Where to Go and What to Pack If You’re Planning A Stylish Trip In 2024


Blame the never-ending rain, long office days or the constant emails about the British Airways January sale, but at this time of year, we're hard-wired to start planning how to use our annual leave. If you're open to a new adventure this year, then you're in the right place, as we've compiled a guide to stylish holiday destinations that are worth adding to your bucket list for 2024.

If this is the year you want to finally book in a two-weeker and venture beyond the sun-lounger, then we propose a train tour of Japan where you can explore the country's biggest, buzziest cities and then unwind in an Onsen whilst you soak in the spectacular nature that surrounds. Trust us, the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku (forest bathing) will make your emails feel a million miles away.

If escape and isolation are what you're after in 2024, then the deserts and national parks of Namibia will act like a factory reset—and have to be seen to be believed. But if you'd like to avoid long-haul flights and jet lag, then you might want to join the wave of "coolcationers" who are swapping their week at the beach for some time in the mountains and coves of Northern Europe, whether that’s in Scotland or Switzerland. 

Below, we give you a heads-up on where to visit ahead of the inevitable crowds, along with some of the most significant hotel openings of the year. However, this is Who What Wear, so naturally, we had to pay as much attention to what you should wear as where you should stay. Let’s face it—building a travel holiday wardrobe can be even more fun than putting together your itinerary. So for each destination, we've compiled a list of the key items you should take along for your trip. 

Keep scrolling for some serious wanderlust to ease the Januaru blues. But be warned—it might lead to hours lost on Skyscanner. 

Where to go: In 2022, Sri Lanka experienced unrest due to the severe economic crisis, however, the UK government has now removed its warning to avoid travel to the country and it is experiencing a welcomed boom in tourism. "There’s every reason to believe that 2024 is going to see a big comeback for Sri Lanka," says Rachel O’Reilly from worldwide travel company Kuoni. "Tourist arrivals surpassed one million in 2023, setting an undeniably positive tone for the year ahead." There is no shortage of luxury hotels nestled amongst the tea terraces and along the golden coastline, such as Haritha Villas + SpaAhu Bay (we recommend you Google images of this one) and Hide Ella Hotel + Resort

O’Reilly notes that the tourist board is also investing in experiences and infrastructure in 2024, including a new 300km hiking route from Hanthana Mountains to Nuwara Eliya’s hill stations called the Pekoe Trail that snakes through tea plantations and forests and is a truly magical experience for any keen trekkers and nature lovers. If you like to (in the words of Ken) "beach”, however, there's an increasing trend of travellers combining Sri Lanka with a few days in the Maldives for an indulgent end to the trip. 

What to pack: Visitors to Sri Lanka tend to combine adventure with lazy pool days, so you’ll want to pack boots for trekking and linens for safari drives (this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see leopards) along with your bikinis, flip flops and Kindle.

Where to go: The Greek islands will always be a popular option over the summer months, but last year’s brutal heatwaves are making some consider an alternative option for their summer holiday. Condé Nast Traveller has named "coolcationing” one of its key travel trends for 2024, and the travel network Virtuoso has reported that 82% of clients are considering a trip with more moderate temperatures in 2024. Popular destinations include Scandinavia, a road trip around the Scottish highlands and a trip to the mountains and lakes of Switzerland. It can be easy to associate relaxation with hours spent at a beach, but these beautiful landscapes across Northern Europe can be the ultimate escape from your to-do list and a practical option for families with young children (or anyone who doesn't like to swelter) to avoid blistering heat. Not having to queue for prime real estate by the pool is another added benefit. 

What to pack: Layers are the key here, with knitwear and a quilted jacket (the Toteme one below is my ultimate purchase) in your suitcase for when the temperature drops. Davy J’s swimsuits are designed for wild swimming and are a sensible purchase for an outdoors-focused holiday like this one. 

