The top 20 places to travel in 2024

Cue the drum roll – we're about to unveil the most sought-after travel spots of the year. This top 20 list features the destinations we’re predicting to be firm favourites with our travellers in 2024, thanks to social media fame, media buzz, exciting events and attractions that hit all the right notes with current travel trends.


As sustainability takes centre stage, we’ve highlighted places making significant strides in eco-friendly tourism. Plus, with the rising cost of living, we’ve pinpointed destinations like South Africa, India and Thailand where you’ll get more for your money. We've also introduced some exciting new hotels and experiences to our collection this year.

2024 is set to be the year of the Big Trip, with Australia and Canada topping travel wish lists. And we think you’ll find our number one spot no surprise.

Without further ado, here’s our countdown of the Top 20 holiday destinations to watch in 2024.

Top 20 Travel Destinations 

Top 20 Travel Destinations for 2024

  1. Barbados
  2. Italy
  3. Australia
  4. Antigua
  5. New Zealand
  6. Tanzania
  7. Malaysia
  8. Canada
  9. Dubai
  10. Singapore
  11. USA
  12. India
  13. Kenya
  14. Indonesia
  15. South Africa
  16. Vietnam
  17. Mauritius
  18. Sri Lanka
  19. Thailand
  20. Maldives


20. Barbados


Mention Barbados and images of Simon Cowell jet-skiing and footballers' wives lounging on Sandy Lane's iconic pink sunbeds come to mind. But this captivating island holds more than just gorgeous beaches and famous faces. Visitors flock here for some of the Caribbean’s best restaurants, nightlife and resorts. History buffs, culture vultures and sports fans, including golf lovers, will find plenty to keep them entertained, especially with Barbados Tourism now being the Official Tourism Sponsor of both the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions until 2027.

You’re spoilt for choice with accommodation, from ultra-all-inclusive resorts like Sandals Royal Barbados to the on-fleek O2 Beach Club & Spa by Ocean Hotels. We’re big fans of Marriott’s Elegant Hotels portfolio, which is set to get even better this year with a line-up of enhancements. Each hotel in their collection offers a unique vibe and a prime spot along Barbados’s coveted coastline. Plus, you can dine at sister Elegant Hotels’ restaurants and bars through the exclusive Dine Around Programme.


19. Italy


Romantic and historic, Italy is rightly one of our most beloved holiday destinations. Made immortal by classic movies like Roman Holiday and Eat Pray Love, Italy’s charm is undeniable, with millions of tourists coming every year to live la dolce vita among world-renowned art, rich cultural heritage and mouth-watering cuisine. There’s a holiday style for everyone: city hopping by rail, coastal relaxation, driving through the rolling hills of Tuscany or two-centre explorations like Verona and Lake Garda or Sorrento and Ischia.

The islands of the south are favoured destinations for beach holidays, with Sicily in high demand partly due to its appearance in the TV drama The White Lotus. The lesser-known volcanic Aeolian Islands are also attracting those looking for a bit of adventure.

To make our customers' holidays even more special, we’ve curated a range of authentic experiences that add a touch of local flavour. In Florence, spend a memorable morning with a master gelato maker, learning the art of crafting delicious ice cream. Explore Rome's 16th-Century Roman Ghetto after dark with a knowledgeable guide or board a private cruise to admire the glorious villas of Lake Como – you might even spot a celebrity home or two.


18. Australia


Appearing high on many once-in-a-lifetime lists, Australia continues to wow travellers with its vast landscapes and quintessential travel experiences. In 2024, this immense island country is alight with thrilling events, including the Vivid Sydney festival, which lights up the city with spectacular displays in the sky, and the high-energy matches at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Australia's wildlife will certainly serve as a highlight of your trip. Imagine seeing koalas munching on eucalyptus leaves or diving into the Great Barrier Reef to encounter a kaleidoscope of marine life. New for 2024, Australia’s Ultimate Wildlife Safari offers the chance to spot whale sharks in the Ningaloo Reef and meet the adorable quokkas on Rottnest Island.

