International tourism reached about 90% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023, and the United States issued a record number of passports. As this year is predicted to be another booming year for the travel industry, here are some of the best travel destinations for 2024.
1) Sumba Island, Indonesia
Sumba Island is a beach location that highlights community and sustainability. A break from the bustling crowds of Bali and only a one-hour flight away, a few of the island’s attractions include remote villages, world-class surf breaks, and ancient forests. And, though quieter than Bali, it’s actually twice the size at more than 4,000 square miles.
2) Turkey’s Black Sea Coast
Lesser known than the Mediterranean yacht-magnet resorts of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, this region is quieter with a cooler, damper climate. Explore ancient streets that echo with the sound of blacksmith hammers in Safranbolu, visit one of the world’s oldest monasteries by climbing the cliffs at Sumela, and soak up the sun on the beach. For thrill-seeking travelers, there is also white water rafting and, during the snowy winter months, the region’s eastern Kaçkar Mountains transform into a heli-skiing paradise.
3) Trans Dinarica Cycle Route, Balkans
Launching in 2024, the Trans Dinarica Cycle Route will be the first and only bike route to link all eight countries of the Western Balkans. This 100-stage trail is designed to accommodate cyclists of varying skill levels and its 2,485 miles consist of forest trails, asphalt roads, and bike paths. Riders undertaking the challenge will enjoy Albania and Croatia’s scenic coastlines, Kosovo’s national parks, and woodland and sparkling rivers throughout Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
4) Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia
The biodiverse Abrolhos Islands is home to diverse wildlife including wallabies, lizards, dolphins, sea lions, and more. Located approximately 37 miles off the coast of Western Australia, these lesser-known islands are the perfect place to spot Australian Sea Lions or humpback whales passing through in the Southern Hemisphere’s winter. As there are no hotels on the islands, tourists can either overnight in the town of Geraldton or stay on a liveaboard boat, which provides opportunities to watch sunsets over the Indian Ocean and scuba dive.
Known in part for the Mars on Earth appearance of the Atacama Desert, the natural world is a big attraction for Chile. The area includes the towering Andes, volcanoes, lakes, wild Patagonia, and thousands of miles of Pacific coastline. The site also includes world-class skiing in July through August and the new high-altitude Parque Nacional Glaciares protects land in the country’s most populous area.