9 underrated travel destinations that will be popular in 2024, according to a travel planner

9 underrated travel destinations that will be popular in 2024, according to a travel planner
  • I'm a travel planner, and my clients are looking at off-the-beaten-path destinations for 2024.

  • For a European getaway, I recommend checking out Finland and Slovenia.

  • North Dakota is a great spot for US travel, and Tanzania has a lot to offer in Africa.

I book a lot of Caribbean cruises and theme-park vacations as a travel planner. But I also have my eye on some under-the-radar destinations.

Here are some unique spots my clients are asking about for 2024.


houseboats in the water at a dock in Belize City
Belize is a country in Central America.Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock

The small Central American country is stunning.

There are white-sand beaches and lush tropical jungles to explore. And as the home to the Belize Barrier Reef, snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will find plenty to do.

Tourists can even check out Mayan ruins or come up close with native birds and monkeys in Belize.

Bordeaux, France

fountain in front of palace de la bourse in Bordeaux france
Bordeaux is a quieter destination in France. LucVi/Shutterstock

Bordeaux, a quaint provincial town, is home to some of the finest wines in the world. I recommend embarking on the Urban Wine Trail, which has some of the best tasting bars.

The trip is a wine enthusiast's dream without the crowds of Tuscany.

Some chain hotels are being established in the up-and-coming Bassins à Flots district. But there are also ample Airbnb options for a variety of budgets.


elephants crossing a river in Serengeti national park in Tanzania
Serengeti National Park is a stunning area in Tanzania. GTS Productions/Shutterstock

Kenya is already a popular destination for African safaris. But travelers are now turning their eyes to its southern neighbor, Tanzania.

From beaches to Mount Kilimanjaro, the country has so much to offer. I recommend checking out Serengeti National Park, a 5,700-square-foot park that houses a variety of landscapes.


view of patuxai gate in laos
The Patuxai Gate is one of Laos' stunning landmarks.Nathapon Triratanachat/Shutterstock

Laos is home to temples, waterfalls, and quaint villages.

The Mekong River flows through the scenic landscapes, and Luang Prabang, a World Heritage Site, is full of golden-roofed temples.

It's a landlocked nation, so travelers looking for ocean views and water sports might not have it on their lists. But I think it's worth checking out.


northern lights in the sky over a snow-covered forest in lapland finland
Finland is a great place to see the northern lights in the winter. Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock

Tourists tend to visit the Norwegian fjords or Stockholm, Sweden, but Finland is a fascinating (and largely underrated) Nordic destination.

In the winter, you can see the northern lights — usually with much smaller crowds — or go cross-country skiing. Outdoor saunas are also popular.

The capital, Helsinki, is a fun city with great bars and restaurants, a world-class art museum, and a fascinating architecture and design scene.

Badlands, North Dakota

sun rising over Theodore Roosevelt national park in badlands North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is in North Dakota. ZakZeinert/Shutterstock

South Dakota's Badlands are better known, but the section in North Dakota is still worth visiting.

It's where a young Teddy Roosevelt lived in the 1880s, and today, it houses Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Visitors can even explore the former president's log cabin.

The park offers beautiful Badlands views without as many crowds as South Dakota. And there are plenty of bison, prairie dogs, and wild horses to see.

It's also worth stopping by the nearby city of Medora to check out sites like the Chateau de Mores and the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame. There's even an annual outdoor musical inspired by Roosevelt's life.

Paros, Greece

boats docked in a fishing village in paros greece
Paros is a quaint Greek destination. photography/Shutterstock

Mykonos and Santorini draw the biggest crowds, but Paros is a much quieter destination.

The lack of an international airport tends to keep it that way, but a gentle ebb of chic new hotels is attracting more tourists.

The fishing village is home to beaches, wineries, and marble quarries. For an offbeat side trip, you can also hop on the boat to the even smaller island of Antiparos.

Channel Islands National Park, California

view of inspiration point in Channel Islands National Park in California
The Californian national park stretches out into the ocean. Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock

The Channel Islands National Park in Southern California is made up of five islands, and only about 30,000 people visit a year.

Travelers can spy whales, dolphins, sea lions, and sea otters in the waters below. There are also plenty of rare flora and fauna species on the islands themselves.

If you take the ferry from Ventura Harbor and looking for a little more adventure, there are opportunities for scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, and backpacking.


canal running through a city in Slovenia
Slovenia is a great stop to make on a vacation across Central Europe.TTstudio/Shutterstock

Nestled between Italy and Croatia, Slovenia has somehow remained under the radar. But that's changing.

The country is full of breathtaking views, from the Soča Valley to the Julian Alps.

Plus, it got its own Michelin Guide in 2020. Chef Ana Roš' two-star restaurant, Hiša Franko, provides micro-local, forage-to-table cuisine.

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