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COSTA RICA NAMED TRAVEL + LEISURE'S 2024 DESTINATION OF THE YEAR

NEW YORK , Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Travel + Leisure has named Costa Rica as the 2024 Destination of the Year. Costa Rica's commitment to a sustainable future coupled with its deep-rooted connection to the land and its Indigenous communities make it a standout destination for travelers to visit in the year ahead. Costa Rica is the ninth winner of Destination of the Year, which is selected annually by T+L editors, with past selections including Italy , Japan and Australia .

Travel + Leisure - 2024 Destination of the Year

"We are thrilled to honor Costa Rica as our 2024 Destination of the Year," said Jacqui Gifford , Editor-in-Chief of Travel + Leisure. " Costa Rica's unwavering dedication to sustainable tourism and its breathtaking natural beauty make it a standout destination for travelers seeking unique and eco-conscious experiences in the year ahead."

Costa Rica is known for unparalleled contributions to eco-tourism, including pioneering the concept of eco-lodges, as well as setting a global standard for sustainable travel practices. The country's commitment to conservation has led to a successful reversal of deforestation from decades past, with over 50% of its landmass now covered in rainforest. The country's rich biodiversity is unmatched, with 12 ecosystems and half a million species packed into its nearly 20,000 square miles. Other highlights include the Camino de Costa Rica , the nearly 200-mile trail that stretches across the country, the world-renowned coffee beans exported from the area, and the culinary scene with rich traditions and diversity.

A comprehensive guide to everything Costa Rica has to offer—from the culinary offerings to the eco-lodges and more—is available now at TravelandLeisure.com , and will be featured in the cover story of the December 2023/January 2024 issue, available on newsstands on November 17 .

For more information on Costa Rica's recognition as the 2024 Destination of the Year, visit https://www.travelandleisure.com/destination-of-the-year-costa-rica-2024-8362021 .

Citi® / AAdvantage® is the presenting sponsor of Travel + Leisure's 2024 Destination of the Year. As part of the sponsorship, Travel + Leisure will host a special event for cardmembers celebrating the winning destination with Costa Rican chef Byron Gomez .

ABOUT TRAVEL + LEISURE Travel + Leisure is the preeminent voice for the sophisticated traveler, serving up expert intelligence and the most immersive travel lifestyle content anywhere. Travel + Leisure captures the joy of discovering the cultural pleasures the world has to offer, from art and design to shopping and style to food and drink. Travel + Leisure connects with its audience across platforms including the U.S. flagship and four international print editions, digital channels, the annual World's Best franchise and more. Launched in 1971, Travel + Leisure is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family and is owned by Travel + Leisure Co. (NYSE: TNL).

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Costa rica named travel + leisure's 2024 destination of the year.

NEW YORK , Nov. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Travel + Leisure has named Costa Rica as the 2024 Destination of the Year. Costa Rica's commitment to a sustainable future coupled with its deep-rooted connection to the land and its Indigenous communities make it a standout destination for travelers to visit in the year ahead. Costa Rica is the ninth winner of Destination of the Year, which is selected annually by T+L editors, with past selections including Italy , Japan and Australia .

"We are thrilled to honor Costa Rica as our 2024 Destination of the Year," said Jacqui Gifford , Editor-in-Chief of Travel + Leisure. " Costa Rica's unwavering dedication to sustainable tourism and its breathtaking natural beauty make it a standout destination for travelers seeking unique and eco-conscious experiences in the year ahead."

Costa Rica is known for unparalleled contributions to eco-tourism, including pioneering the concept of eco-lodges, as well as setting a global standard for sustainable travel practices. The country's commitment to conservation has led to a successful reversal of deforestation from decades past, with over 50% of its landmass now covered in rainforest. The country's rich biodiversity is unmatched, with 12 ecosystems and half a million species packed into its nearly 20,000 square miles. Other highlights include the Camino de Costa Rica , the nearly 200-mile trail that stretches across the country, the world-renowned coffee beans exported from the area, and the culinary scene with rich traditions and diversity.

A comprehensive guide to everything Costa Rica has to offer—from the culinary offerings to the eco-lodges and more—is available now at TravelandLeisure.com , and will be featured in the cover story of the December 2023/ January 2024 issue, available on newsstands on November 17 .

For more information on Costa Rica's recognition as the 2024 Destination of the Year, visit https://www.travelandleisure.com/destination-of-the-year-costa-rica-2024-8362021 .

