Best Travel Locations for 2024


As international tourism rebounds about the lulls of COVID-19 and travelers seek new, less crowded destinations, CNN Travel has curated a list of 24 places to consider for your 2024 travel plans. These destinations offer a mix of cultural richness, natural beauty, and sustainability. Here is the top 7 that they outline. See the whole list and get ready for a great travel year ahead!

  1. Sumba, Indonesia: Escape the crowds of Bali and explore the Indonesian island of Sumba, known for its remote villages, untouched forests, ancient rituals, and world-class surf breaks. Luxury eco-resorts like Nihi Sumba and The Sanubari make it an enticing destination.
  2. Turkey’s Black Sea Coast: Discover the lesser-known Black Sea region in Turkey, with historic towns, beaches, and adrenaline-pumping activities. In the summer, it provides a refreshing escape, while winter transforms the Kaçkar Mountains into a heli-skiing paradise.
  3. Tartu, Estonia: Named a European Capital of Culture for 2024, Tartu is Estonia’s intellectual hub. Home to the oldest university, Estonian National Museum, and Science Centre AHHAA, it combines high-minded pursuits with charming Old Town architecture.
  4. Tainan, Taiwan: Celebrating its 400th anniversary, Tainan has become a hotspot, surpassing Taipei in hotel occupancy. Known for its street food, natural landscapes, and vibrant temples, Tainan was listed among Booking.com’s top 10 sustainable tourism destinations in 2023.
  5. Northwest Michigan: Beyond the summer tourist influx, Northwest Michigan offers year-round attractions. Traverse City, on Grand Traverse Bay, serves as a great base for exploring wineries, picking fruits in season, and enjoying the picturesque M-22 highway.
  6. Trans Dinarica Cycle Route, Balkans: Launching in 2024, this 4,000-kilometer cycle route links all eight Western Balkan countries. Cyclists can traverse Albania and Croatia’s coastlines, Kosovo’s national parks, Montenegro’s rugged mountains, and more, experiencing the region’s diverse landscapes.
  7. Culebra, Puerto Rico: The list concludes with Culebra, Puerto Rico, inviting travelers to explore its pristine beaches and vibrant culture. As a relatively undiscovered gem, it offers a serene escape for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

Consider these destinations for a unique and fulfilling travel experience in 2024, away from the crowds and amidst the wonders of diverse landscapes and cultures.

New Option: Skip Those Airplane Meals

Here’s an interesting idea that a number of airlines are proposing. You can now opt to skip receiving your meal while on your next flight. Airlines such as Delta and Japan Airline are using an option to allow passengers to opt out before they even fly. Why would people choose to do so?

At the moment, the idea is serving as a test case for what airlines can do to reduce fuel, costs and waste on board flights. Of course, critics argue that the airlines are trying to make themselves look green – but that they are actually just trying to cut corners.

Of course, passengers who have chosen this option far before their flights are often worried about what will happen if they change their mind. They won’t be able to get a full meal, but there are always snacks on flights that passengers can find. And they can try to remember to bring their own goodies with them as well.

One other added benefit of forgoing the food is the chance to set your body onto the correct time zone. Eating at unusual times during a flight can definitely make it difficult for your body to adjust to the time change.

It will be interesting to see if this is something that takes off – or just a passing phase.

Beyond Borders: A Cross-Country Hotel Experience

Now that the skies have reopened and being are enjoying travel, it may be the perfect time to check out Hotel Arbez Franco-Suisse – which is also referred to as L’Arbézie. This hotel has the cool distinction of straddling an international border between France and Switzerland.

And that means that, when you check in, you don’t exactly know which country you’ll be sleeping in that night. Because of a trade agreement (explained in this article), about half of the hotel is in France while the other half sits in Switzerland. The international border actually runs right through the restaurant and a few of the guest rooms.

This sounds like it could just be a fun and silly place to be – but the implications of having a hotel in two countries are real. Switzerland and France have different electricity standards, and the rooms all include both types of sockets; there are certain unpasteurized cheeses allowed in Switzerland which can’t be brought over to France and this happens with some French specialties as well.