Whether it’s your first tour of Australia’s landmarks, an epic road trip through the Outback or travelling overland on The Ghan Rail Journey, this is the land where adventure knows no bounds.


17. Antigua


Antigua is one of the best Caribbean islands for beaches – there are 365, one for every day of the year. Our curated portfolio of hotels features intimate retreats where the staff will remember your favourite cocktail, like Keyonna Beach Resort, exclusive to Kuoni travellers in the UK, and upscale resorts like Carlisle Bay, perfect for both couples and families. For an extra-special place to wake up, the Chairman's Overwater Bungalows at Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa are a hit with honeymooners looking for a Caribbean escape with a Maldives twist.

Food-focused travel continues to be a major influence on holiday choices, and Antigua’s culinary scene won't disappoint. Savour fresh seafood at beachside shacks, sip rum at lively beach bars or treat yourself to fine dining – Tripadvisor reviewers rave about The Cove Restaurant at Blue Waters Resort & Spa. For a textbook Antiguan experience, visit Shirley Heights on a Sunday for a sunset barbecue with steel drum bands and panoramic views.

Antigua is gearing up for some exciting events in 2024. The Antigua Carnival, a ten-day celebration of music, dance and jazzy costumes, is a must-see. And don’t miss the atmosphere of Antigua Sailing Week, attracting yachties from around the globe.


16. New Zealand


You may have to literally travel to the other end of the earth to get here, but the land of hobbits, hot springs and heart-stopping scenery is well worth the journey. This alluring country is made for road trips, epicurean adventures and adrenaline-packed fun. Try local fare like fresh seafood in Kaikoura and gourmet cuisine in Wellington or get your heart racing with bungee jumping in Queenstown.

Along with our favourite itineraries like The Best of New Zealand, we’ve added two new themed self-drives: the Landscapes of New Zealand, showcasing the country’s scenic diversity, and New Zealand’s Grape Escape, taking you through the finest vineyards, including Hawkes Bay and the acclaimed Marlborough region, with stays in luxe lodges along the way.

In 2024, New Zealand is gearing up to host the America's Cup in Auckland, bringing a wave of energy and visitors to its shores. The UK’s leading travel media brand, Wanderlust, has cited reasons like the launch of a new scenic rail journey and a new Great Walk, The Hump Ridge Track, as other top reasons to visit in 2024.


15. Tanzania


Tanzania packs a visual punch. Think great lakes, deep craters, vast grasslands and magnificent national parks. And let's not forget the powder-soft white-sand beaches that rival the Maldives. The Great Wildebeest Migration roams the Serengeti from December to March, but you’ll find fantastic wildlife viewing all year round. Treks up Africa’s tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro are also standing atop of travel bucket lists.

Planning a safari can be tricky without expert guidance. Our Taste of Tanzania tour and Classic Tanzania Safari are top picks for small group travel, but many travellers prefer tailor-made adventures for a deeper dive into the wild. Our Tanzania experts are masterful at crafting standout safari experiences. Take it from our Africa expert, Gemma Wilson-Dines, who recently returned from a trip where she stayed in Lemala Hotels. Her favourite was Lemala Nanyuki, a camp with modern twist tents and resident lion prides lounging around the kopjes.

With 2024 marking significant conservation efforts and new luxury lodges opening, Tanzania should be on every safari-lovers radar this year.


14. Malaysia


Malaysia offers an extraordinary mix of cultures and stunning natural beauty. Lounge on pristine beaches, wander through ancient jungles and explore cities that blend colonial charm with modern marvels. In Kuala Lumpur, towering skyscrapers stand beside historical architecture. Visit the Petronas Twin Towers, hunt for bargains in bustling night markets and enjoy culinary experiences from street food to Michelin-starred dining.

