2024 Predicted to be the Busiest Travel Year Ever

The only word to describe the travel industry over the last few years is “unpredictable.” From travel restrictions to skyrocketing reservation fees, knowing what to expect is nearly impossible.

However, one famous travel expert has some pretty remarkable expectations for 2024. What are they, and will the year live up to the hype?

Today, we’ll see what might be in store for travelers in 2024 and how you can best prepare for the potential chaos.

Let’s get into it!

Travel Expert Makes Bold Prediction for 2024

Brian Kelly, aka “The Points Guy,” told CBS News that he expects 2024 to be one of the busiest travel years in history.

He operates a popular travel website that helps travelers maximize their travels through reward programs. He’s earned a reputation for tracking trends in the travel industry and helping consumers.

Kelly stated that some of the most popular destinations for 2024 are looking to be Quebec, Cairo, San Diego, and Costa Rica.

He also cautioned travelers heading to Europe, Asia, and New Zealand to expect to pay an incredibly high premium, especially for airfare. 

These were the most crowded destinations in 2023 and where to travel in 2024 instead.

Why the Change in Outlook for Travel?

While some experts predicted a sluggish year for travel in 2024, Kelly notes that the economic outlook is changing. Many are starting to see that it’s not nearly as bad as some had anticipated. 

The Federal Reserve hinting at interest rate cuts in 2024 triggers excitement for many regarding the economy.

By cutting interest rates at the federal level, borrowers have more power and are more likely to spend. When interest rates go up, and money becomes tight, travel is one of the first luxuries consumers cut from their budgets.

Hopefully, the Federal Reserve will follow through and take action to reduce interest rates and give consumers confidence to spend money.

An extremely crowded TSA section at an airport.

When Are the Busiest Travel Times?

In general, the busiest travel times are typically around major holidays. These include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

However, seasonal times like school vacations for summer and spring break can also see increased travel demands.

Whether you travel by plane, train, or automobile, you can expect others to do so as well during these times. Congestion can worsen when these holidays and events coincide with Fridays or Sundays. 

Not only will travelers be out and about, but also those going about their everyday routines. Traveling during these busy times can be incredibly stressful.

Tips for Traveling in 2024

Luckily, there are some things you can do to help make your traveling in 2024 as smooth as possible.

While some things are out of your control, following these tips can help tip the odds in your favor.

Research and Plan Ahead

If you’re traveling in 2024, you better start planning now. The first step is to narrow down your options for where you want to travel. Whether international or domestic, you’ll need time to research and plan what to do once you arrive. 

You should start planning nine to 12 months in advance depending on the destination.

Giving yourself as much time as possible to research and plan can help you to make the most of your time traveling. You don’t want to waste your time or money on sites and activities that aren’t worth it.

During your research, take the time to read reviews from others. While these can be hit or miss sometimes, they give you a good idea of what to expect. There’s likely a reason if you see a consistent pattern of negative reviews. 

Use Technology to Your Advantage

We live in a day and age where technology can help you with almost everything, including travel. Use Google Flights to search the internet for the best deals on flights. 

In addition, you can set it up so you receive alerts when prices change. However, you’ll want to act fast if you receive an alert for price drops. You never know how long it’ll last.

Additionally, websites like Booking.com, Priceline, Kayak, and Expedia can be beneficial when booking travel.

Whether you need flights, a hotel, or a rental car, these are excellent resources. Users enjoy discounted rates and the ease of booking everything through one resource.

A woman on her phone and laptop in a hotel room looking pleased because she got a good deal online. Her suitcase is in the background.

Book Flights and Hotels Early

When traveling during the busiest time of the year, you must book flights and hotels as early as possible. This is especially true if traveling to some of the most popular destinations. 

While you may be holding out for prices to drop for flights, they typically only continue to increase the closer it gets to the date.

As you would expect, flights and hotels can and do sell out. Your only options may be inconvenient or uncomfortable. You’ll want to act quickly if you’re hoping for a direct flight or more luxurious accommodations.

Be Flexible

If traveling will teach you anything, it’s the importance of being flexible. You can save time, money, and stress by shifting your travel dates, destination, or activities.

Unfortunately, if you’re on a tight deadline, it may not be as easy or possible to be flexible.

Over the last few years, many travelers have learned the importance of flexibility. Even if you have your ducks in a row, traffic, the weather, and other unexpected events can throw a wrench in your plans.

Learning to be flexible and adapt to situations can help ensure you and your fellow travelers enjoy smooth adventures.

A status board at an airport that shows all upcoming flights as cancelled.

Pack Wisely

Two of the biggest mistakes many travelers make is packing too much or too little. Packing too much, if you’re flying, can result in extra fees if your luggage exceeds the weight limits. Take your time when packing to only bring the essentials.

After packing the essentials, weighing your bags is a good idea. This will let you know how much more you can add before exceeding the limits. 

However, packing the least amount possible can lead to buying items you left behind once you arrive at your destination.

If you’re worried about packing too many clothes, consider looking for options to do laundry during your travels. You can find a laundromat or other convenient facility to use. When done right, everyone in your crew can have fresh, clean clothes in an hour or so.

Consider Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can be an inexpensive way to have a safety net for unexpected challenges. Many of these plans offer coverage for trip cancellations or interruptions.

Life can be unpredictable, and illnesses, emergencies, and natural disasters can force you to change your plans.

Purchasing travel insurance allows you to recoup expenses from airline tickets, hotel reservations, rental vehicles, and various experiences. 

However, you can’t wait until these events occur. Like most insurance, you’ll have to purchase travel insurance ahead of time for it to do any good. While you may hope not to need it, you’ll be glad you have it if you do.

Stay Informed

Once you’ve made all your reservations and plans, you need to stay informed. Stay aware of the weather and other events that could impact your travels.

You may have to adjust your schedule because of these unforeseen circumstances.

Additionally, make sure you have the notifications on your phone turned on, especially for weather apps and if you’ll be flying. These can be a great way to stay connected in any situation. 

Many airlines will even send alerts if your flight gets delayed or canceled. If caught soon enough, it can help you avoid unnecessarily sitting and waiting.

A woman with a suitcase in the airport looking at the board to see where her flight is.

Where Will You Travel in 2024?

Hopefully, 2024 will be a great year for traveling. If you’ve been putting off taking a vacation or checking off a bucket-list destination, now is as good of a time as any.

What are you waiting for? Start making plans and reservations now to create priceless memories this year.

Where do you hope or plan to travel in 2024?

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