Unlocking 2024’s Best Destinations: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

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January can feel like a long month – especially after time off over Christmas. If you’re already dreaming of your next trip, we’re happy to share some insights that might help, courtesy of American Express. By analysing global cardmember bookings over the last five years, Amex has identified trending destinations for 2024. This list covers travel hotspots across all seasons, offering something for everyone. Let’s dive into the top picks for this year.

Udaipur, India

Known as the ‘City of Lakes,’ Udaipur in India is, as its nickname suggests, surrounded by lakes. Avoid the crowded boat rides on Lake Pichola and instead opt for a serene sunrise paddle. This will give you a unique perspective of the city’s beauty. The City Palace is also a must-visit. Delve deeper into its architectural marvels by exploring hidden courtyards and intricate mosaics. Immerse yourself in Udaipur’s local markets full of incredible Indian cuisine and handmade souvenirs.

Bodrum, Turkey (Türkiye)

Bodrum on the Turkish Aegean coast is the perfect blend of history and coastal charm. Bodrum Town is a must-visit, home to the likes of the Mausoleum of of Halicarnassus and the Bodrum Castle. If time permits, visit other neighbourhoods like Yalikavak, known for its relaxed beach vibe. You’ll find lots of local eateries tucked away in these areas. There’s also some great street art, adding modernity to the city’s historical backdrop. The Aegean’s azure waters are a haven for sun-seekers. Consider trying your hand at sailing or embark on a boat trip in search of secluded coves.

Adelaide Hills, Australia

The Adelaide Hills in South Australia extend past vineyards and conventional wine routes. Take a hot air balloon ride for an incredible panoramic view of the region. Look beyond the popular Mount Lofty Botanic Garden to explore the native bushland. Here, you’ll find hiking trails less frequented by tourists. Don’t miss the local farmers’ markets, where you can sample fresh produce unique to the region. Try the famous ‘Pie Floater’, a meat pie served in a bowl of thick pea soup and topped with tomato sauce.

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Try the famous ‘Pie Floater’, a meat pie served in a bowl of thick pea soup and topped with tomato sauce.

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Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt’s appeal extends past skiing and hiking. Explore lesser-known trails for uninterrupted views of the area. That way, you can savour its alpine beauty away from the crowds. Treat yourself to some Swiss chocolate in one of the many charming boutique shops. Or, even better, join a local workshop to craft your own delicious Swiss confections. For a taste of local culture, attend a traditional folk music performance. You can also take a cable car to the Gornergrat for a sunrise or sunset panorama of the iconic Matterhorn.

Cervo, Italy

Nestled along the Italian Riviera, Cervo’s charm lies in its simplicity. Discover secluded coves accessible by boat or a short hike. Here, you’ll find breathtaking marine grottos and hidden caves. Also highly recommended are the town’s historic churches. These include the Church of St. John the Baptist, adorned with Baroque frescoes. The Church of St. Peter, a Romanesque gem, is also a must-see. To experience Cervo’s rich culture, join a local event like the Cervo Chamber Music Festival. For local hidden gems, walk down its narrow cobblestone streets. Expect to find family-run trattorias serving traditional Ligurian dishes and artisan workshops specialising in handmade ceramics.

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Seychelles

Seychelles is a romantic honeymoon destination filled with luxury resorts – but it’s also a biodiversity hotspot. Here, you’ll find over 1,000 species of fish and 300 different coral types. For a unique way to experience its snorkelling and diving opportunities, join local conservation efforts. These aim to preserve the delicate marine ecosystem. Venture inland to discover unique flora and fauna in the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. It’s also home to the iconic coco de mer palm. Sustainable tourism initiatives focus on protecting the environment. Efforts include reducing single-use plastics and promoting eco accommodations.

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Venture inland to discover unique flora and fauna in the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve.

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San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

San Miguel De Allende boasts a vibrant arts scene. Here, galleries showcase both traditional and contemporary Mexican art. These include Fabrica La Aurora, Skot Foreman Fine Art, and Casa Michoacana Gallery. Don’t leave without checking out the city’s annual festivals, including Dia de los Locos parade. San Miguel De Allende is also known for its culinary delights. Its many restaurants are a fusion of traditional Mexican flavours and international influences.

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts & Nevis offers more than sunbathing on beautiful beaches. Among the islands’ highlights are the opportunities for hiking. Trek through lush rainforests full of hidden waterfalls and diverse wildlife. Keep a lookout for green vervet monkeys, known for their grey-brown bodies and black faces, fringed with white fur. Delve into the islands’ history by exploring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a well-preserved colonial-era military complex.

Niseko, Japan

Niseko may be best known for its skiing and snowboarding – but there’s much more to the town than that. If you’re visiting during winter and want to try something different, give snowmobiling a go. Niseko’s hot springs, known as onsens, are also a delight year-round, providing a relaxing soak with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and forests. Among the best is Niseko Onsenkyo Ikoino Yuyado Iroha, at the base of Niseko Annuprui Ski Resort.

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