Discover my picks for where to travel in 2024 with this curated list of this year’s top travel destinations. From serene beaches to bustling cities, this guide highlights the most sought-after locations across the globe. Whether you’re planning a solo adventure, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation, I’ve got you covered with insider knowledge, must-see attractions, and off-the-beaten-track spots. Explore the best of 2024’s travel scene, complete with cultural experiences, culinary delights, breathtaking scenery, and the top hotels.
Keep reading to find the perfect destination for your next unforgettable trip!
Mexico will always be among my most recommended destinations, and Oaxaca is one of my very favorite cities there. It has everything: a UNESCO-listed colonial city center, some of the best food in Mexico, incredible crafts, local culture and mezcal in the surrounding villages, ancient ruins, and beautiful nature just outside the city. You can even extend your time and combine with some beach time near Puerto Escondido, where some areas are touted as “how Tulum was 30 years ago.”
And in case you missed it, I’m arranging a hosted trip to Oaxaca in May! Details coming VERY soon – get on the waitlist to be the first to find out when I open it up for booking!
San Sebastian, Spain
Despite its turn-of-the-century looks, this city in Spain’s Basque Country never gets old. Of course it’s most famous for its food, and rightly so—one of my favorite things about it is the delicious trickle-down effect from the Michelin-star restaurants all the way to the pintxos (tapas) bars. But what I also love about San Sebastian is that it makes a great base for exploring the Basque Country. Whether you want to visit the Guggenheim in Bilbao, tour Rioja wineries, check out Pamplona or see how Basque culture plays out in Bayonne and Biarritz (in France), everything is within about an hour’s drive.
Aaaaaand, because the Basque Country is my old tour-guiding stomping grounds, I’m going to be putting together another hosted trip to San Sebastian for the fall! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, get on the waitlist here to be alerted with updates!
Yes, it’s far away. And yes, it kind of feels like California sometimes (is that a bad thing??). But it’s also so much more, and the trip is SO worth it. After visiting in 2016, I was ready to move there, distance be damned!
Other than the flight, the barrier of entry is low, since it’s a friendly, English-speaking country. But the scenery and wildlife feel totally exotic. I’m most excited about the reopening of Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, which is an incredible place to see wildlife like koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, sea lions, and much more. The lodge, one of my favorite hotels ever, sadly burned down in the 2019 wildfires but reopened in December 2023 after a faithful rebuild—with a few improvements.
Other favorites like Silky Oaks Lodge, in the ancient Daintree Rainforest, and Lizard Island, in the Great Barrier Reef, have also undergone major renos and refubs within the last few years, and there’s a new Capella hotel in Sydney as well, making this a great time to visit down under.
While I think we’ve moved past post-covid “revenge travel,” bucket-list trips are still very much a thing, and Japan is on many people’s lists. If you’ve been considering a trip, why not go in 2024? It’s an incredible country that offers something for everyone—I’ve arranged dozens of trips there over the years and it works just as well for honeymooners and multi-generational families as it does for foodies, hikers and spirituality seekers. I particularly love how you can find both reverential tradition and hyper-modernity, often side-by-side.
Tokyo and Kyoto form the backbone of most people’s trips, but the northern island of Hokkaido has been getting a lot of attention in the last couple of years as new hotels have been opening in Niseko, one of the country’s top ski resorts. If skiing isn’t your thing, other destinations to consider include the contemporary art island of Naoshima, off-the-beaten-track Nikko, or even the Hawaii-like beaches of Okinawa.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to put together an incredible Japan tour, or if you don’t know where to start, book a call with me—it’s one of my destination specialties and I would be happy to help!
Another perennial favorite, but this is going to be a big year for the City of Light as it hosts the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Even I, a non-sports watcher, might tune in to see breakdancing and BMX biking on the Place de la Concorde, beach volleyball at the base of the Eiffel Tower, and swimming in the Seine. Act quickly if you want to attend the Games—I usually recommend starting with booking event tickets directly and then working with someone (like me!) to arrange the rest of your trip around that.
And if you’d rather avoid the Games altogether, fear not: the city will be putting its best foot forward all year, with marquee art exhibitions like a Mark Rothko retrospective at the Fondation Luis Vuitton, hotel openings like Hôtel Dame des Arts, Grand Mazarin and La Fantaisie, and brand-new niche museums including La Galerie Dior and Fragonard Musée du Parfum.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
I’ve been wanting to get back to Santa Fe for years, and 2024 may be the year I finally do it. I’m so attracted by the history, the food and art scenes, and the surrounding nature. This year, Santa Fe is spotlighting Indigenous culture, with events like the Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week in May and Indigenous Art Fair Contemporary in August, and the new FaraHNHeight gallery, which showcases Native American artworks. Other items on my ideal itinerary include the International Folk Art Market in July, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the farmer’s market, and excursions to see UNESCO-listed Taos Pueblo and the bleached landscapes of Bandelier National Monument. And after seeing Oppenheimer last summer, an excursion to Los Alamos might just have to be on the itinerary as well.
This verdant Himalayan kingdom has been on my list for a long time, as much for its incredible scenery and nature as for its traditional Buddhist culture, and a spate of new luxury hotel openings in recent years only adds to the allure. But for many, there’s even more exciting news: in September 2023, the country cut its daily tourist fee in half to $100 per day. Bhutan has long limited tourism by imposing a daily tourist fee, preferring a smaller number of “high-quality” (higher-spending) visitors to hoards of backpackers and big-bus tours. This sounds harsh to some, but the country measures its Gross National Happiness instead of its Gross National Product, so they must be doing something right. The newly reduced fee is high enough to keep mass tourism at bay—and support Bhutan’s sustainable development efforts, which is where the money goes—but low enough to make the country more accessible to many. I’m all for it.
Egypt has been on my personal bucket list for about as long as I can remember—what kid hasn’t had an Egyptology phase? The much-anticipated opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum is set for late spring 2024, and if/when it happens (it’s been slated and postponed and re-slated for years), it will be a big deal. This is on the heels of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, which opened in 2021 to much fanfare: you may have seen the procession of royal mummies that now reside there on CNN.
For anyone planning a trip, I recommend plenty of time in Cairo to see the historic neighborhoods, the souks, the incredible museums, and of course the pyramids at Giza, followed by a relaxing 4-5 night Nile River cruise on a luxury dahabiya (a traditional sailboat)—dreamy.
I just arranged a Guatemala trip for some clients (who are traveling as we speak) and after working on it, I am READY TO GO. My perfect itinerary would include using Francis Ford Coppola’s hotel La Lancha as a base for visiting the Tikal ruins, several days eating and shopping in charming Antigua, in-depth culture and craft touring as well as some downtime at Lake Atitlán, and excursions to the Chichicastenango market and the colonial town of Quetzaltenango. There are some great hotel options throughout the country, as well—including the aforementioned La Lancha and some newish Relais & Chateaux properties in Antigua and at Lake Atitlán—all for far less than anywhere similar in neighboring Mexico.