Which Travel Trends Should Disappear in 2024?

A new year means a fresh start, we're hoping.

Alexander Spatari/Moment/Getty Images
Alexander Spatari/Moment/Getty Images
Alexander Spatari/Moment/Getty Images

We’re fast approaching the end of the year, which usually means one of many things: It’s time to look back, contemplate the 12 months behind us, and reflect on what we think we did well and what, instead, we could improve upon moving forward.

Of course, us being us, we put travel trends on the scale, and we’ve identified the ones we are hoping to oh-so-happily leave behind once the calendar flips to January. While there are many we hope stay in the game in 2024 (we all love scouting social media hacks for cheap flights, don’t we?), these are the ones we have had our fill on this year. Here are our highlights:

Say goodbye to ‘European Summer’

Don’t get me wrong-I’m European myself, and even I have had enough. But it’s not like we’re over traveling to Europe, mind you! We are, however, over idealizing European travel and making it something it isn’t.

On TikTok, mood boards and carousel posts displaying what one must pack for a Europe-bound trip were everywhere last year, and idyllic scenes of slow living in Italy were crowding everyone’s For You page. But the reality, as Thrillist previously reported, is that most Americans were, in fact, not traveling to Europe this year. In many ways, European summer was just a superficial social media phenomenon aimed at convincing travelers that, if you do travel to the other side of the world, you just must blend in, lest you are easily identifiable as a tourist.

In 2024, we’re switching up the energy. Be yourself, get inspired by the country or destination you’re heading to, but do not be afraid of showing your own personal colors! The world is cool because cultures are different, and it can be stimulating to put them in conversation instead of tuning one down in favor of another one.

Let’s just stop ruining sites, shall we?

With the travel industry in full swing after the peak of the pandemic in the last couple of years, overtourism was, sadly, all the buzz in 2023. Dubrovnik in Croatia was crowned the most overcrowded spot in Europe, and some places, including Iriomote in Japan, had to introduce a tourist cap to curb the affluence of visitors. Athens’ Acropolis decided to add time slots to its daily visits to alleviate the issue.

The reason is simple: overtourism often leads to problems that are much larger than the crowds of people showing up to a site. In 2017, the World Travel & Tourism Council partnered with McKinsey and identified the effects that overtourism has on communities. According to the results, the presence of too many people leads to five main issues for those sites and cities, including alienated local residents, degraded tourist experience, overloaded infrastructure, damage to nature, and threats to culture and heritage.

In sum, not only the experience, but the place itself gets “ruined.” In 2024, we want to try and do what we can to avoid the issue-keep traveling, but do so mindfully! And, when you can, try to opt for lesser known destinations and sites. In addition to avoiding contributing to overtourism, you’d also be boosting the local economy of the less-visited (yet still gorgeous!) destinations.

Social media doesn’t know best

We won’t deny it-social media and, more specifically, TikTok and Reddit have given the travel community many valuable tips and hacks to make our travel experience much smoother. We learned how to pack better and how to clean our hotel room more effectively, and we even learned (or were reminded) that we should probably avoid drinking coffee on airplanes.

But in 2024, we should learn to take what we see on social media with a grain of salt. Sometimes, though marketed as “the best travel hack,” social media travel trends are really just engagement bait you should avoid. When you travel, safety should be your top priority, and it’s probably best you avoid certain “hacks” in order to save a couple of bucks. Remember that viral TikTok saying you should save Airbnb hosts’ phone numbers and book outside of the platform to avoid incurring in Airbnb fees? Yeah, maybe don’t do that-if you do, your safety (and your trip!) is not guaranteed in any way.

Remember, in travel as in life: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

A final warning and one last (positive!) wish

We’re not going to say we’re officially putting one of the most publicized travel hacks of 2023-skiplagging-behind us, but you know… The practice can be iffy! And sometimes, you pay the price for it-like getting banned for life from the airline in question. If you want to still try it, go right ahead-but at the very least, make sure you know the specific risks before you jump into it (since, technically, it’s completely legal).

And as per our last wish, we would like to manifest that Airport Dads never go out of style. We’re not over those hyper-organized, travel party-leading folks-and we never will. Airport Dads for 2024 (and forever)!

Looking for more travel tips?

Whether you need help sneaking weed onto a plane, finding an airport where you can sign up for PreCheck without an appointment, or making sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to when your flight is canceled, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for up-to-date travel hacks and all the travel news you need to help you plan your next big adventure.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTikTokTwitterFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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