Figuring out where your vacation will take you next isn’t always a straightforward process. For many of us, digging into a destination by visiting it multiple times is the most enthralling thing ever. Others, however, want each trip to take them somewhere totally new—and that often means visiting places before they become too popular among other travelers. If you’re that type of traveler, keep reading, because we’re revealing emerging destinations that might help you decide where to travel next.
Some of these places are totally new destinations for us, while others are simply underrated places that are on the rise. So, as you think about where to travel in 2024 and beyond, put these seven must-visit places on your wish list. They might not yet be as popular as classic bucket-list hotspots, but it’s only a matter of time before they become the “it” travel destinations. Wouldn’t it be nice to say you got to experience these trending tours before everyone else?
1. Greece’s Dodecanese Islands: Kos & Rhodes
Greece—full of world wonders and idyllic, coastal destinations—has always been one of the world’s top vacation spots. But if you’ve done Mykonos and Santorini, it’s time to add the Dodecanese Islands of Kos and Rhodes to your where-to-travel-next plans. The Dodecanese is a group of stunning, historic islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea near Turkey. And as such, islands like Kos and Rhodes are travel destinations that boast layers of culture from various eras of history. Both islands are known for a medley of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine heritage.
For your next trip to Greece, check out our brand-new, 11-day The Greek Dodecanese Islands: Kos & Rhodes tour. This spellbinding adventure includes a couple of days touring Athens before you’re whisked away to these two underrated island destinations. From there, it will be six nights of exploring the unbelievable treasures that are hiding in plain sight. On Kos, you’ll get to learn about local honey production—one of the island’s most famous exports—at a family-owned bee-keeping facility. And on the island of Rhodes, you’ll get to tour the site of the Colossus of Rhodes, a bronze and iron statue that was said to have been the same size as the Statue of Liberty. On this trending tour, all of this, plus some of the Mediterranean’s most stunning beaches, awaits.
2. South Korea
Judging by the way K-Beauty and K-Pop seem to be ruling the world, it should come as no surprise that stunning and innovative South Korea is among one of the world’s favorite new places to travel. But it’s not just because of trendy, pop culture moments. South Korea is chock-full of stunning landscapes, buzzing cities, fascinating history, and, of course, unforgettably delicious cuisine. If you haven’t thought of a trip to South Korea yet, 2024 is the perfect time to plan a vacation to this emerging destination.
Our new, 15-day South Korea & Japan: Seoul to Tokyo tour spends six nights exploring the intoxicating combo of history and modernism that has made South Korea one of the world’s must-visit places. You’ll get to spend time in Seoul, Busan, and Gyeongju—a destination known for its jaw-dropping collection of archaeological and UNESCO World Heritage sites. But the time spent in Seoul might be our favorite part of this two-week tour. You’ll get to sample local street food, shop in the city’s oldest traditional market, and learn all about the history of the hanbok, time-honored Korean attire that dates back thousands of years.
3. Spain’s Balearic Islands: Menorca and Mallorca
As a travel destination, Spain is bursting with so much culture and history that you could easily spend your whole life exploring there and still find more reasons to return. If you’re eager for a Spain trip that ventures a bit off the beaten track, you’ll want to book a trip to the Balearic Islands of Menorca and Mallorca. Trending tours to these emerging destinations are becoming more sought-after thanks to the islands’ unique mix of history, culture, beach, and wine. They’re among Spain’s most stunning islands you need to visit now.
On our 10-day Spain’s Balearic Islands: Menorca & Mallorca tour you’ll discover why they’re high on everyone’s list of where to travel next. Each offers a unique take on Spanish island life (think: time spent by the water punctuated with fresh, flavorful meals and even better company). Menorca’s a little sleepier, while Mallorca’s bigger-island thrills have made it the Mediterranean’s latest travel darling. Menorca might be the smaller of the two, but it still packs a cultural punch. Imagine bright, warm days spent relaxing by unspoiled, pine-fringed coastlines, followed by guided tours of the remains of the Talayotic culture, which dates to the second millennium B.C. The Talayotic people left behind countless mysterious, stone structures, from tombs to slab-like ceremonial monuments.
