The new year brings travel predictions that cover everything from where we’ll be vacationing in 2024 to how we’ll be getting there, plus the new hotels that are worth getting excited about. But what about the travel trends that are falling out of fashion?
Ahead, four travel trends that are becoming less popular in 2024.
1. Skiplagging As a Way to Save Money On Flights
Skiplagging, also known as “hidden city flights,” became a buzzy cost-saving strategy among air travelers in recent years. Instead of booking a non-stop flight to a destination, the trick is to save some money by booking your destination city as a layover, and then hopping off after the first leg of your flight. For instance: Instead of booking a non-stop flight from New York City to Orlando, you book your flight from New York City to Dallas with a stop in Orlando, where you get off the plane.
Skiplagging can save travelers a couple of hundred bucks on flights, but the key is to book one-way tickets. You also can’t check (or even gate check) your bags because they’ll go to your final ticketed destination. The “travel hack” gained momentum on TikTok and the site Skiplagged.com has become a popular spot to help you find these types of flight deals.
So, why is it “out” in the new year? Airlines are starting to crack down even harder on skiplaggers, with threats that include banning you from flying on their planes, revoking your airline status, or charging you for the more expensive ticket.
2. Cash Tips for Housekeeping
The pandemic accelerated the cashless society trend. According to findings from Pew Research Center, 41% of Americans in 2022 said none of their purchases in a typical week are paid for with cash, which is up from 29% in 2018 and 24% in 2015.
But what does that mean for industries that rely on cash tips, like hotel housekeepers?
Hotels have been increasingly experimenting with mobile tipping options, with QR codes placed in rooms that allow you to leave gratuity for housekeeping staff. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts was a pioneer in this realm when it introduced Béné cashless tipping to its U.S. and Canadian franchisees in 2022. In November 2023, Grazzy, a digital tipping platform, announced it was the preferred provider for Hyatt Hotels.
“Grazzy is helping service workers recapture tips that cashless innovations have for years made fewer and farther between,” Grazzy Founder and CEO Russell Lemmer says.
By doing so, hotels are better positioned to retain talented employees, Lemmer says.
3. Jam-Packed Vacation Itineraries
You may have heard about “slow travel” or more purpose-driven trips. The idea is to slow down so you don’t return home feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation.
Amanda Al-Masri, vice president of wellness for Hilton, is calling 2024 the “year of the great recharge.”
“In 2024, travelers are gravitating away from over-packed itineraries and becoming more wellness conscientious while on the road,” Al-Masri says.
Hilton’s 2024 trend report, she points out, found the No. 1 reason people want to travel in 2024 is to rest and recharge. Hilton hotels are responding with amenities like the “pillow menu” at Hilton London Bankside and sleep-centric spa offerings like Conrad Bali’s SWAY sleep therapy where guests can cocoon into a hammock.
4. Visiting ‘Over-Touristed’ Destinations
Overtourism became a hot topic in 2023, and going into 2024, as a number of popular tourist destinations will begin charging visitors with new taxes and fees. Venice, which was on the verge of being considered an “endangered city” by UNESCO, will begin charging $5.38 USD for day visitors. Bali will charge visitors about $10 a day beginning Feb. 14 to help pay for cultural programs and clean-up costs. Amsterdam will be imposing the largest tourist tax in Europe in 2024, upping room rate takes from 7% to 12.25%.
“While these places will still see huge numbers of visitors, we’re seeing a greater education from tourism boards about the unsustainability of tourism in these locations and we are finding this is turning travelers off visiting these places,” says Michael Rozenblit, who, with his partner Maggie, runs the travel site The World Was Here First, which promotes responsible tourism.
Instead, Rozenblit says, people want to delve deeper into the culture of the destination they’re visiting—which may happen by staying longer in one place and taking part in local experiences like food tours and artisan classes.
Contact Brittany Anas at [email protected].