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Top Holidays

On your radar: Travel trends for 2024

  • News
  • By Natalie Baker
  • Published 08 December 2023
  • Revised 26 February 2024
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A new year brings with it the promise of all kinds of exciting and novel adventures, with travel (of course) being key among them for us. With this in mind, we've delved deep into the world of travel trends to bring you what's hot for 2024, so you can book what's new and now and stay ahead of the curve.

Don't see it on someone else's Instagram feed first. Be among the lucky few with their fingers on the pulse who get to experience unique and perhaps unexpected destinations first or see a familiar favourite in a shining new light. Here are our top predictions for upcoming travel trends and the best places in the world to experience these varied concepts in true Winged Boots style.
 

BLEISURE - who says you can't mix business with pleasure?

First up, it's 'Bleisure'. You might have heard whisperings of 'Bleisure', or 'Lissness', in the years post-pandemic. As we continue to adjust to new and more flexible ways of working, these two comparable trends look set to continue to shape how we work and play, maximising our office hours and leisure time. In fact, according to figures published by Grand View Research in 2022, 17% of business travellers extend their trip to one week so as to encompass some leisure time, and in the UK 'bleisure' trips account for 56% of all business travel – and these numbers are only increasing.

Essentially, 'Bleisure' involves combining your work trip with leisure or wellness activities. So, this could mean opting to stay in a resort with excellent remote working capabilities (such as lightning speed wifi, cool co-working spaces, and at least one cracking café where expert baristas will keep you sufficiently caffeinated during those afternoon Teams calls). Or, bringing family or friends along to spend some quality time together in the evenings. This particular trend sees professionals being able to stay away for longer, opening up a new world of possible destinations. Couple that with the promise of working on a presentation whilst sunning yourself poolside, and it's no wonder that Bleisure is squarely on the radar for 2024 and beyond - and there's a wealth of incredible Bleisure hotels to choose from worldwide.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), emerges as a premier bleisure destination, seamlessly blending business and leisure pursuits. Renowned for its striking skyline and cultural treasures, the city caters to discerning professionals seeking the perfect work-play balance. Abu Dhabi's state-of-the-art conference facilities and business infrastructure complement its luxurious hotels, offering a seamless transition from boardroom to relaxation. Beyond business, the city boasts iconic landmarks like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Louvre Abu Dhabi, providing cultural enrichment. Pristine beaches, world-class dining, and thrilling desert adventures round out the experience, positioning Abu Dhabi as a prime bleisure haven in the heart of the UAE. For premier facilities and a meeting room that makes business negotiations a dream, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal is a top performer.

PRIVATE JETS AND YACHTS - charting a course for holiday heaven

There are many reasons to opt for flying via private charter plane. They offer a level of comfort commercial planes can only dream of and mean that tedious, time-consuming airport queues are a thing of the past. They're also a great way of maximising your time if you choose to mix business with pleasure. So, you can jet in for that all-important board meeting, then take off for a weekend by the coast come 5pm Friday… By choosing to fly private, your holiday begins the moment you step aboard – highlighting that the journey really is every bit as important as the destination.

Private jet travel soared (no pun intended) during the pandemic, as those with the means to do so felt safe in the knowledge that they could reach foreign shores whilst comparatively safe in their Covid- bubbles (which, we'll all remember, were a lot less whimsical than they sound). Aviation data research firm Wingx reports that in 2021, there were 3.3 million such flights – the most on record – with Europe and the USA leading the private jet revolution. People place a premium on efficiency and flexibility, and are willing to pay extra to ensure that they start their luxury holiday as they mean to go on. Private jets offer both of these things (not to mention the chance for an enviable shot for your socials).

At Winged Boots, we're here for the journey and work closely with several trusted and world-renowned partners to manage your travel arrangements and ensure you arrive in style. This also means we can tailor your experience, whether that's decorating the plane for a special occasion or simply serving your favourite food and drink onboard. If you have specific requirements, our specialist team, together with luxury concierge Claire Baker, will go the extra mile to make it happen.

For travel connoisseurs with a water-based wishlist, chartering a yacht promises an unparalleled blend of luxury and freedom. In 2024, explore the Adriatic's hidden coves, island hop around the Aegean, or cruise the French Riviera's glamorous coastline. We can assist you in crafting a bespoke itinerary to suit you so that, together with your party, you can enjoy exclusive privacy and an intimate connection with breathtaking destinations for unforgettable holiday moments.

Planning your next journey ?

Our expertise, worldwide connections, and the way we do things with a relentless drive means whatever your travels needs are, we can make it happen for you whenever, however, wherever and every time.

EDUCATION VACATION - less 'white board' and more 'wide world'

Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with utilising your holiday as an opportunity to sit back in the sun and practise the art of doing nothing, increasing numbers of people with children now see their travel adventures as a valuable opportunity for learning and cultural enrichment, opting for destinations which offer something in the way of educational enlightenment. This spans anything from biodiverse ecosystems with a commitment to conservation to historic cities dripping in monuments and museums. However, we're tipping South African safaris to top the list for 2024 Education Vacations.
 