Citi ® / AAdvantage ® is the presenting sponsor of Travel + Leisure's 2024 Destination of the Year. As part of the sponsorship, Travel + Leisure will host a special event for cardmembers celebrating the winning destination with Costa Rican chef Byron Gomez .

ABOUT TRAVEL + LEISURE Travel + Leisure is the preeminent voice for the sophisticated traveler, serving up expert intelligence and the most immersive travel lifestyle content anywhere. Travel + Leisure captures the joy of discovering the cultural pleasures the world has to offer, from art and design to shopping and style to food and drink. Travel + Leisure connects with its audience across platforms including the U.S. flagship and four international print editions, digital channels, the annual World's Best franchise and more. Launched in 1971, Travel + Leisure is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family and is owned by Travel + Leisure Co. (NYSE: TNL).

View original content to download multimedia: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/costa-rica-named-travel--leisures-2024-destination-of-the-year-301981790.html

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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Bus Catches Fire in Costa Rica, Exposing Passenger Safety Concerns

Costa rican president accused of offering bribes to congress president, costa rican business sector protests exchange rate policies, ice’s poor planning disrupts costa rican businesses, costa rica revisits controversial diquis hydroelectric project, travel + leisure named costa rica 2024 destination of the year.

Ileana Fernandez

Travel and Leisure has proudly named Costa Rica as the 2024 Destination of the Year, recognizing the nation’s unwavering commitment to a sustainable future and its deep connection to the land and Indigenous communities.

This prestigious title is awarded annually by Travel and Leisure editors and has previously been bestowed upon exceptional destinations such as Italy, Japan, and Australia.

“Picture yourself on a white-sand beach, surrounded by palm trees. In the distance, surfers ride the breaking waves. Behind you rises a dense rainforest, where white-faced capuchin monkeys jump from branch to branch. Welcome to Costa Rica,” the publication stated.

The magazine showcased Costa Rica’s natural beauty and incredible biodiversity, as well as the country’s relaxed lifestyle.  

“In the northwest, a dry tropical forest stretches down the Nicoya Peninsula. The laid-back beach towns that dot this part of the Pacific coast include Nosara , a mecca for surfing and yoga, and my favorite, the lesser-known San Juanillo, which still has the charm of a small fishing village. Farther south, Santa Teresa has an intriguing mix of cultures and superb international cuisine,” the magazine detailed.

Jacqui Gifford, Editor-in-Chief of Travel + Leisure, expressed her enthusiasm for the choice.

“We are thrilled to honor Costa Rica as our 2024 Destination of the Year. Costa Rica’s unwavering dedication to sustainable tourism and its breathtaking natural beauty make it a standout destination for travelers seeking unique and eco-conscious experiences in the year ahead.”

Costa Rica has long been celebrated for its outstanding contributions to eco-tourism, having pioneered the concept of eco-lodges and set a global benchmark for sustainable travel practices.

The nation’s commitment to conservation has led to the successful reversal of deforestation trends from decades past, with more than 50% of its landmass now covered in lush rainforests.

“There is no single recipe for enjoying Costa Rica. Any road you take will likely bring the same result: a sense of wonder and a desire to return,” Travel and Leisure concluded.

The land of ‘Pura Vida’ welcomes all those who want to have fun, enjoy nature and relax.

Ileana Fernandez

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A woman runs into the ocean water on a beach in Australia.

'Travel + Leisure's 2020 Destination Of The Year Is An Adventurer's Dream

There's always room on your bucket list for more adventure. Whether it's an eatery with perfectly pink-colored smoothies, or an excursion like wading with dolphins, you're open to it and want to bring more adventure into your life. That's why you need to know all the details on Travel + Leisure 's 2020 Destination of the Year .

This destination isn't down the street from your apartment or even across the country. It requires hopping on a plane to the other side of the world. Don't fret, though. Because after you get through the clouds, and finish your #necessary eye masks and comedy movies, you'll be rewarded with views, beaches, and a beautiful sense of wonder.

Without further ado, Travel + Leisure 's Destination of the Year for 2020 is none other than Australia — a country in between two oceans that's anxiously awaiting your arrival. Pack your bags, gather up some clever Instagram captions , and make your way to this adventurer's wonderland ASAP.

