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Nine travel adventures worth experiencing in 2024


Alina Prikhodko

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Travel bans during the pandemic have given rise to “distinctive travel experiences”—meaningful, purposeful activities that allow for a deeper, and often slower, immersion into a destination. Now it is not enough just to visit some place for show.

Many people want to learn more about it and be mentally reborn during the journey. CNBC published nine “must-have” experiences that topped the list of the best experiences for 2024.

Company Virtuous, a luxury travel specialist, asked its 20 advisors to share their best experiences for 000. Truly amazing offers, rare tours and unimaginable emotions.

1. Night sky tourism

Tourists visiting places where stargazing and night sky viewing are especially favorable due to low levels of light pollution. These locations provide excellent conditions for night sky viewing, making them attractive to people interested in astronomy and who want to enjoy clear, starry night skies.

As part of Dark Sky Tourism Various events are organized: astronomy tours, festivals and night excursions, offering a unique stargazing experience in remote and dark places. From stargazing to watching the northern lights, although trips can also include visits to nocturnal animals.

Photo: IStock

Experts recommend travel to Norway, Iceland and Canada, while noting that travelers who enjoy warmer weather can see a total solar eclipse on April 8 in northern Mexico.

From Blanco, Texas to Albaña, Spain, travelers can visit one of the 200 destinations in 22 countries included in list of best places for observing the night sky according to DarkSky International.

2. ‘Slow’ safaris

Safaris are high on many travelers' bucket lists, but don't get too hung up on finding the "big five" - ​​lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and African buffalo.

“Slow safaris” focus on the diversity of African wildlife and landscapes, “providing the perfect counterbalance to the more adrenaline-fueled wildlife migrations and lion hunts.”

On the subject: Travel smart: 15 things to do before flying

“Slow safaris provide the opportunity to experience some of Africa's less secretive wildlife at a more relaxed pace,” says Misty Bells, the company's vice president of global public relations. Successful safaris can go beyond the “big five”: from bird watching to observing what our guide considered the aerobatics of aardvark.”

3. Health as a way of life

Wellness destinations are everywhere; it’s better to escape stress in “the happiest country in the world or the Land of Smiles” - respectively, in Bhutan or Thailand.

Bhutan's famous Gross National Happiness, or GNH, index measures the collective happiness and well-being of its population. It was introduced in 2008 and has become the main driving force behind the country's tourism and economic policies. As for Thailand, experts recommend Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, as well as more secluded places.

Photo: IStock

An example is the InterContinental Khao Yai resort. Located 2,5 hours' drive from Bangkok, its spa and rooms are... luxury railway carriages, converted into an antique, next to the UNESCO-listed Khao Yai National Park.

4. Seasons in Japan

Japan Rail Pass, the fastest-growing U.S. travel site, won't help travelers explore North America—but it will help them circumnavigate Japan by train.

According to analytics company Similarweb, the site saw the largest increase in average monthly traffic (+2022%) among American users from 2023 to 239, indicating growing interest in travel among international tourists.

People most often travel to Japan in the spring, when sakura blooms in Kyoto and Kanazawa. But experts recommend travelers consider a winter visit, “when ski season is in full swing and the summit of Mount Fuji is covered in snow.”

5. Expedition cruises

Expedition cruises have been called “the game-changing tourism trend of the decade.” They have all the amenities of a cruise ship, but operate on smaller ships with fewer people.

Expedition cruises are popular in different parts of the world - from Antarctica to the Galapagos Islands. Experts such as historians and geologists are often present on board. The tours are designed for people looking for an extra element of adventure.

Photo: IStock

“An increasing number of people no longer want a conventional holiday,” said James Cole, founder of the cruise line. Panache Cruises, located in the UK. – People crave adventure. There is a certain amount of romanticism in this, which takes us back to the times of great explorers such as Hillary, Cousteau and Shackleton.”

6. Paris – Istanbul, by train

There are many ways to travel between the French capital Paris and Istanbul in Turkey, which lies at the crossroads between Asia and Europe. But perhaps none of them compares to the luxurious and expensive train travel Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train.

The train makes shorter trips, many lasting only one or two nights, across Europe, but only one service a year takes passengers from Paris to Istanbul.

7. Traveling by passion

Hobbies are associated with home, but how about taking your hobbies on a trip? Consultants advise gardening enthusiasts to book a trip to the London Flower Show RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, and book lovers should head to the library Prague's Strahov Monastery.

New company Dinosaur Trips allows travel enthusiasts to dig up bones and explore fossil sites with paleontologist Brian Curtis throughout the United States.

Photo: IStock

“These trips are the stuff of a paleontology geek's dreams,” says Curtis, adding that the trips feature “amazing displays of dinosaurs, mammals, marine reptiles, pterosaurs, fish... a who's who and what's that of paleontological wonders.”

8. Escape to a secluded island

A holiday on a private island is the perfect way to get away. But for such a holiday it is not necessary to book the entire island.

From Indonesia's Bawah Nature Reserve in the remote Riau Islands to Panama's The Resort at Isla Palenque, private islands are for those looking to get away from it all, where sandy paths replace roads and private villas take the place of a traditional hotel.

9. Food festivals and private tours

Culinary tours are not new, but they provide a glimpse into the past and present of a culture. We recommend getting acquainted with Peruvian cuisine at the festival Mistura Food Festival or try street food in Ljubljana (Slovenia).

Photo: IStock

Cooking classes and culinary tourism with guides such as The Curious Mexican in Mexico City can also provide direct support to the local population.

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