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If you haven’t seen the great ruins of Angkor Wat, what are you waiting for? Cambodia—a country that struggled with war and strife until the 1970s—is new to many international tourists, but since emerging from those difficult times, the country has worked hard to establish itself as a dynamic travel destination. Home to the great temple complex of Angkor Wat, Cambodia offers unique cultural experiences that aim to educate and inspire.
The three nights you’ll spend in Cambodia during our immersive, 22-day Grand Tour of Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand will showcase all that this country has to offer. For example, did you know that Angkor Wat, located in the historic city of Siem Reap, is the largest religious structure in the world? You’ll learn about this heritage site’s immense history when you visit it for sunrise—truly one of the most spectacular travel experiences you can dream of. But some travelers prefer the ruins of Ta Prohm, where tree roots and branches have grown over and around some of these nearly 1,000-year-old buildings. It’s a magnificent sight to behold. See it for yourself on your trip to Cambodia, then you can pick your favorite monument from this trending tour.
5. Costa Rica
If you’re a nature lover looking for new places to travel, a trip to Costa Rica needs to be high on your list. Here, the pura vida lifestyle means having the utmost respect for the country’s rich biodiversity. You can find almost every type of ecosystem here that allows for a wonderful variety of scenery and wildlife. Volcanoes, coastlines for incredible surfing, coffee plantations, and wild jungles are just some of the natural landscapes you might expect to see on your Costa Rican vacation. But if you really want something unique for where to travel next, you have to experience the cloud forest of Monteverde. (This is especially true if you love birds.) From toucans to hummingbirds, nearly 400 avian species call the cloud forest home, and one of them is particularly rare: quetzals. These colorful, shy, and elusive birds were considered divine by the Aztecs, and they’re not easy to spot. But, who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky on this trending tour.
A Grand Tour might just be the best way to get the most out of an emerging destination, because you’re guaranteed to hit all the must-see places on one immersive vacation. That’s exactly what you’ll get on our 15-day Grand Tour of Costa Rica: From the Caribbean to the Pacific. Visiting the country of pura vida? Get all your questions answered with our Costa Rica Travel Guide.
6. Southern Thailand
Thanks to its dynamic energy, rich history, and impressive culinary heritage, Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, has long been one of our top vacation spots. But the country’s pristine, picturesque southern region, including its gorgeous islands, is the underrated destination you must add to your where-to-travel-next list. Our trending tours to Phuket and Krabi showcase the dreamy seaside experiences that you can have on Thailand’s most sought-after islands, where relaxation meets picture-perfect, natural beauty.
If you’re ready for a trip to Thailand that combines big-city energy with island hopping, then you’ll want to book our brand-new, 12-day Highlights of Southern Thailand: Bangkok, Phuket & Krabi tour. It starts in Bangkok, where you’ll have two days to explore bustling markets and colorful temples. Then, it’s off to the south, where you’ll get to luxuriate on the warm beaches of Phuket and Krabi. But the gem of this trip is really the stop in Khao Sok, home to an under-the-radar national park—and the oldest evergreen forest in the world. The bucket-list highlight of the itinerary, however, is getting to cruise Cheow Lan Lake aboard a traditional long boat. Marvel at the staggering limestone mountains, floating raft houses, and the dense jungle as you float along.
India is truly one of those top travel spots where inspiration meets destination. It doesn’t matter what year we’re in: For us, India—a country rich with so much history and culture—will always remain one of our must-see places. Home to glistening temples, inspiring nature, and fragrant, flavorful cuisine, India must be seen to be believed. If it’s not already on your where-to-travel-next list, believe us when we say that a memorable India tour absolutely deserves a spot.
Our 11-day India: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur tour offers a fantastic introduction to this diverse country. Of course, you’ll see the Taj Mahal in Agra. But this itinerary offers so much more. And if you’re a wildlife lover, India remains one of our top picks for unique wildlife destinations. On this trip, you’ll get to take game drives through Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, home to one of India’s most important tiger habitats. Spotting these striped beauties amid the park’s natural landscape isn’t always easy, but keep your eyes peeled—you never know when these majestic cats will make themselves known. Bonus: You might spot sloth bears, striped hyenas, jackals, and Indian mongooses, too.