While you're prepping for your trip, be sure to take some extra time off of work so you can do, see, and experience everything. From one coast to the next, Australia is filled with bucket list-worthy things, like taking a road trip down Great Ocean Road and seeing the 12 Apostles . You won't want to miss your opportunity to snap a pic with the Sydney Opera House or the colorful murals in Melbourne . Especially since the journey is pretty long, you may want to check into a particularly dreamy hotel or throw on scuba gear and explore the Great Barrier Reef too.

An aerial view of Byron Bay, Australia shows kayakers and surfers in the water.

According to the official press release from Travel + Leisure , Australia is a hub for adventure and pleasure. Its seven states — South Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria, and Northern Territory — will make any wanderluster swoon. It's a bucket list destination with an exciting culinary scene that'll speak to your inner foodie as well.

This year, it's been selected as the Destination of the Year because it encompasses everything you look for from travel. "If the thrill of travel is to be pushed, mentally and physically, to discover something new — and to appreciate the simple, awe-inspiring beauty of this earth — Australia and its seven states deliver and then some," Jacqui Gifford, Editor-in- Chief of Travel + Leisure said in the press release.

A girl sits on mountain overlooking the ocean with her arms up in Sydney, Australia.

"[Australia's] always been considered a ‘bucket list’ spot," Gifford said. "[It's] a place that people would reserve for a once-in-a-lifetime trip when they had a longer window of time to travel. Well, in today’s 24/7-connected world, we want you to switch off and take that time."

In the past, Travel + Leisure has awarded Japan and Portugal. Now, the natural beauty of Byron Bay and sand dunes you can surf on in Australia are taking over. Add it to your bucket list ASAP.

travel leisure destination of the year

More From Forbes

3 must-visit travel destinations for summer 2024.

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Beautiful woman tans on sandbank surrounded by turquoise ocean from above

Summer 2024 has the potential to be the busiest travel season of all time.

In the first quarter of this year, global tourism reached 97% of pre-pandemic levels. Some 285 million people traveled internationally between January and March, which is a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2023.

Indicators suggest that a high number of Americans in particular will travel in the next few months. Between October 2022 and September 2023, the State Department issued 24 million passport books and cards —the highest number in U.S. history.

TSA projects to screen record numbers of travelers this summer and is already seeing unusually high traffic. While it has historically been busiest on major holidays, it recorded one of its busiest days of all time ( with 2.8 million travelers ) on May 17.

With all of this global travel on the horizon, where should tourists travel in the summer of 2024?

My advice is to avoid Europe’s tourist hotspots—particularly the destinations where locals are actively opposing more visitors. Instead, head to one of the three destinations I recommend for unique and compelling travel experiences.

Paros, Greece

Greek village of Naousa, Paros island, Greece

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With thousands of islands, jaw-dropping views, and sparkling Mediterranean waters, Greece is a perennially popular tourism destination.

It receives 31.3 million tourists annually, making it the 13th most visited country in the world. Its popularity shows no signs of waning, and if last year’s travel trends are any indication, Greece is set to be busy again this summer.

Last summer, Greece’s most popular areas were, by most accounts, overcrowded. The Acropolis was slammed by so many visitors that officials had to cap the number of daily visitors at 20,000 . Massive queues for photo ops formed at iconic spots on Mykonos and Santorini.

Instead of battling the crowds, those after a dose of Greek island inspired relaxation should seek out Paros, a low-key alternative to Mykonos and Santorini.

It’s a Cycladic island, just like its two more famous counterparts, so the appeal is much the same. It features whitewashed buildings draped in bougainvillea and beautiful Aegean Sea beaches, as well as an appealing assortment of restaurants, hotels, and places to shop.

Exploring by boat, visiting Antiparos (its tiny sister island) for serene, unspoiled beaches, indulging in local seafood dishes, and visiting ancient ruins are some of the best things to do here.

While Paros is right now a more tranquil alternative to Greece’s over-touristed islands, its star is rising. It’s named among Condé Nast Traveller’s “The 24 Best Places to Go in 2024,” and A-listers like Tom Hanks and Jeff Bezos have been spotted on Paros and in its waters.

New luxury hotels like Cove Paros and Avant Mar have recently opened, and it’s easier to reach than ever before, with new airlines (Saudia, Etihad Airways, British Airways, and more) now serving the Cyclades.

