Traveling for transformative experiences has been on the rise in our post-pandemic world. Instead of booking a holiday that leaves planning in the hands of someone else, we’re starting to be more intentional with our travel goals, seeking out experiences that spark transformation, and that help us to see the world, and life, differently.
According to an article published by CNBC Travel, these are 5 of the top travel experiences that travel advisors recommend taking on in 2024:
Going where your interests lead you
You don’t have to leave your hobbies at home – traveling to gain a broader perspective of your interests is a trend we’re seeing more of this year.
Whether it’s setting your sights on an archeological tour through Machu Picchu to uncover unbelievable structures, traveling to Grasse in France to visit the fragrance capital of the world, or trekking through the Amazonian rainforests to learn more about the dense biodiversity there, embarking on a trip that will further your knowledge in a field that ‘tickles your brain’ can be transformative and inspiring.
Jetting off to Japan for a season
Japan is charting on multiple 2024 travel trends lists and has been voted the number one destination in the world to visit in Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards. According to a recent survey by American Express, it’s the fastest-growing destination for Gen Z and millennial travellers.
The best time of year to hit Japan? In Spring, when the pink Sakura (cherry blossoms trees) first kick into bloom. If you’re looking for the full cherry blossom experience, Kyoto and Kanazawa are your best options. However, winter in Japan is also recommended by travel advisors, making it a scenic spot for skiing. Plus, seeing the soft blanket of snow that covers Mount Fuji in the wintertime is well worth it.
The pursuit of happiness
Did you know that there’s a ‘Gross National Happiness’ index, and that Bhutan – the Buddhist kingdom located on the Himalayas’ eastern edge – ranks as one of the happiest countries on the planet? In a post-pandemic world where depression and anxiety have made themselves present, we’re seeking happiness, looking to reconnect with the principles that lead us to live happier lives.
Why is Bhutan one of the best destinations to live this experience? In short, people are less materialistic there. Buddhists are peace-loving, disciplined people who value simple living and mindfulness.
Going on a slow safari
Slow safaris aren’t about spotting every member of the Big Five. They’re about taking time out to really get to know the lay of the land. Staying for weeks, and going on multiple game drives, walks and boat rides with an experienced guide. You might see much of the same animals, creatures and biodiversity every day – and you might learn something new on each adventure, too.
A slow safari allows you to admire everything at a slower place, and you will leave the experience feeling like you’ve really tapped into the pulse of Africa.
‘Dark sky’ tourism
Sleep all day, stargaze all night – that’s the attitude of a dark sky traveler. Instead of filling your days with activities, you’re traveling to embrace a destination at night. Largely, these trips are made to soak up the magic of the night sky in its full form – seeing the Northern Lights up close and personal to getting to know the nocturnal critters that you wouldn’t usually meet in daylight.
However, these trips don’t have to be shrouded in darkness – there’s plenty to see in Iceland, Norway and Sweden in the daytime and at night, these destinations transform into the ideal spots to view the Northern Lights and the clear night sky from.