Although 2023 hasn't quite wrapped up yet, travelers are turning their sights to 2024, booking vacations and dreaming about where to go next year.
To help in this process, American Express has scoured its travel data and rounded up a list of destinations that are already trending with travelers for 2024. The roster of popular locales is based on Amex's global cardmember bookings through its travel portal and looks at year-over-year growth from 2019 to 2023.
Among the data, one destination stood out as the most sought-after: Japan is the fastest-growing travel destination for Gen Z and Millennial travelers, with a massive increase in bookings of more than 1,300 percent from 2019 to 2023, according to Amex. (To back that up: Japan was also voted the number one country in the world to visit in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.)
To help you plan, we pulled 10 destinations where everyone will be traveling next year, according to Amex’s booking data.
Adelaide Hills, Australia
Australia is definitely trending with travelers: Bookings to the country have jumped by nearly 800 percent among Gen Z and Millennial travelers since 2019, according to Amex’s report. One of the top destinations? Adelaide Hills. This picturesque area about six miles from Adelaide in South Australia, offers charming towns, sweeping views of undulating landscapes, and small vineyards known for their top-notch pinot noirs. Hikes through the verdant bushland allow tourists to become immersed among scenic waterfalls, lush wildflowers and ferns, and rare wildlife—and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the occasional koala.
Whitewashed buildings lining the deep azure waters of the Aegean Sea have long drawn celebrities and the superyacht crowd to Bodrum, a stylish resort town on the Turkish Riviera. Rub elbows with socialites and nightlife mavens at one of the city’s many glamorous beach clubs. When it’s time for a break from the revelry, lounge on one of the powder-soft beaches or hire a traditional wooden gulet boat for a relaxing cruise along the coastline. For a dose of history and culture, visit the UNESCO-listed medieval castle or walk the labyrinthine bazaars selling handmade goods and comestibles such as traditional Turkish coffee and desserts.
Tucked away on the northeast coast of the island of Sardinia, Porto Cervo is a less crowded option than the mobbed Amalfi Coast. The air here is much more rarefied and exclusive. Think top-tier celebrities in sweeping villas and luxury resorts such as the Hotel Cala di Volpe, a Luxury Collection that was featured in a James Bond movie. (Amex’s data shows that bookings for Italy have increased by more than 500 percent from 2019 to 2023, so seeking out the quieter spots could be well worth the effort.) But you don’t have to be part of the elite to enjoy Sardinia’s Emerald Coast—a nickname for the gem-like, multifaceted hues of Porto Cervo’s sparkling waters. Pro tip: There are plenty of more affordable hotels further inland from the shore.
St. Kitts & Nevis
Plan a low-key escape to the tropics by visiting St. Kitts & Nevis. These two islands offer relaxing beaches and plenty of natural majesty to explore. A hike through the islands’ rainforests reveals flora and fauna (think: hibiscus and bougainvillea flowers), Antillean crested hummingbirds, and vervet monkeys, while scuba diving or snorkeling means spotting hundreds of species of coral, sea turtles, and stingrays. In the midst of all the activity, don’t forget to taste some of the local rum. For the ultimate carefree vacation, book a stay at a five-star resort like the Four Seasons or the Golden Rock Inn on Nevis.
Travelers can’t get enough of Japan and all it has to offer, from pastoral destinations replete with dainty cherry blossoms to thronging metropolises. Among the many things to see and do, one of the best activities in the country’s mountains is skiing. For a world-class option, Niseko, located in the Annupuri Mountains on the island of Hokkaido, is the best stop. Home to the Niseko United ski area, which includes four different high-end ski resorts and more than 2,000 acres of skiable territory. Following a day on the slopes, indulge in the region’s famous seafood dishes (go all in on some oysters and crab legs) and take a soak in one of the numerous onsen for the ultimate Japanese apres ski vibe.
San Miguel De Allende, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende has seen an over 400 percent increase in bookings among Gen Z and Millennial travelers, according to Amex’s data. This small city in Mexico’s central highlands is known for its lively culinary scene and its vibrant orange and pink buildings lining narrow cobblestone streets. The town has long been a retreat for creatives, who first began claiming San Miguel De Allende as a haven for the arts in the middle of the 20th century. Today, that legacy lives on in the city’s numerous artisanal shops that purvey handmade textiles, pottery, and other traditional goods.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, US
Speaking of artistic cities, Santa Fe has charmed tourists with an affinity for fine culture for decades, with its world-renowned galleries and artist studios. On the museum front, don’t miss heavy-hitters like the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Art, or contemporary art warehouse SITE Santa Fe. Of course, a major factor in Santa Fe’s beauty is its natural desert wonder, topped by the eponymous mountains that brush the horizon. In 2024, visiting the New Mexico city will be extra special, thanks to the first-ever Indigenous Fashion Week in the spring and the 100th anniversary of the Burning of the Zozobra festival at the end of summer.
This chain of 115 intimate islands off the coast of Africa is a true nature-lovers delight. Tropical rainforests and nature reserves where giant tortoises roam; pristine beaches with transparent blue waters that reveal stunning coral formations and rare marine life teeming below. Remote and romantic, the Seychelles are popular with honeymooners but adventure travelers and family getaways are on the rise, too.
Udaipur’s striking architecture—marble palaces and grandiose buildings with distinctive cupola domes—earned it the nickname the White City. The historic edifices are also what draw in travelers, as they’re constructed right on the edge of a massive lake system that gives the illusion of them floating on the water. More people than ever want to explore the city’s seven tranquil lakes, which are connected by canals, and the green rolling hills: Amex’s bookings to the Indian state of Rajasthan, where Udaipur is located, have surged by more than 600 percent since 2016, according to the report.
The unmistakable peak of the Matterhorn presides over the town of Zermatt like a massive cathedral spire. A scenic train ride from Geneva or Zurich, this enchanting village is known for its cozy chalets and premier skiing. In the summer, visitors can attend the annual folklore festival in August, full of traditional music and colorful costumes. Or hike and mountain bike through the area’s dreamy valleys blanketed in soft green grass. The entire town is car-free—helping to preserve some of that mountain serenity—but is easily navigable by foot and electric buses.
This story originally appeared on Conde Nast Traveller.