From ocean cruises to hut-to-hut trekking, more people are seeking unique and adventurous outdoor experiences this year. Check out our top ten active travel trends in 2024 to help inspire your next grand adventure
Backroads Top Ten Active Travel Trends for 2024
When we launched Women’s Adventures in August 2023 with Walking & Hiking Trips, they were in such demand that they sold out quickly. Since then, we've added additional destinations as well as Multi-Adventure tours to keep up with the strong interest.
E-bikes & Easygoing Travel
The use of electric-assist bikes continues to grow in popularity since we introduced their custom-designed e-bikes in 2013. We also offers dedicated e-bike tours as part of its Dolce Tempo collection, which was designed to be enjoyed at a more easygoing pace. Backroads Dolce Tempo itineraries are attracting more guests who are new to active travel or looking for additional downtime for spa treatments, shopping or other individual interests and activities.
Embarking on a Pilgrimage Reset
People seeking active journeys are being drawn to the world’s traditional pilgrimage routes. Spain and Portugal’s Camino de Santiago continues in popularity as a bucket-list destination, and we're excited to unveil a new Taste of Camino de Santiago Bike Tour in 2024 to complement its popular Walking & Hiking, Dolce Tempo and Women’s Adventure Trips in the region.
The Darling of Scandinavia
Norway tops many 2024 travel destination lists as travelers want to experience the country’s spirit of community, beautiful and accessible natural landscape and outdoor lifestyle. Bookings reveal that Backroads guests are eager to travel on their Norway’s Fjords tours and the Lofoten Islands. In fact, all Northern Europe trips are popular, with a surge in bookings for Biking, Walking & Hiking and Multi-Adventure tours in the region.
Family Travel for All Ages
An increasing number of families are discovering that active travel is a way to connect, have fun and explore the world together, and that trend is reflected in the growth of Backroads Family Trips offering – especially for families with college-age children. Backroads is the only active travel company to run Family Trips designed for three distinct age groups: Families with Teens & Kids (best for ages 9+), Families with Older Teens & 20s (one or more kids age 17+) and Families with Young Adults 20s & Beyond (one or more kids age 20+).
Ocean & River Cruising
Backroads pioneered a new way to cruise, and travelers have discovered that exploring actively while living aboard a luxurious small ocean or river ship is a great way to see more and cover great distances. Guests unpack only once and get all the benefits of an active Backroads vacation while cruising some of the world’s most beautiful rivers and oceans.
The trend of booking future travel earlier than what used to be the norm started post-pandemic and continues with 2024 bookings. Backroads guests are reserving their 2024 trips early to take advantage of the best selection and availability.
Whether it’s a group of friends, a corporate retreat or multiple generations of a family, going private is more popular than ever and Backroads makes it easier than any other travel company. Taking over an existing scheduled Backroads departure allows for a turnkey yet flexible and personal experience for everyone.
We're seeing a bigger boom in travel earlier in the spring and even later in the fall than before as travelers look to beat the summer crowds when kids are back at school, enjoy more temperate weather and better deals on airfare. We've added more active adventures in the 2024 shoulder season to keep up with demand.
We've seen a surge in interest for “hut-to-hut" hiking trips with people wanting to travel under their own power and at their own pace without transportation to move between locations. These trips are a chance to be fully immersed in nature on challenging hikes by day, with unique lodge experiences each night. Backroads’ hut-to-hut or lodge-to-lodge trips in the Dolomites, Peru, Nepal, the Pyrenees and the Italian & Swiss Alps are in high demand for the coming year.
“In 1979 Backroads essentially set the trend for active adventure travel and 2024 is no different,” said Tom Hale, Backroads Founder, President and CEO. “Backroads has always been about giving guests the most flexibility and choice when they’re on vacation and the trends we’re seeing for 2024, from Women’s Adventures to e-bikes and family travel, offer something for every type of active traveler with challenging bike rides and hikes to easygoing Dolce Tempo trips. So now, more than ever, is the time to book your next active adventure.”