American Express lists top travel trends for 2024

American Express Travel released its 2024 Global Travel Trends Report today, highlighting the inspiration and trends driving global travel bookings this year. According to the report—based on survey data from travelers in the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom—84 percent of respondents plan to spend more or the same amount of money on travel in 2024 compared to last year. Additionally, 77 percent of respondents care more about having the right travel experience than about the cost of the trip.

The four trends driving booking decisions are:

  • For the Love of the Game: Sports fans are planning trips around athletic events, whether it involves a favorite sport, a beloved team or an international multi-sport competition.
  • Planning Big: Major, expedition-style adventures like a trip to the Galapagos Islands or trekking with the gorillas deliver the "transformative experiences" that travelers are looking for.
  • Going Solo: Travelers are takings trips alone, embracing the ease of planning and ability to tailor itineraries that are a perfect fit.
  • On a Whim: People are seeking flexibility in their travel plans and leaving room for spontaneity.

“Travelers are focused on creating the right itineraries and building memories, whether that means booking a trip to see a favorite sports team compete or taking a once-in-a-lifetime expedition cruise,” American Express Travel President Audrey Hendley said in a statement. “Our Global Travel Trends Report sheds light on what is driving global travel bookings and provides inspiration for where to go next.”

Top insights include:

  • A desire to see sporting events live and to watch favorite teams and beloved players in person are driving where travelers are going and what they are doing when they get there.
  • 67 percent of Millennial and Gen Z respondents (compared to 58 percent of all respondents) are interested in traveling for sporting events in 2024.
  • 58 percent of respondents who are traveling for sports in 2024 will do so for soccer, basketball or Formula 1 racing.
  • New York, Miami and Paris are the top destinations respondents are planning to travel to for sporting events this summer.
  • Transformative, once-in-a-lifetime trips, like visiting the Galapagos Islands and hiking in Antarctica, are at the top of many travelers’ wish lists, and younger travelers want an expert to help them plan.
  • 65 percent of respondents are more interested in taking a major trip in 2024 than in previous years.
  • 72 percent of respondents would rather save money for a major trip than spend it on going out with friends; and more than half of respondents plan on saving between 6 months to 2 years for a major trip.
  • 58 percent of Millennial and Gen Z respondents want a travel agent or trusted advisor to help them book a major trip this year.
  • 55 percent of respondents planning a major trip would consider visiting multiple countries in a region.
  • The ease of planning and ability to make the perfect, personalized itinerary is driving people to plan trips alone, especially younger travelers.
  • 76 percent of Millennials and Gen Z respondents (compared to 69 percent of all respondents) say they are planning on taking a solo trip 2024.
  • 74 percent of male respondents and 63 percent of female respondents say they are planning on taking a solo trip in 2024.
  • 66 percent of respondents planning on traveling solo are planning a trip tailored to treat themselves.
  • 60 percent of respondents planning on traveling solo this year intend to take two or more solo trips.
  • Travelers are leaning into flexible itineraries, allowing them the freedom to be spontaneous and experience the local culture when they travel.
  • 78 percent of respondents say that spontaneous trips appeal to them.
  • 77 percent of Millennials and Gen Z have booked a last-minute trip before, compared to 65 percent of Gen X and 52 percent of Baby Boomers.
  • 68 percent of respondents agree that they like to leave unplanned time in their trip to experience local culture/activities.
  • 57 percent of respondents prefer booking a last-minute getaway to a nearby destination rather than somewhere far away.