Fostering a profound connection with nature and wildlife, young adventurers can traverse the savannas, encountering majestic creatures like elephants, lions, and giraffes, while gaining a firsthand understanding of biodiversity and ecosystems. Expert guides provide captivating insights into animal behaviour, conservation efforts, and the delicate balance of the natural world. The experience instills a sense of environmental stewardship and cultural appreciation as children interact with local communities, learning about their traditions and coexistence with wildlife. A South African safari becomes a living classroom, sparking curiosity, empathy, and a lifelong love for conservation – and Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, provides everything your family could need to make the most of this incredible environment. Why not combine a South African safari with an exploration of Johannesburg's urban jungle and an island retreat on magical Mauritius during our carefully curated Safari to Serenity tour?

Sitting in a classroom is one thing, but surely being out in nature and getting up close and personal with some of nature's most extraordinary animals is the ideal way to teach little (and big) ones how to appreciate the wonder of the world around them. The benefits are manifold, but undoubtedly, more varied travel experiences deepen your child's understanding of other cultures, improve their knowledge of global history, and make them more resilient to change or new experiences: all invaluable assets in an increasingly globalised world. In short, an 'Education Vacation' supplements their education and brings to life the things they have been learning in the classroom, giving them real-world meaning.

No matter what you want from your safari holiday, we are specialists in providing exclusive accommodations, expert guides, and bespoke safari itineraries in various countries to ensure the opulent wildlife adventure of a lifetime.

CULINARY - satisfy those travel cravings

"If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move." – Anthony Bourdain

While food-centric travel adventures are hardly a new revelation, discerning clients are prioritising exceptional culinary experiences more than ever; expecting excellence, variety, and something new to tingle their tastebuds on their time off.

Of course, we all enjoy eating something delicious. So it's no surprise that up to a belly-busting 95% of us would class ourselves as 'food travellers' in one form or another, and 80% of us regularly research drinking and dining options in our chosen destination before setting off. Luckily for us, the globe is quite literally bursting with amazing places offering a smorgasbord of scintillating cuisine.

Whether it's a Michelin-starred reimagining of street food in Thailand, the world's best Raclette on the slopes of Switzerland, or a celebration of fresh regional produce and flavours in South America, there is something to suit every palette – and many destinations now offer a tailored programme of cooking classes, private dining, and farm or factory visits (from vineyards and breweries to artisanal produce) to slot into your itinerary.

Ikos Resorts truly are a one-stop-shop when it comes to culinary excellence. With a commitment to the "Infinite Lifestyle" concept, each resort boasts an array of Michelin-starred and à la carte restaurants, offering diverse cuisines crafted by renowned chefs. Guests can indulge in unlimited gourmet dining experiences, from Mediterranean delights to global gastronomy, all included in your stay. Furthermore, the innovative 'dine-out' programme even extends beyond the resort's boundaries, allowing exploration of local eateries. From farm-to-table freshness to exquisite wine pairings, Ikos Resorts curate a culinary journey that transcends the ordinary, making them a top choice for those seeking a gastronomic paradise in a luxurious setting.

See which Ikos is right for you and begin your voyage of culinary discovery.

ISOLATED/DIGITAL DETOX - time to switch off

In a world of ever-increasing connectivity, where the constant ping of Teams chats and Instagram notifications has become the soundtrack of our day-to-day lives, an increasing cohort of people are choosing to use their time off to switch off – literally.

We're talking about a smartphone-free digital detox, where the focus is less on productivity and an online presence and more on an IRL (In Real Life) presence, by which we mean allowing yourself to slow down and engage with your surroundings, reconnecting (not to the wifi) but to yourself and loved ones. Sounds like heaven to us.

Speaking of heaven… let us take you back to nature with a breathtaking tour of the Canadian Rockies, where the heart-stealing scenery of Lake Louise, Jasper, and Banff remind us that there's a big wide world beyond our screens and that sunlight beats blue light hands down. Or, to really get away from it all, how about a remote chalet on a glacier in Alaska? Sheldon Chalet is the ultimate luxury retreat for those looking to turn their backs on the pressures of modern life (if only for a week or two). Perched on a nunatak in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater of Denali's magnificent Ruth Glacier, expect swathes of wild beauty that has no need for a filter, gorgeous accommodations, acclaimed dining, and exceptional service.

With 43% of UK adults admitting to spending too much time online and many stating that a conventional holiday doesn't always relax them as they struggle to tear themselves away from their devices (those in-bed email checkers, we're talking to you), a distraction-free break amid breathtaking surroundings is just what the doctor ordered. Furthermore, studies have shown that this type of travel can actually increase your productivity upon your return. So, put on your out-of-office and switch to airplane mode, because this time is yours alone.

WELLNESS - yoga, fitness & wellness, oh my

Following on from that, as well as detoxing their mind, travellers are also seeking to detox and rejuvenate their bodies, and so we've seen an uptick in the number of fitness, yoga, and wellness retreats that centre around holistic wellbeing.

