Grey skies, January blues and the stress of peaks can only mean one thing: it’s time to daydream about our 2024 travel plans. Selling Travel‘s in-house team of travel experts are looking ahead, keen to make 2024 a year to remember. Read on for some travel inspiration as we detail what’s on our bucket lists for this year and look back at some 2023 highlights…
Jessica Alexander, Editor
After ending 2023 on a high (literally) with a trip to Peru which visited Cusco at 3400 meters above sea level, Jess is looking forward to ticking off more bucket list destinations in 2024, starting with a safari in February. “I’m really hoping to spot the Big Five in Tanzania,” she says. “I can’t wait to sleep in a canvas tent and hear the sounds of the Serengeti.”
Jess is also looking forward to visiting old digs in Melbourne whilst representing Selling Travel at ATE (Australia Travel Exchange). “I lived in Melbourne back in 2015, so it will be interesting to see how the city has changed. I’m also hoping to tick off a few new places in New South Wales whilst there.”
April Waterston, Digital Editor
While a last-minute northern lights-spotting trip to Iceland is on the cards in early 2024, April’s bucket-list trip for 2024 will take her to Asia. “2024 is the year I will finally visit Japan for the first time,” she says. “I can’t tell you how long I have wanted to go! It seems to be top of so many clients’ bucket-lists at the moment, so I’m excited to report back. My flights are booked for June, but I’m yet to make any concrete plans, so please do get in touch with any tips!”
She also hopes to squeeze in a short break in Verona. “A shoulder-season European city break is staple in my diary each year. Italy is always a favourite with so many cities to choose from. In 2022 my husband and I went to Milan and Lake Como which we loved. This year I’m hoping to squeeze in a short visit to Verona, with an overnight stay Lake Garda. The lakes are perfect for relaxing and switching off.”
Steve Hartridge, Editorial Director
“2023 was a year that saw me return to Sri Lanka for the first time since 2009,” says Steve. “While the country was as charming, and the food as delicious, as I remembered it, it was good to visit what were for me new attractions, such as the city tour of Colombo on the back of Landrover, visiting some of the capital’s ‘forgotten highlights”; the steam train ride in the central highlands, standing like a local as our train cut through the fog on its way to Idalgashinna, in tea plantation country; and camping in Yala National Park hoping to see some of the elusive resident leopards (we didn’t).
Los Cabos in Mexico was also a first for me, an under-rated and mostly unknown (to Brits at least) alternative to the resorts in Cancun and the Riviera Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula on the opposite side of the country. Check it out for great beaches, adventure activities, luxury hotels, golf and ‘real’ Mexican cuisine.
“My 2024 travel plans are still a work at the contemplation stage but I am looking forward to a ‘football weekend’ in Hanover, Germany, (a great city not on the usual European short breaks circuit) and returning to Vancouver, Jasper and Edmonton, Alberta, for the Rendez Vous Travel show in May.
“I am also hoping to do a summer safari and lodge trip to Botswana – my favourite place for big beast wildlife spotting – and the calling from South America, perhaps Argentina or Chile, is getting louder!”
Bev Fearis, regular contributor
This year, thanks to industry conferences, Bev will be ticking off two bucket list destinations – Mexico and Copenhagen. In both instances, she plans to add leisure time at the end of the conference to do some exploring.
“The Mexico conference is in Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula, so the plan is for my husband and 14-year-old son to fly out to meet me and then we’ll do some of the highlights,” she says. “Perhaps we will join an organised tour, or we might hire a car and do it at our own pace. I’ve done some research and definitely want to see the flamingos and pelicans on Holbox Island, check out the iconic ruins of Chichen Itzá, and swim in a cenote, which is an underground chamber or cave. We’ll also spend come time in Mérida, the capital of Yucatán known for its Mayan and colonial heritage.”
Bev is also looking forward to a weekend in Denmark. “Copenhagen is somewhere I’ve always loved the sound of and I’ll be adding on a weekend city break after the conference,” she says. “I know my attempts at a low-carb diet will be going straight out the window when I see the delicious Danish pastries and the smørrebrød – open-faced sandwiches piled high with toppings like pickled herring, smoked salmon and red cabbage. And, of course, there’ll be plenty of good beers to try.”
Stuart Forster, regular contributor
Following a busy year in 2023, including a holiday in Norway, Stuart is yet to plan many trips in 2024. However, after being impressed by the dramatic geology around Stavanger, he has planned a Norwegian fjords cruise in October, which he hopes will bring opportunities to see the northern lights glimmering in the night sky.
Four enjoyable trips to the United States in 2023, including time in Utah and Kentucky plus city breaks in New York and Los Angeles, have whetted his appetite to see more of North America: “I love the contrast between big city America and the wide open spaces that can be enjoyed during road trips. Driving in the USA is relatively easy and a great way of seeing off-the-beaten-track places. I thoroughly enjoyed touring between scenic state parks in Utah, such as Dead Horse Point and Goblin Valley, as well as gazing from the windows of the Rocky Mountaineer train while travelling west from Denver.”
“Canada is a destination that I’m very fond of due to a combination of the natural landscapes, varied and accessible wildlife, welcoming people and tasty food made with local ingredients. I’m keen to slot in an early summer trip to Newfoundland as I’d love to photograph hulking icebergs off the coast and whales breaching,” adds Stuart.
Sheena Adesilu, Editorial Assistant
Sheena is dreaming of a two-week break to South Korea in spring. “I’ll be daydreaming about visiting Seoul in the springtime to get me through the cold winter days. I can’t wait to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom and try Japchae (glass noodle stir fry). I’d love to visit Busan, too.” Sheena is currently learning Korean and is keen to practice with the locals.
Paris is also a potential for 2024. “I’ve always wanted to go to Paris with my best friend, but we never got the chance to go together. I think that this year might be our chance to visit,” she says. “I hear a scenic walk along the Seine and an artsy afternoon at the Louvre is a must!”
Sally Parker, Publisher
On Sally’s bucket-list for 2024 is Costa Rica. “I love seeing wildlife in its natural habit and I think Costa Rica is great for that. I’m also hoping for a bit of adventure as there are lots of opportunities to get off the beaten track.”
“My 2023 highlight was a road trip around Arizona which took in Scottsdale, Flagstaff and Tucson, small towns such as Cottonwood, Prescott, Williams and Bisbee, and a stay on a dude ranch. Even though we were there in November, the sun shone nearly every day, which made it easy to enjoy the wonderful desert environment, and we met some lovely folk along the way.”
In 2024, Sally is also looking forward to exploring more of the UK in her new campervan which arrives in March. “I’ve had a campervan for the last three years and love the flexibility it offers. This year we’re looking forward to visiting some new places, as well as some favourite spots, and heading to three music festivals.”
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