People enjoying riding horses riding on tropical sand beach facing the lagoon, aerial view, Indian ... [+] Ocean, Mauritius Island

For powder-white beaches, inviting blue waters, luxury resorts, and a dynamic cultural scene, there are few better places to visit than Mauritius.

Mark Twain described this island country’s beauty best when he said, “Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius.”

Mauritius is part of the Mascarenes, a group of islands that float in the Indian Ocean about 1,000 miles off the coast of southeastern Africa. Its remoteness plus its astounding natural beauty made it a haunt for jetsetters in the 1980s.

Today, a new wave of hospitality has arrived. New luxury resorts are opening, and existing ones are being restored. It made Tripadvisor’s “Best of the Best Destinations” for 2024. I predict this island’s popularity will take off soon.

Mauritius is a paradise for watersport enthusiasts, with opportunities for world-class boating, kitesurfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. On land, there are forests, waterfalls, national parks, and exotic flora and fauna.

Mauritius is also culturally fascinating. At various times across its history, the Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British have settled the island. Slavery brought people from East Africa, and workers were imported from India, China, and other places.

Today, the island is ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse. It’s the only African country where Hinduism is the most practiced religion. It has no official language; instead, its people flit between Mauritian Creole, French, and English as needed.

Mauritian cuisine is widely celebrated and reflects the ethnic diversity of its population. Dishes combine Indian, Creole, French, Chinese, African, and Persian influences.

Visitors can take in Mauritius’ history and culture at the Intercontinental Slavery Museum, which chronicles the country’s slave trade, and the House of Digital Art, which features art installations and immersive experiences.

Fishermen on stilts at the sunset, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, another island country floating in the Indian Ocean, is a land of verdant highlands and stunning beaches. Its appeal is a blend of surf and wellness cultures, similar to Bali before its boom in popularity and resulting over-tourism.

Centers of yoga, reiki, breathwork, and other well-being practices have sprung up around the island in recent years. Some of these centers, like Kalukanda House and Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, combine wellness concepts with luxury-level amenities and accommodations.

Sri Lanka is a place for nature lovers, home to 22 national parks. Its mountains and thick, subtropical jungles support a wide variety of plant and animal species. Visitors catch glimpses of elephants, otters, sloth bears, and elusive leopards on safari.

The Pekoe Trail, a 186-mile path that was completed in 2023, takes trekkers through the Central Highlands, including local villages, tea plantations, and holy shrines. You can also explore Sri Lanka by train, traveling easy while taking in scenic views and enjoying a unique cultural experience.

In the lowlands and along its coastlines, Sri Lanka serves up soft-sand beaches with frothy, surfable waves. There are beach towns with trendy hotels and cocktail bars, as well as quiet strips of untouched sand.

Mirissa Beach, known for its calm, crystal-clear waters and rock formations, shows up among Tripadvisor’s “Best of the Best Beaches” for 2024.

Unlike some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations (particularly in Europe), Sri Lanka actually wants more visitors right now. Its tourism authority is investing in marketing campaigns to attract more people, while anti-tourism protests heat up in the Canary Islands, Venice, and Amsterdam, among other places.

Sri Lanka is still recovering from a bombing event, the pandemic, severe economic crisis, and other recent incidents. Tourism is a major source of income for the country, and visiting the country can help put cash into the locals’ hands.

With all that Sri Lanka has to offer, combined with its tourism authority’s marketing efforts and the proliferation of wellness and luxury hotels, I see Sri Lanka growing in popularity this summer and beyond.

It made Travel + Leisure’s list of “The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024” and its south and central regions show up on Condé Nast Traveller’s “The 24 Best Places to Go in 2024.”

Kathleen Peddicord

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travel leisure destination of the year

Summer travel up 40% this year; hospitality, travel services providers see buoyant demand

A s Indian travellers pack their bags to escape the scorching heat, there has been a 40 per cent on-year increase in summer travel this year, with hospitality and travel services providers noticing buoyant demand.

Although the ongoing general elections have had a minor impact on corporate and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) business, hotels are finding increased retail business with beach destinations still fighting it out with hill stations for the favoured holiday site.

"Those in the Northern part of the country head to the hills to escape the heat. There is also movement from the cities to nearby tourist or leisure destinations. Industry sources estimate a 30 to 40 per cent increase in the summer travel this year as compared to last year," Hotel Association of India, President and Radisson Hotel Group Chairman-South Asia, KB Kachru told PTI.

