From Long-Lead Bankrolling to TikTok Trips, the way British travellers are exploring the world and planning vacations is changing, says a new report from British Airways Holidays and Globetrender.

Free to download, Globetrender’s Travel Trends Report 2024 was commissioned by British Airways Holidays and reveals when and where Brits are travelling, what’s inspiring them to book, and even how they want to pay for trips.

Tour operator British Airways Holidays also revealed the most searched for travel destinations for 2024, with seven hotspots rising in popularity, including Malta, Lanzarote and St Kitts.

The report was supplemented by analysis of British Airways Holidays data, a UK consumer survey conducted with YouGov Plc (2,674 adults responded in March 2024), and input from industry leading experts to gain insight into the factors affecting the industry.

These included respected travel journalists Lucy Thackray, and Richard Mellor; travel influencer Louise Wilshaw (@loulouexplores); and leading voices in the hospitality space – Patricia Page-Champion, Senior Vice President and Global Commercial Director at Hilton; and Shannon Knapp, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Leading Hotels of the World.

Report author and Globetrender founder Jenny Southan says: “The two main macro forces governing holiday planning in 2024 are modern culture and money management. We see this in the ‘limelight effect’ that certain locations benefit from after appearing in TV shows and movies, for example; and the rise of ‘finfluencers’ (financial influencers) who are inspiring consumers to adopt savvy spending strategies such as paying in interest-free instalments for trips and booking off-season.

“Travellers are also becoming more curious, seeking out lesser-known destinations to visit – in some cases this is being propelled by viral TikTok content that sparks interest in a place they have never heard of.”


Season Stretching © Globetrender


Shoulder season travel (travelling during the quieter months outside of peak summer) is growing in popularity in 2024, likely as a consequence of both the changing climate and a growing desire to avoid the crowds.

Holidaymakers looking for places with the “right amount” of sun, and for ways to avoid the crowds, will be  booking outside the traditional peak windows, incentivising hotels and resorts to extend their summer season opening periods.

Evidence of this comes from British Airways Holidays search data, which showed that growth in searches from customers looking to travel in May and June 2024 was double the level for trips in July and August 2024 (compared to the same period in 2023).

The most popular short-haul destinations for late spring and early summer holidays include Gran Canaria (+86% year-on-year), Antalya (+67%), Malta (+49%), Lanzarote (+45%) and Bodrum (+44%).


TikTok Trips © Globetrender

Over the last couple of years, TikTok has become a popular alternative to Google Search when it comes to travel planning, thanks to its highly engaging stream of personal recommendations, hacks and reviews. In fact, in January 2024, researchers 9 in Germany revealed that Google search results have officially become worse due to SEO-optimised “review spam”.

In the UK, 2023 data from We Are Social and media intelligence company Meltwater also indicated that the time per month that active users spent on TikTok versus Instagram was hugely different (49 hours and 29 minutes versus nine hours 42 minutes).

In 2024, the influence that TikTok will wield in inspiring people to travel will only increase. Viral TikTok hashtags such as “#TomatoGirlSummer” and “#FrenchPharmacies” are catalysing last-minute and short-lead bookings, especially among Gen Z.

But these zeitgeisty travel crazes are also making their way into traditional media that are read by older generations, and consequently provide a source of inspiration for non-TikTok users too. In 2023, TikTok had 1.5 billion monthly active users – by the end of 2024, it is expected to reach 1.8 billion.TikTok Trips © Globetrender


As the cost-of-living crisis continues to make consumers more mindful of their spending, travellers are increasingly looking for budgeting strategies to enhance the feasibility and enjoyment of their holidays, whether it’s seeking out Avios redemptions and upgrade opportunities, selecting all-inclusive resorts, booking further in advance to secure cheaper prices or spreading the cost of trips over time.

