2024: Make it your best travel year yet

Turn your travel dreams into a reality this year, with these top tips from the experts

Most of us dream about travelling more, seeing the world, and escaping on more holidays to get a break from day-to-day life and the routine of work. So let’s make 2024 your best travel year yet!

The secret? Setting goals and careful planning - a few travel tips from the experts are all you need to take your 2024 holiday dreams and turn them into a reality. Here’s how:

Holidays don’t need to be expensive

People often make the mistake of thinking they need to wait until they have a lot more money before they can book that dream holiday - but there are always deals to be done. Keep an eye out for offers and flash sales through the airlines and travel agencies for your holiday. And make the most of discounts at the airport, to keep the cost of travelling down.

Plan ahead

Advance booking is usually your best way to guarantee the best prices. That goes for your flights, your accommodation, and even your airport parking, which is significantly cheaper when you book in advance instead of waiting until the last minute.

Stay on top of travel trends

We’re firm believers that you can visit a destination on any budget, but staying on top of travel trends will help you avoid the typically expensive tourist traps and see which destinations are having a moment in the spotlight - which means that airlines and accommodation will be offering deals.

For some early inspiration, our industry experts have rounded up four destinations tipped to be big in the travel industry in 2024:

1. Barbados

Famed for its powdery white sands, sparkling turquoise waters and sun-drenched climate, laid-back Barbados has long been a hotspot for those wanting sun, sea and sand. Head to the ‘Platinum Coast’ on the west of the island for luxury resorts and a glamorous dusk-to-dawn nightlife.

Barbados has plenty to offer adventure-seekers too – surfing, swimming with turtles, or exploring the island in a 4x4 safari tour. The island’s most popular November-March, which is why you get the best flight deals at the start of the year – but book fast, as this island is in demand.

2. Houston, Texas

If you’ve ever wondered about the saying “everything’s bigger in Texas” – they were talking about Houston. One of the most diverse cities in the world, you’ll find community and culture at every turn in this sprawling metropolis, with over 150 museums, a huge arts scene, and everything from Vietnamese pho to Ethiopian kifto within a 10-mile radius.

For those only-in-Texas experiences, you can also tuck into a good ol’ Texas barbecue, visit the world’s largest rodeo (last year it drew in 2.5 million people), or even get fitted for bespoke cowboy boots. Only in Texas…

3. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

A city of contradictions, Ethiopia’s capital is both ancient and modern, traditional and contemporary, making Addis Ababa a unique and fascinating city to explore. Surrounded by mountains, the beautiful natural landscape contrasts with the bustling Piazza (the old city centre), where you’ll find charming cafés, jewellery shops, museums, galleries, and interesting restaurants.

You’ll often detect the aroma of fresh coffee in the air in Addis Ababa – it’s the leading national drink, with coffee being served on every street corner. The city also runs on music, with a hopping swing and jazz scene that’s been going strong since the 1960s, and a night at one of Addis Ababa’s jazz houses is a must.

4. Beijing, China

A megacity of extraordinary sights, Beijing is a melting pot of ancient culture and modern energy, and the sheer number of major sights to see in China’s capital makes it easy for visitors to create jam-packed itineraries and tick off multiple items on their bucket lists all in one trip.

Take a tour of Beijing’s architecture, including the Forbidden City, the National Centre for the Performing Arts, and, of course, the Great Wall. For food fanatics, you’ll find everything from cosy authentic eateries to fine dining – but don’t leave the city without trying peking duck, the Beijing dish that’s famous all over the world.

And don't forget about weekend ‘mini’ breaks...

Remember, it doesn’t need to be a two-week holiday to a far-flung location or nothing at all - you can enjoy a cultured city break or a restful retreat in a single weekend. The key is speeding up the journey - as you don’t want to spend hours at the airport when you’re only away for a couple of days. Use services like FastTrack and fly through the Express Lane at Security and Passport Control. Less travel time = more holiday time.

Browse discounts at Manchester Airport and book your Parking, FastTrack and Lounge access today.

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