The world is filled with dreamy, attention-grabbing destinations, and for someone looking to choose just one for their next getaway, the decision-making process can feel paralyzing.
The new travel year has gotten off to a strong start with new but heavily pronounced trends that are taking the industry by storm.
In that vein, a recently released report by The Points Guy set out to shed some light on what we can expect to be 2024’s most popular destinations, and the ranking – a mix-match of countries, cities, and states – might not be what you were expecting.
Though the iconic European country has yet to return to its pre-pandemic glory fully, the fact that it remains the most visited country on Earth despite the competition getting stronger by the year is nothing short of remarkable.
The country’s allure, mainly focused on the light-filled capital, picturesque countryside, and idyllic Riviera, remains as strong as ever despite reports showing concerns regarding overtourism and even scams – none of that seems to affect travelers looking to cross one of the highest-ticket items off of their bucket list.
Between the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame, and who knows how many other world-class attractions, your days here will be spent sightseeing some of the most photographed places on Earth.
While, for those lucky enough to visit France, a comprehensive sightseeing trip is a rite of passage, I’ve personally found that the country’s true allure lies in its less flashy, but still tourist-friendly gems.
Strasbourg, Annecy, and Colmar, are all must-sees.
2. San Diego and Tijuana
In an interesting turn of events, two neighboring cities – San Diego and Tijuana – were chosen to share the runner-up spot in the ranking.
Set beside each other yet still worlds apart, these two places will take you through the journey of a lifetime and a thrilling, warm-weathered one at that.
First, you’ll want to go to San Diego.
Here, you can take advantage of the pristine beaches, world-famous zoo, and thriving arts scene – is there a better trifecta when it comes to some good ol’ travel fun?
After a couple of days of lounging around La Jolla and Coronado, you’ll want to cross the border into Tijuana, where the bustling markets of Avenida Revolución and the historic Cultural Center await you.
3. Assam, India
For those who want to look a bit outside the box when choosing their next travel destination, Assam is the perfect place.
This gem that’s been hidden for far too long needs to be discovered along with its lush tea gardens, impressive Brahmaputra River, and the one-horned rhinoceroses of Kaziranga National Park.
Though the flight might be long and pricey, I guarantee that once you witness Guwahati, the Kamakhya Temple, and the many surrounding wonders (Jorhat, Dibrugarh, and Majuli, just to name a few), it’ll all seem worth it.
Often overshadowed by its more popular South American neighbors, Bolivia remains one of the continent’s best-kept secrets.
Don’t get me wrong, there are hundreds of thousands of visitors that fly to the country every year, but considering its value as one of the region’s best natural and cultural destinations, these numbers still feel a bit low.
What the landlocked nation lacks in beachy allure, it more than makes up for in surreal-looking landscapes and unmistakable culture, best experienced in the Witches Market and the buzzing streets of La Paz.
5. Queensland, Australia
Though the farthest destination on today’s list, Queensland, Australia is one of those places that every avid traveler needs to experience at least once in their lives.
City trippers will love Brisbane, the state capital and a cosmopolitan hub that’s still surrounded by vast stretches of greenery – nothing like the metropolises we’ve been used to back home.
Beachgoers, on the other hand, can spend their days soaking in the warm Australian sun and feeling the soft, golden sand against their skin – it really can’t get any better than that.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.