Top itineraries for 2024 include our Kuala Lumpur and Borneo Beach adventure. Travellers can explore the bright lights of the capital before unwinding at Gaya Island Resort, where the surrounding waters of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park teem with life, from parrotfish and barracudas to rays and reef sharks. For an unforgettable experience, our three-day Borneo Rainforest trip introduces you to the island's most famous VIPs: the orangutans. Over on the Malay Peninsula, the cooler Cameron Highlands offer a fairytale escape among tea plantations and lush forests.

Malaysia’s commitment to sustainability is also impressive. The new Sustainable Tourism Malaysia platform highlights eco-friendly trips, hotels and community initiatives. Highlights include energy-saving practices at The Datai Langkawi, ethical turtle-watching guidelines and volunteering opportunities at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.


13. Canada


Canada is climbing the ranks as a top destination, thanks in part to the popular BBC One series, Race Across the World. While Niagara Falls and the Rockies continue to dazzle, there’s a new trend towards more untapped adventures. Independent road trips, leisurely slow travel, and scenic train journeys are now the go-to ways to discover Canada’s ever-changing landscapes.

Classic journeys on the Rocky Mountaineer and The Canadian remain favourites, but for those looking for something different, the Skeena Train, featured in our Western Canada by Rail and Sail itinerary, is a wonderful way to see the lesser-visited gems of British Columbia. And for nature enthusiasts, Knight Inlet Lodge is a must-visit. This floating lodge, with its rustic log cabins and adventurous activities, brings opportunities for bear spotting in the remote wilderness. Pairing a Canadian trip with an Alaska cruise is another highly-recommended option.


12. Dubai


Dubai doesn’t do anything by halves – it's a city designed to push boundaries in every direction, from its man-made islands and indoor ski slopes to the world’s tallest building. In 2023, Dubai recorded its highest ever annual tourist arrivals – a whopping 17 million visitors – proving that the fascination with this city of superlatives is stronger than ever.

Dubai is an ideal stopover en route to the Indian Ocean islands and is just a short flight from the UK, perfect for a dose of Arabian winter sun. Where you stay depends on the kind of holiday you want. For opulent beach luxury, Raffles The Palm Dubai is perfect, where you’ll spend days relaxing on teal-striped poolside loungers and nights sipping Singapore Slings under fairy-lit palms.

If city exploring is more your style, Millennium Place Marina offers a prime location among the twinkling lights of Dubai Marina, just a shuttle boat ride from downtown Dubai. And the buzz around the recently opened Atlantis The Royal hasn't faded; it's the only hotel in the UAE to recently make it onto the World’s 50 Best Hotels list.

Reaching Dubai is a breeze with daily flights from many UK airports, and travellers from Scotland will be thrilled that Emirates flights from Edinburgh are set to resume in winter 2024. With the combination of accessibility and iconic travel moments, we expect Dubai bookings to remain strong for 2024.


11. Singapore


The Lion City isn't just ahead of its time with futuristic landmarks like Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay; it's also a key stopover for travellers exploring Asia or venturing further to Australia or New Zealand. It's the best of every holiday rolled into one. You get a city break, beautiful beaches and even a taste of safari life at Singapore Zoo, which in 2024 is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the famous Night Safari experience.

Foodies are in for a treat. With Singapore’s multicultural population, the island nation offers a wide variety of flavours to please every palate. Must-do dining experiences include chop-sticking your way through street food in Chinatown, indulging in Afternoon Tea at Raffles Singapore and dining in a cable car with panoramic city views.

For families seeking a 'soft adventure' beyond the beaches of Europe, Singapore is right on the money. Stay on Sentosa Island, the 'fun' island, packed with attractions like Adventure Cove Waterpark and Universal Studios Singapore. Kids will love meeting Shrek and the adorable Minions in the brand-new Minion Land opening in 2024.


10. USA


The appetite for adventure is in the air for 2024, and we can’t think of a country that offers more diverse experiences than the bold and brilliant US of A. Whether you’re planning a Christmas shopping spree in the Big Apple, diving into the magic of Disney or cruising Route 66 in a convertible, the USA has something for all types of Kuoni travellers.