Long-lead Bankrolling © GlobetrenderAccording to British Airways Holidays search data, 54% of its customers are now looking for holidays more than six months in advance, an uplift of 10% year-on-year. By securing flight and hotel packages further ahead travellers may also be able to splurge on a more luxurious experience and enjoy the anticipation over a longer period. Long-lead search data from British Airways Holidays for holiday packages in early 2025 reveals that New York, Orlando, Barbados and Dubai are top of the list of priority (winter sun continues to be a big motivation).

Rather than pay on a credit card, another option is to spread interest-free payments for a trip over a number of months – a trend that could be called “Long-Lead Bankrolling”. British Airways Holidays allows people to secure bookings with a deposit and then pay in as many or few interest-free instalments as they wish over the months leading up to departure, so they don’t need to worry about being in debt when they get back.


Would you travel to a lesser-know destination?

Destination Swaps © GlobetrenderTo avoid the impact of overtourism, save money and make new discoveries, savvy travellers are researching alternatives to more obvious holiday hotspots such as the Maldives and Dubai and opting for “step-sibling” alternatives such as Albania and Abu Dhabi that offer similar experiences.

Thinking “outside the box” will become more commonplace when it comes to holiday planning in 2024 and 2025, especially as travellers become more curious about less well-known locations, consider their environmental impact and take inspiration from insider recommendations on social media that might be cheaper or offer more value.

Evidence for this can be seen in the British Airways Holidays search data, specifically for long-haul destinations, which suggests that there is an uplift in interest in less mainstream Caribbean islands such as St Kitts (+26%), Grenada (+33%) and Turks and Caicos (+21%).

A key determiner for where people actually go is access to the destination – if you can’t fly there, it’s unlikely to attract many visitors. New British Airways routes for 2024 include Abu Dhabi in the UAE, Agadir in Morocco and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia – which could be good “Destination Swaps” for the more popular options of Dubai, Marrakech and Singapore, respectively.


Location Scouting © GlobetrenderThanks to the alluring glow of Hollywood limelight, another year of new movie and TV releases are already inspiring people to seek out the real-world locations in which these dramas are set. Whether it’s a glimpse of night swimming off a Greek island (One Day); a romp around a tropical resort in the Dominican Republic (Love is Blind, season 6); or a lust-worthy entanglement in a real-life English mansion (Saltburn), a British Airways Holidays/YouGov Plc survey revealed that 78% of travellers have been inspired to visit a location that featured in a movie or TV show, while almost a quarter (24%) of those who have been influenced have gone on to actually book a trip.

Of course, cinema has long influenced people to go to certain places – think of that iconic scene in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita when Anita Ekberg dances in the Trevi Fountain. Seeing beautiful places brought to life on
screen can be an immersive and evocative experience.

These days, the media, consumers and even travel brands themselves have become far more proactive when new
releases come out that showcase specific destinations in a desirable way. 2023’s Barbie movie is a great example – not only did tourist board Visit California start touting kitsch “Barbiecore tours” but also advertised stays in her Malibu DreamHouse.

Download the Travel Trends Report 2024  for our 2024-2025 Location Scouting TV and movie release planner.Location Scouting © Globetrender


Offline Holidays © Globetrender

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2030, the number of digital jobs that can be performed remotely will increase 25% to 92 million roles (up from 73 million in 2024). The benefits of not being tied to an office are manifold (flexible hours, being available to look after your children, less time wasted commuting and so on) but the downside can be that it becomes increasingly difficult to separate work from downtime.

These “blended” lifestyles often see people working at weekends, during the evening and while on holiday. For many, setting an “out of office” email has become a thing of the past. What this means is that it is time to take holidays seriously – and go offline.

Freelance travel journalist Lucy Thackray says: “Work has become more intrusive over the years and ‘digital
presenteeism’ is becoming a real problem. But a lot of studies show that taking time off – really, fully switching off from work – is beneficial. It makes you a better employee, it makes you a better person, and it’s undeniably good for your mental health.”Offline Holidays © Globetrender

Offline Holidays © GlobetrenderDownload Travel Trends Report 2024 for free.

Infographics by Ben Southan for Globetrender and British Airways Holidays