Get Away this Summer with a Home Exchange

In a tight economy, it’s not always easy to find the money for a  holiday. Certainly, camping is always an option, but not everyone has the skill set or interest in camping. Another great way to enjoy a holiday without spending a fortune is to look into a home exchange.

Online today, there are oodles of home exchange websites that will explain to you exactly how to list your home and how to find a home that is right for your needs. Many of these sites have specific interests, such as homes for gay couples, homes for retired couples, homes for singles, homes for pet owners and more.

The home exchange or home swap program is brilliant. While entrusting others with your home, you are being offered a rent-free way to stay in someone else’s comfortable home while you vacation and enjoy your surroundings. You can visit places around the world, feel like a local rather than a tourist as you stay in a neighborhood, add security to your own home while you’re on vacation, and enjoy yourself.

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Elephant Bedroom Camp

Summer is upon us and if you have yet to plan an overseas trip, consider exploring the African wilderness- but with hotel-quality accommodations.
Elephant Bedroom camp is located in Kenya, 300 kilometers from Nairobi. The unique accommodations allow visitors to relax in a luxurious environment while experiencing the exhilarating wilderness of the African Serengeti first hand.

Twelve furnished tents, equipped with hot and cold running water, electricity and numerous amenities, rest quietly amongst the roaming elephants, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, lions and hundreds of birds that are native to the region. With interiors designed to enhance the African atmosphere, the getaway provides the perfect combination of nature and luxury.

Nanyukinow.com provides some information on Elephant Bedroom camp. It explains:

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“The tents at Elephants Bedroom camp in Samburu are large and breezy, and the service is terrific. The small size of the perfectly set camp with only 12 tents really affords the guest an opportunity to get to know the staff as well as other travelers. The tents are amazingly spacious and beautifully decorated, therefore small and intimate.

The camp offers a menu which usually comprises beef, chicken, or seafood as well as vegetarian dishes. Food is exquisite- breakfast is served as a buffet, lunch as a three-course meal with different choices and dinner four courses, also with different choices. Guests with any special or extra wishes or requirements are free to ask.”

 

The One-Weekend Trip to Break Any Routine

The dull routine of the work week can potentially cause mild depression, stress or just general lack of motivation. With weekends so short, it’s often difficult to break the mold and come back to the office feeling truly refreshed… Which is why Wendy Wu Tours has created a one-weekend trip to China in support of one of the world’s most endangered species: the giant panda.

Appropriately named ‘Panda Weekend,’ the trip begins in Chengdu, the capital of the region. Visitors can experience the Chengdu Panda Reserve in Sichuan, as well as other popular tourist attractions in the area like the Giant Buddha of Leshan, the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City and many others.

Day one of the tour begins with an overnight flight from London via Abu Dhabi, allowing for a complete work day. Travelers arrive in Chengdu early Friday evening, and spend the night relaxing and enjoying the Chinese cuisine (which is included). Early Saturday morning, the group visits the Grand Buddha; the largest stone-carved statue in the world, via a boat trip. On the way back to the hotel, they visit the old town of Huanglongxien.

On Sunday, the tour is proud to present its group with one of China’s precious national treasures; the giant panda. Known as a symbol of global conservation efforts, the panda is a bear-like herbivorous animal related to the raccoon. At the Chengdu Panda Reserve, the visitors can experience the pandas in surroundings very similar to their natural habitat, but in a more intimate way. The Center offers feeding opportunities, as well as involvement in other work, such as enclosure maintenance, breeding, raising and protecting the pandas. In the summer months, groups are even able to help wash the adorable animals. The tour continues on to the UNESCO Dujiangyan Irrigation Project before returning to the hotel.
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On Sunday evening the tour catches a flight back to London, arriving at the airport no later than 7:30 a.m. on Monday, just in time for work.

For those interested in staying for longer than just one weekend, Wendy Wu Tours offers several extension trips, including ‘Dinosaur Discovery’ and the Nine Village Valley.