Astro tourism is one of 2024’s hottest travel trends according to National Geographic, who report that this year could bring the best auroras in 20 years. Even regions that don’t usually see the Northern Lights might catch a glimpse. Top spots for stargazing and meteor watching include Death Valley and Yosemite, both featured on our California’s National Parks Road Trip.

The USA is brimming with events and attractions in 2024. Music lovers can groove to the beats at New Orleans’ Jazz & Heritage Festival. Sports fans can catch the Super Bowl action in San Francisco. And no matter where you are, Independence Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve parties are legendary across the States.

Beach lovers can bask in the sun on Hawaii's Jurassic-like shores, relax on Florida’s pristine beaches or pair the excitement of Las Vegas with a getaway to the Caribbean. Foodies will love the diverse culinary landscape, from Chicago’s deep-dish pizza and Louisiana’s Cajun cuisine to Portland’s farm-to-table dining.


9. India


India is a country that’s changing at a staggering pace. Its vast size means there is always somewhere new to discover, offering magical experiences in each region, from leisurely boat rides through Kerala’s tranquil backwaters to thrilling hikes in the Himalayas. Travel experts at Lonely Planet have taken notice, ranking 'the world's most colourful country' at number 2 on their Best in Travel 2024 list, highlighting new flight routes and revamped rail services as key reasons to visit.

One of India’s biggest draws is the exceptional value it offers. From affordable private tours to a range of accommodations for every budget, your holiday spending will go further. Homestays are becoming particularly popular, giving visitors the chance to connect with locals who’ll share insider tips, whip up tasty regional delicacies and provide a homey atmosphere that’s a tonic from the cookie-cutter hotel chains.

Our curated holiday selection includes everything from small group tours in the famed Golden Triangle and one-of-a-kind experiences to ultra-luxurious stays in Oberoi hotels. We’ve also introduced a Northern India highlights trip, Exploring India’s Intriguing North, and a Tale of Two Cities and the Andaman Islands, an itinerary that takes you well beyond the usual tourist spots.


8. Kenya


Kenya, the birthplace of the safari, is where your wildest travel dreams come true. It’s a country where you can soar over golden savannahs in a hot air balloon, fall asleep to a chorus of nocturnal wildlife outside your canvas walls and join Maasai warriors on a bush walk, learning about medicinal plants and survival techniques passed down through generations.

The Maasai Mara is Kenya's crown jewel when it comes to safari experiences. We’ve always championed Governors’ Camp, the first permanent tented camp in the Mara, once an exclusive retreat for Kenya’s colonial governors. For a more relaxed, conservation-focused experience, the Laikipia Plateau is ideal. Here, you can enjoy exclusive game drives to spot rarer wildlife, track lions with rangers and spend time with the Mugie House anti-poaching unit. Our Governor’s Grand Safari includes stays in both the Maasai Mara and Laikipia, as well as a few nights relaxing on the shores of Lake Naivasha.

While the wildlife is Kenya's main draw, there's so much more to discover. Pair thrilling animal encounters with snorkelling in coral reefs and relaxing on the pristine white sands of the Indian Ocean. Mombasa and Diani Beach are classic choices but for a quieter alternative, consider Lamu. Our Laikipia Fly-in Safari and Lamu itinerary offers a serene twist on the traditional Maasai Mara and Mombasa itinerary.

The Kenya Tourism Board has big plans for 2024, aiming to become Africa’s most visited destination. They’ve launched signature experiences to showcase the country’s rich culture, heritage and adventure opportunities beyond the Big Five game drives. Highlights include whale watching from Hemingways Watamu, starry nights on the Loisaba Starbeds and the Go Granny Go cultural tour, where you’ll meet inspiring grandmas who’ve turned pig farming on Nairobi's outskirts into thriving businesses.


