Solo expeditions, epic adventures among top 4 travel trends to watch

Millennials and Gen-Zers also prefer last-minute trips and sports travel

This year is shaping up to be a landmark year for travel, with some exciting trends already making waves.

American Express Travel’s latest report shines a light on plans for 2024, revealing people plan to make the most of their trips this year.

According to the report, 84% of people are looking to spend as much or more on their travels as they did last year, and, smartly, 89% prioritize using “travel hacks” such as credit card points to get the most out of their trip.

So, what’s fueling this enthusiasm? American Express Travel has pinpointed four key trends.

Sporty escapes

Sports fans are eager for live action, according to the report. Of the generations, 67% of millennial and Gen-Z folks prioritize traveling for sports events. Formula 1 racing, basketball and soccer attract the most travelers, at 58%. And the hot spots for sports travel this summer include New York, Miami, London, Las Vegas and Paris.

Go big, or go home

Then, there’s the call of the wild — like real wild. We’re talking bucket-list adventures that could have you trekking with gorillas or exploring the untouched beauty of the Galapagos Islands.

“Not only are travelers hungry for adventure and exploration, but they are engaged and show a desire to immerse in the culture of a region,” said Steve Smotrys, vice president of Seabourn Cruise Line’s sales and trade relations.

Many respondents’ dream trip is about experiencing remote locations like a local. For others, it’s about longer journeys packed with variety and discovery, like hopping across multiple countries. Interestingly, 63% of those aiming to explore more than one country in a single journey are setting their sights on Europe. And for inspiration, travelers turn to friends or family (52%) more than social media (39%).

Solo dolo

It’s all about freedom, baby. Custom itineraries, treating yourself, and the sheer ease of doing whatever you want, whenever you want. Millennials and Gen Z lead the pack at 76%, compared to 69% all respondents who plan to travel solo this year. Moreover, 60% of solo travelers this year plan to enjoy not just one, but at least two solo expeditions.

Last-minute getaways

And for those who like to keep things spicy, spontaneous trips are on the rise. Nothing beats the thrill of booking a last-minute trip, leaving room for surprises and those authentic local experiences. A notable 78% of respondents find impromptu getaways appealing. Interestingly, 77% of millennials and Gen-Zers have previously embraced last-minute travel, a trend slightly less common among 65% of Gen-Xers and 52% of baby boomers.