MakeMyTrip Co-Founder & Group CEO Rajesh Magow said, "Summer is always one of the biggest quarters of the year in terms of travel intent, and this year too, the buoyancy in the sector continues. We are observing a healthy growth in searches over those recorded last year at this time." According to MakeMyTrip's summer travel trends, the family travel segment has grown by 20 per cent this year, as compared to the summer of 2023, while solo travel grew by 10 per cent over last year's numbers.

In terms of most booked holiday packages this summer, destinations with cool mountain terrains are the top picks with Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, Goa, Kerala and the North East emerging as most sought after places.

"While elections might have a minor impact on corporate and MICE business, retail business has increased by 20 per cent compared to the same time last year at the group level," Royal Orchid Hotels Ltd Chairman and Managing Director, Chander K Baljee said.

The major locations benefiting from increased occupancy are hill hotels, resorts, and other leisure destinations, he added.

Baljee further said, "Mashobra's (in Himachal Pradesh) retail business has increased almost five-fold with slight price rationalisation, and Mussoorie's retail occupancy has doubled. Goa witnessed a 50 per cent increase in retail occupancy compared to last year." On the other hand, hospitality and travel-tech firm OYO said as per its bookings for May and June 2024, beach destinations are seeing a higher preference among travellers compared to mountains this summer.

"Beaches account for 53 per cent of the total leisure bookings, demonstrating a strong inclination towards coastal vacations even during the hot summer months. On the other hand, mountain destinations, which make up 47 per cent of the bookings, are also drawing considerable interest, particularly as we move into June," a spokesperson of OYO said.

Goa continues to be the most popular beach destination, followed by Varkala, Pondicherry, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

However, the spokesperson said, "The early trends for June indicate that mountains will take over beaches. Among these, Nainital tops the list, followed by Rishikesh, Manali, Mussoorie, and Darjeeling. This indicates a growing trend of travellers seeking the serene and cool environment of the mountains as the summer progresses." Interestingly, Kachru said, "Air travel has seen immense growth because of the campaign of the Election Commission to celebrate the festival of democracy and a large number of citizens are travelling to cast their precious vote in their home towns."

Catch all the highlights of the May 24 session on Dalal Street here. For all other news related to business, politics, tech and auto, visit Zeebiz.com . 

 Summer travel up 40% this year; hospitality, travel services providers see buoyant demand

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Travelers cope with crowds and high prices on the busiest day of Memorial Day weekend

Highways and airports are likely to be jammed the next few days as Americans head out for Memorial Day weekend getaways and then return home.

travel leisure destination of the year

Airports around the country are bracing for the travel rush as Americans head out for Memorial Day weekend. AAA predicts 43.8 million people expected to travel between Thursday and Monday. (AP Video: Tassanee Vejpongsa)

travel leisure destination of the year

Highways and airports are likely to be jammed this weekend, as Americans head out on Memorial Day weekend getaways. AAA says this will be the busiest start-of-summer weekend in nearly 20 years.

travel leisure destination of the year

Travelers on Florida’s Turnpike are experiencing relatively light traffic at the start of the Memorial Day weekend, with no major congestion reported, allowing them to focus on their wallets instead of their anxiety about traffic. (AP video by Cody Jackson)

Travelers walk through Salt Lake City International Airport Friday, May 24, 2024, in Salt Lake City. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Travelers walk through Salt Lake City International Airport Friday, May 24, 2024, in Salt Lake City. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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Travelers move through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport ahead of Memorial Day, Friday, May 24, 2024, in Atlanta.(AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Michelle Winters plays the violin as passengers stand in line at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport ahead of Memorial Day, Friday, May 24, 2024, in Atlanta.(AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Cars drive through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport ahead of Memorial Day, Friday, May 24, 2024, in Atlanta.(AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Gasoline prices are displayed on a sign outside a service station as the Memorial Day holiday travel period kicks off Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Greenwood Village, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Traffic slowly moves along Interstate 405 on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. Highways and airports are likely to be jammed in the coming days as Americans head out on and home from Memorial Day weekend getaways. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Travelers contended with big crowds and flight delays Friday, which was expected to be the busiest day of the Memorial Day weekend.

More than 6,000 U.S. flights were delayed by early evening on the East Coast, continuing a trend that has tested the patience of travelers all week. Cancellations were more modest, at slightly more than 200, according to tracking data from FlightAware.