7. Indonesia


It’s no wonder the 'Best time to Visit Bali’ is one of our most visited web pages. The Island of Gods is a regular cover star on travel magazines, and its tiered rice terraces, jungle swings and clifftop temples are Instagram wanderlust staples. If you're drawn to the boho beach vibe, Southern Bali is a hotspot – think buzzing beach clubs, salty-haired surfers riding the waves and private pool hideaways like The Royal Santrian, Luxury Beach Villas.

Inland, amid the lush rice terraces and dramatic valleys, beautiful Ubud has an atmosphere all of its own. For a true taste of Bali, we recommend combining the gorgeous beaches and the cultural heart on a twin-centre trip. Offshore, neighbouring Lombok and the tiny Gilis offer a blissful, less-developed beach escape and can easily be added to your itinerary.

Bali knows how to honeymoon, and Tripadvisor travellers vouch for this. Bali, with good reason, comes in at number one on the Travellers’ Choice Awards ‘Best of the Best Honeymoon Destinations’. With romantic experiences aplenty like petal-filled baths, pampering couples’ massages in outstanding spas and candlelit dinners by jaw-dropping infinity pools, it's clear why. Viceroy Bali is case and point.

But there's so much more beyond the luxe resorts. Spend a day with bold-as-brass monkeys in Ubud’s Monkey Forest, catch a surreal sunrise from Mount Agung or dive into the dazzling marine life of the Gili Islands, known as the turtle capital of the world. And for the ultimate voyage, set sail with Seatrek Sailing Adventures, where you’ll explore the ocean in search of whale sharks, Komodo dragons and wild beaches.


6. South Africa


From spotting the Big Five in Kruger National Park to indulging in excellent cuisine in the Winelands and watching whales in Hermanus, South Africa’s varied travel experiences keep our customers coming back for more. While newcomers often opt for road trips along the Garden Route and exploring Cape Town, repeat visitors are delving deeper into the country's hidden treasures. To cater to this curiosity, we’ve crafted a new itinerary focusing on KwaZulu-Natal, an area rich in history with its battlefields, sweeping mountain scenery and vibrant Zulu culture.

With no worries about jetlag and malaria-free game reserves, South Africa is also becoming a favourite for families. Our new family-friendly itinerary, perfect for the UK school summer holidays, combines penguin-spotting in Cape Town with thrilling safaris in Madikwe Game Reserve, where kids can enjoy their very own game drives.


5. Vietnam


The rich history and flavour-packed cuisine are just two reasons why Vietnam lands at number five on our list. But there's more to this dynamic country than meets the eye. With wellness tourism booming, growing 27% faster than overall tourism rates according to The Global Wellness Institute, Vietnam is attracting more and more travellers seeking a deeper sense of wellbeing. Given that Asia is the birthplace of many wellness practices we cherish today, Vietnam is naturally embracing this trend, with wellness retreats popping up across the country.

Take Tia Wellness Resort in Danang, for example – Asia’s first spa-inclusive resort. Here, you’ll enjoy two complimentary treatments each day, plus a variety of masterclasses including yoga flow and T’ai Chi. This is just one stop on our Vietnam Wellness multi-centre, a three-stop journey that combines exploration with serious pampering.

Vietnam has never been a stay-in-one-place kind of destination, but responding to the demand for more immersive experiences, we've added new adventures to our portfolio. Discover the rolling hills and culture of Sapa, take to the tracks on The Vietage, a brand new rail carriage from Hoi An to Quy Nhon, or sail along the Mekong Delta on the Mekong Eyes River Cruise. You can extend your holiday to include Thailand or embark on a grand loop around Incredible Indochina.


4. Mauritius


In a time where the cost of living continues to rise, Mauritius stands out for value, making it a top pick for 2024. This Indian Ocean idyll has long been a hit with Kuoni travellers, offering big adventures on a small island and earning the title of 'The Indian Ocean’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination' at the 2023 World Travel Awards.

Celebrated beachfront hotels like Shangri-La Le Touessrok Mauritius and The Oberoi Beach Resort Mauritius deliver the ultimate in luxury, while newcomers like LUX* Grand Baie bring a fresh, fun vibe with their modern designs. Attitude Resorts are all about sustainability, mixing authentic experiences with earth-conscious efforts.