Where to go: Almost every report on travel trends for 2024 highlights Grenada as a key destination thanks to the increased flight routes from the U.S. and the UK, along with the much-anticipated opening of La Sagesse, which is Six Senses’ first resort in the Caribbean. This isn’t the only significant hotel opening on Spice Island however, as Silversands Resort is adding 28 incredible villas to its property, and Spice Island Beach Resort has had an extensive redesign. Grenada is destined to be a favourite for honeymooners in 2024 and beyond, but there’s a lot more to the island than luxury resorts.

"It’s more than just a beach stay," says O’Reilly. "I went for the first time last year and was struck by the beauty of the island inland, with cascading waterfalls, volcanic lakes and rainforests teaming with biodiversity." There's also an underwater sculpture park called Molinere where you can dive past incredible sculptures that are submerged amongst the fish. Expect to see this luscious island all over your Instagram feed in no time. 

What to pack: This is your chance to go all-out with your high-summer wardrobe, with tropical prints, basket bags and sarongs. Just don’t forget the SPF 50. 

(Image credit: @TheIndiaEdit@HedvigSo; Getty)

Where to go: When it comes to stylish luxury resorts, it doesn’t get much more spectacular than Forestis. You can feel a sense of calm just by looking at pictures of this sustainable Alpine resort, which has the most spectacular panoramic views of the mountain range. This design-led hotel had a quiet launch due to the pandemic, however, it has rapidly become an insider favourite, cemented by the fact that Burberry hosted a trip here. If you hang up your skis early in favour of the spa, we wouldn't blame you. The modernist architecture and expansive vistas look like something straight from a James Bond film. 

Mr and Mrs Smith highlighted the South Tyrol region of Italy as one of its key places to visit in 2024, commenting that the Parkhotel Mondschein in Bolzano "exudes such powerful creative energy that coolness is bestowed on you just by being there." Hotel de Len, meanwhile, promises to improve your sleep with a "regenerative sleep experience" that promises to help you get a restful eight hours (or more). 

What to pack: If you're a skier visiting in the winter months, some of our favourite items for the slopes include We Norwegians base layers, Sorel boots and Perfect Moment's houndstooth sets. However, Forestis is just as magical when the ice has melted, when you'll live in cycling shorts and trainers for hikes in the woodland. But let’s be honest—most of your time at Forestis will be spent in the spa, so invest in a swimsuit you love.

(Image credit: Kuoni@LucyWilliams02@JULIESFI)

Where to go: "There is a definite buzz around Namibia, which is something of a well-kept secret in Africa," says O’Reilly. "It’s often overshadowed by safari giants like Kenya and Tanzania, however, the tide is turning and we foresee Namibia gaining attention in 2024 as adventurous customers forge their path off the beaten track." What is so amazing about this country is how vast and untouched the landscape is, as this is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. The pictures of Sossusvlei look almost otherworldly, with a white salt pan and towering red sand dunes, whilst you can see giraffes, elephants and zebras at the Etosha National Park. Plus, the pound is currently strong against the Namibian dollar, making it one of the most cost-effective options for a safari holiday in 2024. 

"Our new Namibia Explorer Tour will let you take in the country’s highlights, whilst self-drive adventures are also recommended due to the excellent infrastructure, left-side driving and short distances between major sights," adds O’Reilly. Angelina Jolie recommended Zannier Hotels open a resort in Namibia and the result is Sonop, a luxury camp built on giant boulders in the Namib Desert. You couldn’t feel further away from home whilst "camping" under the stars here. 

What to pack: Like any safari or adventure holiday, you'll want to pack sensibly, with binoculars, lots of layers and insect repellent. Embrace the safari spirit and pack neutral-hued linens and game-drive-ready shirts. When we say Namibia is isolated, we mean it—so this is somewhere you'll want to plan for carefully. Make sure you don't forget your swimsuit because there's no popping to Zara in the desert.

