Coast and Sydney crowds.

If you want to visit Esperance, here are the details on how to get there.  Below are some great places to stay:

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Best For: Those who want to explore Indonesia but don’t want the busy, touristy side of Bali.

travel destinations 2024Everyday I’m asked the question: “Where should I go in Indonesia instead of Bali?”. Raja Ampat is very often my top answer!

The Raja Ampat archipelago is on the northwest tip of the island of New Guinea, In Indonesia. Click here to locate it on a map! It comprises 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, and Misool.  The area covers 9.8 million acres of land and sea, home to 540 types of corals, more than 1,000 types of coral fish and 700 types of molluscs. The archipelago is ideal for those who want to snorkel or scuba dive and who love spending time in the water.

The quickest way to get to Raja Ampat would be the Xpress Air direct flight from Jakarta to Sorong.  There are daily ferry sailings from Sorong to Waisai in Raja Ampat.

Taipei, Taiwan

Best For: City lovers who want to experience a new culture,  great nightlife, and amazing food.

travel destinations 2024Looking for a city break in 2024? Instead of Singapore, Tokyo, and Seoul, head to Taipei! This thriving city has so much to offer, and flights from throughout Asia are quite reasonable at the moment.

Taiwan is a real gem of a country, and it took us by surprise when we visited. Taipei offers a great mix of history, culture, food, markets, and walkability. We spent around three days here and still had to miss out on a few sights, so I suggest going for a long weekend, minimum.

As with any big city, there is always the option to splurge on a trip to Taipei, but it’s possible to travel here on a low budget. Accommodation is pretty reasonable for a backpacker hostel, and food/drinks/activities were very budget-friendly.

One of our favourite spots was the 101 Observatory, the nighttime pub crawl, and the night market. We also did a free walking tour. I highly recommend doing the Taroko Gorge hike outside the city if you have time.

Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia

Best For: Budget backpackers and solo travellers who want to meet people and chill out.

travel destinations 2024

You’ll find the Koh Rong islands just 45 minutes from Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Koh Rong Sanloem has the reputation of being the ‘backpacker’ island and is a great spot for young or solo backpackers who want to disconnect and meet fellow travellers.

To get here,  get a transfer from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. Depending on your budget, you can do this privately or take a bus. Hop on a boat from Sihanoukville to the island. In terms of things to do, the Koh Rong islands are super chilled out and perfect for whiling away the day on the beach. They’re the ideal destination for mid-to-long-term backpackers who need a spot to chill out during a busy trip. The best time to visit is from November to May.

Find accommodation deals below:

Mae Hong Son Loop, Thailand

Best For: Adventure and Nature lovers

 

2023 was the year of the Ha Giang Loop in Vietnam, but 2024 is the year for the Mae Hong Son Loop. This circular loop runs to and from Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand, and covers 600km.  It includes the popular backpacker town of Pai, before continuing through the northeast of the country.

Here is a look at the route:

travel destinations 2024

The distance is usually covered in at least 3 days, with some travellers taking up to a week and stopping in smaller towns on the way. You stay in small farmstays and guesthouses along the way, and the scenery is incredible.  Tim and I have only driven part of this route, and plan to do the full loop this year.  The best time to ride on the Mae Hong Son loop is from November to February (cool) and March to June (hot).

Cat Motors has a great guide for planning your trip here. I might turn our road trip into a group tour, so comment below and I’ll keep in touch with you once we start planning!

 

I hope this post has sparked your sense of adventure and added a little excitement to your 2024 travel plans! Which places do you want to add to your bucket list for 2024?

Happy Travelling!
Steph
x

 

You may also like

2 comments

Marry Smith January 12, 2024 - 6:24 am

Exciting list! Your travel destinations for 2024 are diverse and inspiring. Ready to embark on these adventures and make unforgettable memories.

Reply
Vaidhainshi Jindal June 4, 2024 - 8:19 am

Your guide to top travel destinations is impeccable!! Thank You for a beautiful insight.

Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.