American Express report reveals top travel trends in 2024

American Express Travel has released its 2024 Global Travel Trends Report, highlighting the inspiration and trends driving global travel bookings this year.

The report, based on survey data from travelers in the U.S., Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico and the U.K., found that 84% of respondents plan to spend more or the same amount of money on travel in 2024 compared to last year. Additionally, 77% of respondents care more about having the right travel experience than about the cost of the trip.

“Travelers are focused on creating the right itineraries and building memories, whether that means booking a trip to see a favorite sports team compete or taking a once-in-a-lifetime expedition cruise,” said Audrey Hendley, president, American Express Travel. “Our Global Travel Trends Report sheds light on what is driving global travel bookings and provides inspiration for where to go next.”

Top insights from the report include:

A desire to see sporting events live and to watch favorite teams and beloved players in person are driving where travelers are going and what they are doing when they get there.

  • 67% of Millennial and Gen Z respondents (compared to 58% of all respondents) are interested in traveling for sporting events in 2024
  • 58% of respondents who are traveling for sports in 2024 will do so for soccer, basketball or Formula 1 racing
  • New York, Miami and Paris are the top destinations respondents are planning to travel to for sporting events this summer

Transformative, once-in-a-lifetime trips, like visiting the Galapagos Islands and hiking in Antarctica, are at the top of many travelers’ wish lists, and younger travelers want an expert to help them plan.

  • 65% of respondents are more interested in taking a major trip in 2024 than in previous years
  • 72% of respondents would rather save money for a major trip than spend it on going out with friends; and more than half of respondents plan on saving between six months to two years for a major trip
  • 58% of Millennial and Gen Z respondents want a travel agent or trusted advisor to help them book a major trip this year
  • 55% of respondents planning a major trip would consider visiting multiple countries in a region

The ease of planning and ability to make the perfect, personalized itinerary is driving people to plan trips alone, especially younger travelers.

  • 76% of Millennials and Gen Z respondents (compared to 69% of all respondents) say they are planning on taking a solo trip 2024
  • 74% of male respondents and 63% of female respondents say they are planning on taking a solo trip in 2024
  • 66% of respondents planning on traveling solo are planning a trip tailored to treat themselves
  • 60% of respondents planning on traveling solo this year intend to take two or more solo trips

Travelers are leaning into flexible itineraries, allowing them the freedom to be spontaneous and experience the local culture when they travel.

  • 78% of respondents say that spontaneous trips appeal to them
  • 77% of Millennials and Gen Z have booked a last-minute trip before, compared to 65% of Gen X and 52% of Baby Boomers
  • 68% of respondents agree that they like to leave unplanned time in their trip to experience local culture/activities
  • 57% of respondents prefer booking a last-minute getaway to a nearby destination rather than somewhere far away