(Image credit: @EmmaHoareau@LindseyHolland_)

Where to go: We understand why the word "retreat" might make you think of vitamin drips and colonics, thanks to medical detox centres like The LifeCo in Bodrum, Turkey, where Kate Moss famously frequents. Whilst these places will forever be popular with those looking to focus on their health or address burnout, there's also a new wave of retreats that don’t involve wheatgrass shots and early wake-up calls but are just as healing. These trips are ideal for those who want an adventure and to be taken care of, without the admin of compiling an itinerary or trying to assemble a group of friends to go on the same dates.

Influencer Lindsey Holland learnt how to surf in her '30s, and she quickly fell in love with the sport and lifestyle, so much so that it inspired her to launch a wellness retreat called Marnie Rays. These group trips are all about balance, giving guests the chance to learn something new but with time to relax and make new friends. For next year, trips include surfing and mindfulness in Bali, hiking and paddleboarding in Greece and a more local surfing trip in Cornwall. 

Dr Rebekah Jade is a doctor and yoga teacher who runs BPOC classes in London called Pana. Following the pandemic and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, she decided to create wellness retreats in Africa and the Caribbean, which are a celebration of Black culture. "Yoga, nature, community and travel are our tools for re-connection to our heritage," Dr Jade says of the concept of Pana's retreats. The next available trip is in October 2024 to the Ghanaian coast, and is a digital detox with no WiFi or TV, enabling you to really disconnect and be present in the experience.

In the wake of the pandemic, there has been a rise in group trips that focus on community and having fun whilst learning something new. If yoga or surfing isn’t for you, perhaps you’d be interested in learning a winter sport instead. Mount Noire and Off Piste Ski Trip both organise inclusive ski trips which bring Black culture to the mountains, with everything taken care of, from lessons to fondue dinners.

For wellness lovers looking to indulge, influencer haunt Heckfield Place in Hampshire has lots of treatments that will help you to unwind, and in January is launching nature-focused retreats. The spa menu includes a 90-minute nature therapy treatment, which is a restorative 1:1 walk with a well-being psychologist designed to bring calm. But at £180 an hour, this is a little pricier than your average countryside stroll.

What to pack: Look for sportswear with a stylish edge, such as Wales Bonner’s hyped collaboration with Adidas Originals, and anything from Alo Yoga. These holidays might be active but don’t just pack your gym kit because there's also lots of time for exploring where you aren’t working up a sweat.

(Image credit: @RemiAfolabi; Getty; @YoyoKulala@CamilleCharriere)

Where to go: Japan had a strict approach to tourism during the pandemic, with visitors restricted from entering for almost 1000 days. This led to a swarm of tourists in 2023, which is set to continue well into 2024. It was voted the best country in the world at Conde Nast Traveller’s Reader’s Choice Awards in 2023. There is so much to see in Japan, which can make it an overwhelming trip to plan, however, the Shinkansen bullet trains mean you can cover distances quickly. The country swells with visitors during Sakura season (April to May), but the landscape is just as beautiful after the last petal has dropped. Naoshima has become a popular addition to the typical trail which includes Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakone, as the island is famed for its modern art, including the giant yellow pumpkin installation by Yayoi Kusama you've no doubt seen on your Instagram feed.

When it comes to hotels, Mr and Mrs Smith has called out the boutique Shinsho-An in Kyoto as one of its key destinations to visit in 2024. It only has four suites and used to be invitation-only before adding Mr and Mrs Smith to the list, but this means you need to be very organised to get a room booked for blossom season. There are also many significant luxury hotel openings in Japan this year, including Janu in Tokyo (a sister brand of the impeccably stylish Aman hotel chain famed for its Utah outpost) and a Rosewood beach resort on Mikayo Island, both of which will no doubt boast an A-List clientele in no time.

What to pack: Firstly you’re going to need a big, sturdy suitcase, as those visiting Japan tend to stay for at least two weeks and spend a lot of time lifting luggage on and off the Shinkansen trains. The street style scene in Japan is legendary, so don’t be afraid to make a statement with your outfits. Just leave room in your suitcase for the inevitable shopping you'll do in Tokyo. 

Next Up: I'm Taking My Airport Outfits Up a Notch—5 Looks I'm Saving for a Travel Day

Emma Spedding