2023 is almost over, which means it is time to start thinking about what is ahead for you in the new year.
That, of course, should include a vacation with your friends or family to somewhere fun, relaxing, and filled with new, exciting locales. No matter what your vacation destination is in 2024, you want to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck on the trip.
GOBankingRates reached out to some travel experts to get their top 2024 vacation destinations that are worth every penny. Here’s where they said you should set your sights on for next year.
With an array of cultural, historical sites, breathtaking natural landscapes and cuisine like no other, you will feel your trip to Albania was worth the money. But still, you might be thinking… Albania? Really?
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“Albania may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of vacation destinations, but it is a hidden gem in Eastern Europe,” said Nadia Podrabinek, founder and CEO of Why This Place. “From exploring ancient ruins to relaxing on pristine beaches, Albania offers a unique and unforgettable vacation experience.”
Podrabinek estimates the cost for a week-long trip to Albania can range from $500-$800 per person, making it an affordable option compared to other popular European countries.
While it might not have popularity compared to other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand or Malaysia, Vietnam should not be overlooked in Podrabinek’s opinion.
“What makes Vietnam worth the money is its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and delicious street food,” explained Podrabinek. “From cruising through Ha Long Bay to exploring the charming streets of Hoi An, Vietnam offers a unique and budget-friendly vacation experience.”
Podrabinek also recommends visiting Spain. She said, “Barcelona is a vibrant city in Spain that offers a perfect blend of culture, history and stunning architecture.”
Podrabinek estimates that, depending on the duration of the stay and activities planned, a cost for a trip to Barcelona can range on average from about $800-$1500 per person.
“While it may not be the most budget-friendly destination, what makes Barcelona worth the money is its lively atmosphere, delicious food scene and iconic landmarks such as Sagrada Familia and Park Güell,” Podrabinek said. “Exploring the streets of Barcelona will leave you with unforgettable memories and a desire to return.”
The island country has a reputation for “advanced technology, unique culture and stunning natural beauty” in Podrabinek’s eyes, which is why an estimated cost for a trip to Japan can be on the higher side, ranging from $1,000-$2,000 per person.
“The experience of immersing oneself in Japanese culture and exploring its vibrant cities is definitely worth it,” said Podrabinek. “From tasting delicious traditional food to visiting ancient temples, Japan offers a one-of-a-kind vacation experience.”
Korean culture has boosted its popularity in recent years, making Seoul a highly sought-after travel destination for 2024, according to Kyle Kroeger, founder and CEO of ViaTravelers.
In addition to ancient and historic sites, Seoul also boasts cutting-edge entertainment centers such as K-Pop concerts, art galleries, museums and futuristic buildings. It should come as no surprise then, that Seoul has become one of the world’s top travel destinations.
“This vibrant city offers an amazing variety of attractions and activities, including shopping in the colorful markets, exploring traditional temples and palaces, trying out a multitude of delicious street food dishes and more,” said Kroeger.
And while he admits that the city “can be a bit on the expensive side, there are still many ways to experience the city on a budget.”
Kroeger explained, “One of the best things about Seoul is its efficient and affordable public transportation system, making it easy to get around the city without breaking the bank.
“You can also find affordable accommodations in various areas of the city, from traditional guesthouses to modern hostels. And let’s not forget about the amazing Korean food, which can be found at reasonable prices in local restaurants and street markets.”
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According to Kroeger, the one island you definitely want to visit in 2024 is Boracay, which is in Western Visayas region of the Philippines.
With its idyllic white sand beaches and stunningly clear waters, it’s a paradise on earth that also comes with “vibrant nightlife, exciting water sports activities such as diving or snorkeling and gorgeous sunsets that will take your breath away,” said Kroeger.
Boracay is full of renowned resorts, restaurants and attractions that make it an ideal destination for a relaxing beach getaway.
“One of the greatest things about Boracay is you can easily tailor your visit to suit your budget, whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay or a more affordable option,” continued Kroger. “While I did mention that the island is full of famous resorts, there are also plenty of budget-friendly accommodations available, making it an excellent choice for all types of travelers.”
Also important, Kroeger explained, “The food is also incredibly affordable, with a variety of local and international cuisine options to choose from. You can ask the very friendly locals for their recommendations, and they will not disappoint.”
Liz Eads of Diamond Public Relations recommends travelers visit Costa Rica.
“This destination offers a little bit for everyone,” said Eads, “with a brimming culinary scene in San José, adventure via hiking, ziplining, volcanoes and animal encounters in multiple national parks, and pristine beaches and luxury resorts for some elevated R&R throughout its terrain.”
And while lots of visitors might be familiar with San Jose and Tamarindo, Eads insists that in 2024, there will be more trips to less discovered destinations in Costa Rica, such as Ojochal, which she describes as “an area so off the beaten path, most locals don’t even know it.”
“This enclave offers access to a beautiful combination of mountains, rainforest, islands and beaches,” Eads continued. “It’s considered the gateway to the country’s Osa Peninsula, where you’ll find hundreds of species of local wildlife you won’t see anywhere else on the planet.”
According to Eads, flights average $1,200 for flights from LAX and NYC, while hotels can average $587 per night to $945 in high season.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 7 Popular 2024 Vacation Destinations That Are Worth Every Penny