Travel Talk with Danielle: 2024 TRAVEL OUTLOOK

by Danielle Garrett of PlanIt Travel Designs for The Aha! Connection

2023 is coming to a close and I think it is safe to say travel is back to pre-pandemic levels in a big way!  This year we have had to endure higher flight prices, higher than normal flight cancellations, inflated accommodation costs and over-crowded airport lounges (just to name a few issues!).  A recent survey of 2023 travel related problems showed 53% of respondents rated dealing with “higher prices that I’m accustomed to” the number one problem.  We are all feeling the pain of paying more, but the data shows it’s not slowing travelers down!  Travel demand is VERY high and likely will not change for 2024!  

Below are some predictions and findings for what to expect in 2024.

  • I think the following findings released from are interesting and a distinct trend I’ve noticed since the pandemic.

Where in years past travel has been a means to escape life, is releasing research that shows that travel is life in 2024 with more than three quarters (78%) revealing that they feel more alive than ever when they are on vacation, and 68% wanting to be more like their vacation self in their day-to-day life back home. That’s because 68% also think they are the best version of themselves while on vacation.

  • The International Air Transport Association has predicted a significant boom in 2024 passenger traffic within the global airline industry.  The IATA predicts the number of passengers traveling by air will reach 4.7 billion in 2024 (4.5 billion in 2019).  A recent IATA survey shows that one third of the respondents are traveling more than before the pandemic.  This corresponds with the earlier stated findings from…travel is life :). The same survey also showed that 44% plan to travel more in the next 12 months than in the previous 12 months.  
  • A recent Kayak report predicts domestic airfare will drop 16% in 2024 compared to 2023.  Thank goodness, as I think high domestic airfare prices have been more shocking this year than international fares.
  • Kayak also predicts hotel pricing to drop by 9% and car rental pricing to drop by 14% in 2024.
  • Airbnb recently released what were the most booked categories so far for 2024: National Parks, Amazing Pools, Beaches, Amazing Views and Iconic Cities.  All categories sound great to me!


Book early!!  

I cannot express enough the importance of securing your travel dates as soon as possible.  With such high demand, the accommodations delivering the most value or providing the best fit for your travel needs will get snatched up early.  If using miles or points for your flights, those typically increase as you get closer to your travel dates so booking early is important.  For revenue tickets, the price may drop after you book but if you notice the price decrease you can request a credit voucher to use towards a future flight.  Data recently released from Kayak suggests booking 8 months in advance will save an average of 8-18% (for you hopeful summer travelers, that means starting now!)

Be Flexible!

Having flexible dates is one of the best ways to secure well priced flights and accommodations.  For those that have this option, be flexible with your destination as well.  If you can choose from a wider variety of dates and destinations, you will have more opportunities to save.

Do you have an airline credit?

Many people received credits for canceled flights during Covid, and later forget about them.  Delta repeatedly extended these credit deadlines and for many people that deadline is Dec 31, 2023!  This does not mean you need to take a last minute trip by the end of the year.  Delta allows you to use these credits towards 2024 travel, so if you fly Delta make sure to look for any possible credit vouchers!  You can find them in your Delta Skymiles account under Profile, under Certificates, eCredits and Vouchers.  Otherwise, give Delta a call.

Be patient!

With the high demand comes crowded airports, long lines and completely full airplanes.  Sometimes travel does not always bring out the best in people!  We have all dealt with those people or been that person ourselves (you know it’s true)! 🙂  I challenge everyone to show grace, smile (you are going on vacation) and remember kindness goes a long way in getting what you want (snippiness may get you in a middle seat in the back of the plane by the toilet);)

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