Every year, I like to put together a “travel bucket list” with inspiration for the coming year…a mood board for adventures, if you will. In looking at Expedia Group’s Unpack ’24 report, it was really fun to see that so many of our thoughts about travel line up.
“This year’s leading trends include Tour Tourism, Dry Tripping, and Go-ccasions!”
I can get behind that!
With that in mind, most of these bucket list items are not destination-specific, so I encourage you to use them as a launching pad for ideas, essentially some “choose your adventure” inspo!
As you plan your next big trip and cross things off this list, use Expedia’s Price Tracking tool to find the best flight prices for your 2024 trips!
From jet-setting around the globe to places where your favorite TV show or film is set to renting vacation homes and taking that long overdue girls’ trip, here is my travel bucket list for 2024!
In 2023, Taylor Swift’s Eras and Beyoncé’s Renaissance tours’ cultural impact was undeniable, driving ticket sales and travel and tourism. Expedia predicts that Tour Tourism will continue to thrive in 2024.
Cultural and music festivals have always been a big part of my international travels; I’ve been to Tomorrowland in Belgium and Ultra Japan in Tokyo. And I have 4 Burns (including Burning Man and AfrikaBurn) under my belt!
If you’ve got a major concert or cultural experience on your bucket list, make 2024 your year to experience it!
Take a Solo Trip
Going on a solo trip is a rite of passage. It’s a unique way to travel; you can experience a destination on your terms and timeline.
You can see what you want, eat where you want, and you’ll be able to meet locals along the way. It’s a great way to boost your confidence and see the world all at the same time.
As a solo female traveler, I’ve learned so much about myself and the world when I’ve traveled to destinations alone.
If the thought of going solo on an international trip is daunting, start small! Check out a neighboring state or county, or even try a dinner date in your hometown—party of one!
Travel to a Destination from a Movie or TV Show
For the film and TV buffs out there, have you ever considered traveling to the location of one of your favorite shows or movies? This trend is from Expedia Group’s Unpack ’24 report, and I admittedly have a few destinations on my bucket list for this reason!
- Harry Potter: As you may know, I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter, and there are so many Harry Potter filming locations in England and the UK!
- Lord of the Rings: There’s a Lord of the Rings Tour in New Zealand for those who would rather spend days exploring The Shire.
- Game of Thrones: Game of Thrones will have you wandering around Europe, from Iceland to Scotland to Croatia.
- Gladiator 2: Malta is one of Europe’s most under-rated island nations—relax in a Blue Lagoon, explore UNESCO World Heritage sites, and hit the beach!
My obsession is a bit of a Sirius problem…but don’t worry, I’m Neville gonna stop. Are you a diehard Harry Potter fan like me? You might just have to plan your next trip to one of these destinations!
Use Points to Fly for Free
I’m a big believer in getting credit card points to work for you and using points to fly for free!
I’ve flown Emirates First Class and booked round-trip economy flights across the country and one-way business class flights worldwide. I’ve even booked week-long rental cars for epic road trips.
And I didn’t pay for any of it. These flights were all booked for “free” using credit card points.
This isn’t to brag—it’s a wake-up call. If you aren’t using travel reward credit cards, it’s time to start! Travel reward credit card points are a GAME CHANGER.
While the points & miles game can seem extremely mysterious and almost too good to be true, I’ve created a few guides on how to demystify the process, including examples of when I’ve redeemed points, how I did it, and how much it’s saved me.
Here’s how I travel the world for free using credit card points and my beginner’s guide to using points and miles.
NOTE: You also DON’T need a credit card to start earning travel rewards. Expedia’s One Key travel loyalty program is free, AND you can rack up points and tier credits on eligible bookings for pretty much everything related to your travel escapades like cozy Hotels.com stays, awesome Vrbo vacation rentals, and a whole lot more on Expedia.
Let me tell you this: travel reward credit card points are a GAME CHANGER. Here’s how I travel the world for free (using credit card points!)
Visit a National Park
The number of gorgeous national parks in North America is a blessing.
National parks are some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world and offer a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Whether you’re an avid hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or just someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, there’s a national park out there for you.
If you’re wanting to explore all the beauty of Moab and the surrounding area, this is for you! Here’s the ultimate wellness and hiking guide for Moab, Utah!
Rent a Vacation Home
Since becoming a family of four (yes, we count our furbaby), we prioritize vacation homes whenever we travel. Last year, we stayed in an 18th-century farmhouse in Tuscany and a modern beachfront unit in Malibu.
There’s something for everyone on Vrbo!
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hotel stay, but having the space and comfort of a home-away-from-home when traveling with a toddler (and often our dog) is our priority these days!
With separate bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, and living spaces, you can cook meals together, enjoy movie nights, and spend quality time together without feeling cramped or confined.
We recently spent 5 nights at the enchanting Casanova dei Boschi, an 18th-century farmhouse in the heart of the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany.