We've noticed a growing interest in more meaningful experiences beyond the standard fly-and-flop getaway. One popular option is to combine a beach holiday with a soulful mountain escape at Lakaz Chamarel Exclusive Lodge. Additionally, conservation tours such as our Plant a Love Tree initiative and the Mauritian Wildlife Experience, supported by the Der Touristik Foundation, offer the chance to make trips even more rewarding.


3. Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka continues its reign as one of Kuoni’s most popular and experience-rich destinations, offering an intoxicating blend of wildlife, history and delicious cuisine, alongside the warmest of welcomes from its locals. Despite recent challenges, it is swiftly reclaiming its status as a top travel choice. With tourist arrivals surpassing one million in 2023, 2024 is shaping up to be an exciting year.

Haritha Villas + Spa, perfect for wellness enthusiasts and Hide Ella Hotel & Resort, perched on a 60-degree slope with breathtaking mountain views.

Sri Lanka’s tourist board is going all out to elevate visitor experiences in 2024. Prioritising sustainable growth, they've introduced attractions like the Pekoe Trail – a new long-distance hiking route that stretches from the Hanthana Mountains to the hill stations of Nuwara Eliya – signalling exciting changes on the horizon.


2. Thailand


Thailand is making a strong comeback with a notable rise in bookings for 2024. A holiday here offers astounding value, with a favourable exchange rate stretching your budget further. And the announcement that British Airways is relaunching its direct service to Bangkok from London Gatwick is a clear sign of tourist demand.

While much-lauded spots like Bangkok and Phuket remain popular, there’s increasing interest in offbeat adventures. This year, we've added a range of short tours to enhance the classic Bangkok and beach experience: discover hidden gems in Central Thailand, explore the Golden Triangle or cycle through the ruins of historic Ayutthaya.

For those who prefer a quieter beach escape, bohemian Koh Jum is a splendid choice. New to our lineup, this tiny island is home to Koh Jum Beach Villas, Thailand’s first Travelife Gold property. It’s a shining example of Thailand’s progress in sustainability, offering farm-to-table dining and eco-friendly practices like recycling and solar energy.


1. Maldives


Who would say no to the Maldives? This unrivalled tropical haven is constantly evolving, setting the pace in travel trends, and it’s no surprise it's our most booked destination. Social media has amplified its appeal, with influencers flocking to capture the Instagrammable beaches, floating breakfasts in dreamy water villa pools and mesmerising sights like the luminescent Sea of Stars – a phenomenon that alone has garnered 140 million posts.

The accolades speak for themselves. The Maldives consistently tops 'World’s Best' lists, dominating the World Travel Awards year after year, including holding the title of 'The World’s Leading Destination' for the past four years. From its humble beginnings as a collection of islands with beach shacks, the Maldives now has over 200 showstopping resorts catering to every type of traveller.

For those seeking the classic Maldives experience, Makunudu Island delivers back-to-basics Robinson Crusoe vibes. Meanwhile, Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives offers a quirky take on island life with Rockstar Villas, novelty beach bubbles and superhero-style water sports like the X-Jet Blade.

The Maldives is also now well-established as a go-to family destination. Resorts like The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives are stepping up with family-friendly experiences, including a new ultimate summer camp featuring activities from Little Yogis classes to sushi-making sessions. And Kuramathi Maldives’ spacious Two Bedroom Beach Villas are a favourite among families.

Beyond the glamour, the Maldives is leading the way in sustainable tourism – a travel trend that’s here to stay. Many resorts are now plastic-free and guests can get involved with coral planting and beach clean-ups. Constance Moofushi Maldives and Constance Halaveli Maldives proudly hold the prestigious Green Globe Certification, setting a benchmark for sustainability.


Inspired?


Ready to plan an unforgettable holiday for 2024? Download our brochures for more inspiration or chat with our travel experts for personalised advice.

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The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Feature by Heather Flanagan.

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