These types of trips are no longer the preserve of hard-core fitness fanatics who'll be up at 6am doing burpees on the beach (though there's plenty of that if you're up for it) or wellness warriors who won't even look at anything other than organic kale. Busy professionals, families with children, and even stag and hen parties are seeking to realign their chakras, increase their fitness levels, or simply shed a few pounds ahead of a big event – and are rolling these goals into a wellness-centred break in a beautiful location.

The future of the wellness travel sector looks brighter than your complexion after a wheatgrass smoothie, with the Global Wellness Institute forecasting that the market will reach an astounding $1.3 trillion by 2025 – so don't sleep on this key trend (at least not before you've done a sound bath and had a tailored IV infusion anyway).

Enter Bali, the original home of the wellness retreat. The island boasts a plethora of serene hideaways, but among our favourite luxury retreats is COMO Shambhala. Sequestered amid the dense emerald canopy of Ubud's rainforest, this stunning estate hotel combines tailored wellness practices with self-indulgence and uniquely Indonesian cultural experiences, including a traditional water purification ceremony designed to cleanse body and soul. Alternatively, for something ultra-luxe, the private pool villas with optional butler service and sought-after spa treatments of Jumeirah Bali elevate a wellness holiday into an extra special experience.

LONG-FORM TRAVEL - the maxi break

Tying into a couple of our previously mentioned trends, namely Bleisure and Digital Detox travel, long-form trips are taking centre stage as people embrace the broader societal shift towards an improved work/life balance – and the idea that smartphones need not be permanent appendages. This increased flexibility has led to holiday providers across the board reporting strong sales in 21- and even 28-night getaways, demonstrating that many demographics are longing for more meaningful, authentic stays.

Long-form travel can mean staying in one destination for longer and really getting under its skin (or letting it get under yours), or travelling to several spots on a multi-centre trip. Either way, we can help you curate an entirely bespoke itinerary that takes you across a country or region of your choosing.

Winged Boots excels at tailoring extended, far-reaching journeys, showcasing our unsurpassed expertise in crafting bespoke itineraries. Meticulous attention to detail coupled with our signature personal touch ensures seamless, indulgent experiences for travellers seeking extended escapes to exotic and close-to-home locales.

When it comes to exotic, it's hard to imagine a place more steeped in legend and spellbinding natural beauty than Japan - and (you heard it here first) we're tipping the 'Land of the Rising Sun' as one of 2024's top trending long-form holiday destinations. Japan's intricate cultural tapestry and diverse landscapes demand a longer duration for meaningful exploration, while its distinctive culinary delicacies alone are enough to keep any foodie traveller occupied for a month or more. From ancient traditions to modern marvels, extended stays unveil the depth and richness of this captivating country.

Alternatively, if it's exuberant cities doused in colour, warming cuisine, and expansive vistas you're after; you can indulge in a long-form South American odyssey where luxury meets adventure. Surround yourself with Costa Rica's biodiversity that spans everything from lush rainforests to pristine beaches, feel swept away by Brazil's vibrant culture, or allow Argentina's rhythms to move you - the possibilities for luxury travel experiences in South America are boundless. Those in search of something extra special will find it as they hop aboard the Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train. This beautiful locomotive takes you through some of Peru's most spectacular scenery without you ever having to leave the lap of luxury. An extended sojourn through South America promises a world of exclusive experiences and allows you to fully familiarise yourself with its multifaceted culture.

COMMUNITY/SUSTAINABILITY LED - travel with a conscience

Last but certainly not least, it's community and sustainably-focused travel. Anyone who hasn't been in a cave over the last few years (perhaps they were really digitally detoxing?) will, of course, be aware of the need for sustainable tourism that does as little harm or actually benefits the communities it touches.

This necessity continues to influence global travel trends as individuals emphasise reducing their ecological footprint and travelling in an environmentally-minded way. According to a report by Matter in 2019, "High-end luxury is being redefined, as ethical living becomes a lifestyle choice…[and] the growing popularity for all things sustainable-lux, as a reaction to consumers' desire to build a sustainable future, is penetrating the high-end travel industry". Luxury brands are hopping on the bandwagon, too, with many world-renowned hotels and resorts making active conservation efforts and proudly featuring educational events within their programme of activities.

In the Indian Ocean, where the effects of climate change are being acutely felt, many resorts are pioneering green initiatives that work in harmony with the surrounding area, reduce water waste, and minimise pollution. Mauritius leads this charge. For example, LUX* Grand Baie, one of the island's most stunning modern resorts, prides itself on its menus of locally sourced produce, its environmental awareness events, and its eco-conscious water and electricity systems.

The future of travel is a greener one, and 2024 looks set to usher in a new age of sustainable luxury that doesn't compromise on quality or the environment.

If these destinations and travel trends, or anything else, have sparked your 2024 wanderlust, get in touch with our expert team of personal travel managers by calling 0203 816 0985 or submitting an online enquiry today and let's see what 2024 has in store for you.

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