back icon Back Insights 02/21/2024

Travelers Will be Considering These 3 Factors When Booking a Trip in 2024

2024 is slated to be a huge year for travel. As per a Forbes Advisor survey of 1,000 Americans, nine in 10 plan to travel at least as much in 2024 as they did the year prior — and another 40% plan to travel even more in 2024 than they have in years past. Despite rising prices across transportation, travel accommodations, and dining, more Americans are planning to book a trip than ever before.

So, what’s the travel outlook for Americans booking a trip in 2024? Will adventure, relaxation, or wellness take the top spot for desired activities? Here’s a look at the top three factors American travelers will consider when booking a trip this year.

Travelers are Looking for Experiential Travel When Booking a Trip

What factors would people consider when preparing a trip? The team at arrivia recently surveyed 2,200 consumers for our 2024 Travel Trends Report, who revealed that price and value for money are their top considerations when booking a trip. While 73% of consumers identify value as their biggest priority, another 42% agree that price has become more critical in recent months. 

To achieve the value for money consumers seek, experiential travel is on the rise — in fact, the number of travel programs offering experiential rewards jumped from 61% to 78% in just one year. Travel booking decisions are increasingly driven by access to unique experiences, cultural tours, and local activities that enable travelers to experience new things, especially regional cuisines.

The preference for experiential travel can explain why half of travelers book a trip around specific restaurants and dishes, with seasonal considerations for fresh flavors and rotating menus. Today’s travelers are searching for culturally authentic experiences, from their travel accommodations and desired dining experiences right down to their chosen transportation options. 

Using Social Media Inspiration When Booking a Trip

So, what factors influence people to travel? While value for money might be the most significant consideration when booking a trip, social media has become integral to the itinerary planning process. More than one-third of travelers turn to social media for travel inspiration, and another 75% of travelers will book a trip to a new destination after seeing posts from a friend. 

Reviews and recommendations from friends and family on social media are now essential for giving travelers confidence that they’re getting the best value for their money, which is the second biggest frustration when booking a trip. These genuine, relatable reviews from peers touch on everything from local safety measures to preferred travel accommodations to help simplify travel planning. 

Beyond friends and family, a whopping 84% of travelers also consult travel influencers for inspiration when booking a trip. Travel rewards providers and hospitality-adjacent businesses can capitalize on this trend by leveraging influencer marketing and creating easily shareable content across popular platforms, like Instagram and TikTok, to become more discoverable on social media.

People practicing wellness meditation on a beach at sunrise during experiential travel.

People are Looking for Wellness Destinations When Booking a Trip in 2024

Between trip budgeting and itinerary planning, the average traveler has a lot to consider when booking a trip. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that after the mental gymnastics required to book a trip, travelers just want to relax. Recent years have seen mental and physical wellbeing becoming a vital segment of the travel market, which will manifest in the following 2024 travel trends

Slow Travel

Slow travel is a relatively new tourism trend that encourages travelers to reject busy days full of sightseeing around conventional locations and be more open to unique, immersive experiences instead. Rather than committing to a jam-packed schedule, slow travel is about stopping to engage with local culture. To embrace this trend, a majority of travelers have begun booking a trip without set plans, and another 69% have chosen “loose” itineraries to allow for booking flexibility in their itinerary planning. 

Wellness Retreats

Wellness retreats refer to vacations that allow travelers to focus on their emotional, mental, and physical health through fitness and meditation routines, spa therapies, and healthy eating. These destination selections are typically oriented in outdoor spaces with a sense of seclusion that eliminates distractions while travelers work on their inner and outer selves. One in five travelers is interested in health retreats, while another 48% are interested in tantra retreats geared toward romantic partners. 

Sleep Retreats

A sleep retreat, also called a sleep vacation, is a journey travelers take to achieve deep, restorative sleep. Aside from actively resting, a sleep retreat focuses on learning how to build healthier sleep habits from expert counselors and medical professionals. While sleep vacations are a relatively new phenomenon, you can now find restful options worldwide when planning itineraries. As per a recent traveler survey, 58% of travelers express interest in a sleep retreat when booking a trip. 

Using arrivia to Address These Booking Factors in 2024

So, what is the travel industry prediction for 2024? Travel rewards providers and tourism and hospitality-adjacent businesses will be booked and busy throughout the year. With a renewed focus on social media to brainstorm experiential travel across wellness retreats, sleep vacations, and flexible itineraries, now is the time to ramp up your destination selection through arrivia

As the world’s largest stand-alone travel loyalty provider, arrivia’s white label travel portal and booking technology can expand your loyalty and rewards program with more than 150,000+ unique experiences around the world, 5,500 exclusive hosted tours, and 11 tour providers that allow your customers to access authentic experiential travel.

Learn more about arrivia today.