Dreaming of a desert getaway in Joshua Tree? We found the perfect pad for a family staycation and I wanted to share it with you!
Dreaming of a sunny getaway in Malibu? We stayed at The Malibu Five, an incredible, five unit, dog-friendly, beachfront vacation rental in Malibu!
Take a Girls’ Trip
There’s no better way to bond with your closest friends and recharge your batteries than by taking a girls’ trip. And in 2024, there’s no better time to plan one!
Are you itching to travel, but none of your friends are up for the adventure?
I’ve been running all-female tours for seven years in some of the world’s most incredible bucket list destinations!
Experience safari in South Africa, sail on a luxury Nile cruise in Egypt, witness the Petra in Jordan, go glamping in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, and discover one of the most remote wildlife destinations on earth, The Galapagos Islands!
Most of our guests come solo and leave with a new group of travel-loving besties!
Learn more about TBA Escapes All-Female Tours and apply today!
Take a Wellness Trip
A wellness trip is a great way to prioritize your physical and mental health and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. Why not make this the year you prioritize yourself and invest in a wellness getaway?
A wellness trip can take many forms, from yoga retreats and spa vacations to fitness and adventure trips. If you’re not a big planner, it can be as easy as traveling to a destination that is known for wellness and finding experiences once you’re there.
The endless options can be tailored to suit your interests and needs.
Here are some great places to go on a wellness trip:
- Bali, Indonesia: Bali is known for its beautiful landscapes and rich culture, but it’s also a haven for wellness-seekers. Bali has everything you need to soothe your mind and body, from yoga and meditation retreats to detox and spa treatments.
- Costa Rica: This Central American paradise is the ultimate destination for adventure and wellness. With its lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and active volcanoes, Costa Rica is perfect for those who love to stay active while immersing themselves in nature.
- Tulum, Mexico: Tulum is a beautiful and bohemian coastal town known for its stunning beaches and laid-back vibe. It’s an excellent destination for those looking to unplug, recharge, and indulge in various wellness experiences, from yoga and meditation to spa treatments and healthy dining.
Want to find the ultimate relaxation spot for you? Find the perfect hotel to rest, reset, and rejuvenate so you can come back feeling refreshed.
Hosting your own wellness trip with friends is another option to consider!
Rent a vacation home on Vrbo, plan group activities like hiking, and hire local yoga instructors to lead group sessions at your rental!
Even if it’s just a weekend at home or a mini-break in the next town over, it can do you some serious good. Here are a few things that will elevate your girlfriend-getaway into a wellness retreat.
Go Scuba Diving
Some of the best destinations on the planet are below sea level. Why not experience the beauty of the deep blue beyond with an adventure at sea?
If you’re ready to dig deeper, consider learning how to dive. Admittedly I was a bit nervous to take the plunge myself but it’s been so worth it. Getting my scuba diving certification opened up a whole new world for me.
Getting PADI open ocean scuba diving certified completely CHANGED my life. It’s truly is one of the best things I have ever done in travel.
Visit a Wonder of the World
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, commonly known as UNESCO, continually works to preserve and highlight the best of the best around the globe.
Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World is an opportunity to explore some of the most iconic structures and natural phenomena in history and to learn about the cultures and civilizations that created them.
Each of the wonders provides a unique and awe-inspiring experience, showcasing the ingenuity and creativity of humankind, and they are symbols of human achievement that stand the test of time.
The classic Seven Wonders of the World and the New Seven Wonders of the World are must-sees. The new places are high on my list—I’ve been to all except the Great Wall and the Taj Mahal!
Ready to experience the magic that has fascinated the world for thousands of years? Here is the ultimate guide to visiting the Pyramids of Giza!
Go on an African Safari
Going on safari in Africa is one of the top things on any bucket list! From exploring Gondwana Private Game Reserve with my TBA Escapes Tour to heading deep into the bush in Botswana and Kenya—it’s an experience that never gets old.
One of my favorite things about living in Cape Town was the opportunity to explore many parts of Africa.
While a safari is not known as a budget activity (read here about what you should budget for a safari), it is a worthwhile experience. Check out this guide to going on an African safari for more insight!
If you’ve never been on a safari in Africa, make it your goal for 2024!
PSA: not all safaris are created equally. If you’ve haven’t been, it’s probably hard to imagine how many different types of safaris there are. So, grab your binoculars and read up on how to choose an African safari for you!
Take a Go-ccasion
New research by Vrbo has uncovered an emerging trend for 2024: the “Go-ccasion,” revealing that one in four people are looking for ANY excuse to take a trip with friends or family!
While anniversaries and milestone birthdays are obvious things to celebrate, don’t downplay the excitement of a puppymoon, first-date-anniversary, or work promotion getaway!
Some of our favorite trips have been with our cockapoo pup in tow!
And there you have it, folks! My 2024 travel bucket list.
What’s on your travel bucket list for this year? Let me know in the comments below!
This post was sponsored by Expedia. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.