There were delays on the highways, too.

Along Florida’s Turnpike, Wallis Tinnie said a traffic accident and road work slowed her drive to an African American history commemoration in the Florida Panhandle, the site in 1816 of the first battle of the Seminole Wars.

“But we’re comfortable with it,” the Miami woman said during a stop at Port Saint Lucie. “We left early, and our event is tomorrow. So hopefully — God willing, creek don’t rise — we’ll be there in plenty of time.”

The Transportation Security Administration predicted that Friday would be the busiest day of the holiday weekend for air travel, with nearly 3 million people expected to pass through airport checkpoints . TSA screened just under 2.9 million people Thursday, coming within about 11,000 of breaking the record set on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year.

Pasha Pidlubniak waits for a domestic flight at Miami International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Miami. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Pasha Pidlubniak waits for a domestic flight at Miami International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Miami. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

“Airports are going to be more packed than we have seen in 20 years,” AAA spokesperson Aixa Diaz said.

Highways also are likely to be jammed as motorists head out of town and then return home. AAA predicted this will be the busiest start-of-summer weekend in nearly 20 years, with 43.8 million people expected to roam at least 50 miles from home between Thursday and Monday — 38 million of them taking vehicles.

FILE - The sun shines through the flags in the Memorial Day Flag Garden on Boston Common, May 27, 2023, in Boston. Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation’s fallen service members. But it’s come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and retail discounts. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, file)

The annual expression of wanderlust that accompanies the start of the summer travel season is happening at a time when Americans tell pollsters they are worried about the economy and the direction of the country.

“Memorial Day is a holiday weekend. I get to hang with family and friends, so I’d say that’s priceless, right?” Nene Efebo said during a two-hour wait for a delayed flight at Denver International Airport. “Anything to hang out with family and friends.”

Victoria Ramos Valdes of Miami was taking a driving vacation with her husband, Blake, and their children, ages 3 and 4 months old.

“We said, hey, we’re going to go for a $300 budget, and the hotel is around $150,” she said, but it has a water slide, providing plenty of entertainment. “We’re taking a nice family trip and doing our best to have the best Memorial Day weekend possible.”

Some travelers reported experiencing sticker shock when they booked their trips. Upon arriving at Philadelphia International Airport, Ciarra Marsh said the city “was not our original destination, but we chose here because it was cheaper.”

At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Larisa Latimer of New Lenox, Illinois, said her airfare was reasonable but other expenses for a getaway to New Orleans were not.

Motorists travel along Interstate 24 near the Interstate 40 interchange Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to hit the pavement over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

Motorists travel along Interstate 24 near the Interstate 40 interchange Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to hit the pavement over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

“I just have to make the accommodation,” she said. “The rental car is up ... this year, the hotel accommodations were very unusually expensive.”

Kathy Larko of Fort Myers, Florida, used frequent-flyer miles — and some flexible scheduling — to pay for her trip to Chicago.

Travelers wait at a TSA checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

Travelers wait at a TSA checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

“I’m really conscious of looking at the cost of the entire trip. We’re staying a little farther out than we normally would” to get a lower hotel rate, she said. “We’re also flying back a day later, because we could get cheaper miles.”

The weekend’s highway traffic and crowded airports could be a sample of what is to come for several more weeks. U.S. airlines expect to carry a record number of passengers this summer. Their trade group estimates that 271 million travelers will fly between June 1 and August 31, breaking the record of 255 million set – you guessed it – last summer .

George Ridley, 4, left, rides on a suitcase as he and his father Chris Ridley make their way through the Nashville international Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

George Ridley, 4, left, rides on a suitcase as he and his father Chris Ridley make their way through the Nashville international Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

This story was previously updated to correct the spelling Fort Myers, Florida.

Cody Jackson in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, Melissa Perez Winder in Chicago and Shelley Adler in Washington contributed to this report.

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I've Traveled Alone to 65 Countries – Here Are My Top 5 Destinations for Flying Solo

Where to find adventure, group activities, affordable luxury hotels, and total relaxation as a solo traveler.

Katie Jackson/Travel + Leisure

Lewis may have needed Clark, but for most trips, I think it’s OK to be a party of one. In fact, my favorite style of travel, # solotravel , is now trending on TikTok and in real life. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from adventuring alone in 65 countries, it’s this: some countries cater to lone wolves better than others. Whether you’re looking to lay on the beach, climb a volcano, or explore the big city, here are my top five destinations for flying solo. 

Giacomo Augugliaro/Getty Images

Western Europe’s most affordable country, Portugal has been my second home since 2016. Whether in Alentejo or the Algarve, I can always find a €2 glass of wine and five-star hotels, including IHG’s new Vignette Collection properties in Porto and Lisbon , for under €200 per night. It’s the fifth safest country in Europe, according to the Institute for Economics & Peace 2023 Global Peace Index (for comparison, Spain ranked 23rd and France 34th) and is home to the world’s largest standing wave. Since surfing solo is dangerous, I go with Onda Pura . In Lisbon , visit the Oceanário , voted the world’s best aquarium . Alone, you can linger at exhibits for as long as you want. I’ve traveled the country by train and bus, but I recommend renting a car for as little as €25 per day. Pro tip: Learn how to drive manual first.

South Africa

Katie Jackson/Travel + Leisure

While it’s not the safest country on the Mother Continent, ranking 32nd in Sub-Saharan Africa in the Global Peace Index , South Africa is the easiest for Americans to visit. United Airlines offers nonstop service from multiple U.S. cities to Cape Town, English is widely spoken, and there are restaurants catering to every diet. I use Facebook to join group hikes and dinners and Airbnb to book guided, local experiences. I recommend doing the “From Prisoner to President Tour” hosted by Nelson Mandela’s former prison guard and friend, Christo Brand . To visit the wineries, take the Franschhoek Tram . I’ve also enjoyed solo safaris. Alone, you can choose your start time (I hate waking up at 5:30 a.m. for game drives), and you always have the best seat. During low season, some lodges waive the single supplement. Year-round, the new Loapi Tented Camp only charges solo travelers 62% of what it would charge a couple. For travel within the country, book a package with a company like Kensington Tours ; it includes all transfers.

Since I lived in Nicaragua, I have an impressive collection of passport stamps from Costa Rica . It’s the safest place in Central America , and it offers everything from volcano trekking to beach hopping on two incredible coastlines. I want to check out the new SP Corcovado Wilderness Lodge , which hosts wellness retreats and is part of the Red Sofia Program (designed to make travel safer for single women). Meanwhile, in Monteverde, solo travelers can’t go wrong at Hotel Belmar where you don’t have to venture off site for adventure (book the canopy immersion and coffee tasting). For an all-inclusive, I recommend Secrets Papagayo .  It’s not the place to stay if you don't want to be around couples, but it’s adults-only and hosts theme nights, beach games, and cocktail parties where singles can mingle.

FilippoBacci/Getty Images

Good news! You don’t need to be with a romantic partner to visit the Maldives . I solo-mooned there and had a blast falling back in love with me, myself, and I. Highlights include visiting Coco Palm Dhuni Kohlu’s turtle rescue center , reading by my plunge pool (“Eat, Pray, Love” is a must for solo travelers), and when I wanted company, hitting up the beach barbecues. You also don’t have to be a millionaire. The island of Maafushi caters to backpackers, and even at a resort, I stayed under $350 per day. Have a bigger budget? Consider booking the Gili Solo Experience . Boasting an underwater suite and restaurant, the Conrad Maldives is also on my list. For flights, try Emirates ; round-trip fares from New York's JFK to Malé start at $1,265.

Not having anyone to split expenses with, domestic travel is cheapest. I explore my backyard in Montana where I staycate at Lone Mountain Ranch . With its queen bed, the Meadowlark Cabin is ideal for one, and the group activities offer opportunities to socialize. For an urban escape, I prefer New York City , where I stay at NH Collection New York Madison Avenue . Its lobby has a community table, fireplaces, and live jazz most nights. Since there’s no shame in doing the Great White Way without a date, I went to see “ The Notebook ” in April. Finding one center orchestra seat is easier than finding seats together. For getting around, use the MTA’s new OMNY credit/debit card tap program ; it’s the best value.

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    November 9, 2023. Travel and Leisure has proudly named Costa Rica as the 2024 Destination of the Year, recognizing the nation's unwavering commitment to a sustainable future and its deep connection to the land and Indigenous communities. This prestigious title is awarded annually by Travel and Leisure editors and has previously been bestowed ...

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