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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

Millions of people are traveling to Europe to experience the classic European summer; however, many do not realize the effects of their travel. Tourists will face crazy crowds, tourist traps, and long waits. Tourist destinations are changing as travelers seek less crowded destinations. It is estimated that 275 million people will travel to Europe from May 2023 to September 2023, which is 19% higher than last year.

What is attracting all these people to Europe? 

After three years of pandemic restrictions, travelers are flocking to Europe in record numbers. These destinations are known for their rich history and beautiful beaches. However, those who have chosen to travel to Europe are definitely feeling a dent in their wallet, especially those who choose to travel to common destinations like Italy, France, Greece, and Spain. 

Tourists are being met with flight delays, sold out museums, and jacked up prices. Additionally, demand has been so high that many travel advisors have had to turn away clients looking to book vacations for popular European destinations in July and August. The Blissful Travel Company is one of many companies that have started to promote traveling in the off season rather than summer and traveling to less popular cities. Attractions like the Louvre in Paris and the Vatican in Rome are packed with tourists, having to wait about an hour in line and have no elbow room once entering attractions. I visited the Louvre in March, which is off-season, and bought my ticket ahead of time so I did not need to wait in line. This was not the case when I visited Rome’s most popular attractions in summer of 2022. I experienced a significant wait time difference from summer 2019 to summer 2022. The lines for the Colosseum and the Vatican were around the block, whereas, in 2019, I could walk right up. This year, I visited Italy in the shoulder season, April, which I expected to be less crowded. Milan was packed with busy streets, and restaurants had long waits, just like it was in the summer. This made me question how I could make my travels more enjoyable. 

For summer 2024, travelers will search for destinations that allow them to be surrounded by rich culture without the crowds. Here are my predictions for summer 2024. Some countries used to brand themselves as affordable destinations; however, this is no longer the case. Croatia is a perfect example, especially in cities like Split and Dubrovnik. Tourists will feel how much more expensive it has gotten, partly due to Croatia switching to the euro this summer, pushing their prices closer to those of the South of France and Italy. Therefore causing budget travelers to consider new places. Albania will be at the top of the list for budget travelers and the general holiday crowd. This is because they have incredible luxury resorts similar to those in the Maldives and Caribbean. Additionally, Albania has been trending on social media platforms, like TikTok and Instagram, this summer, which will lead to more vacations booked there for summer 2024. The second destination that will be popular for next summer is Turkey. There have always been a lot of holiday visitors from the UK and other European countries, but it’s starting to get more and more popular among American travelers. Travelers will begin with more of the touristy places like Istanbul and Antalya. However, since people are already making the trip over there, they will want to explore Turkey’s stunning beaches and islands as well. Greece will always be a classic summer destination, especially for those who desire a Mamma Mia summer. However, travelers will want to discover the less visited islands rather than classics like Santorini or Mykonos. We will see a huge jump in tourism in less popular islands like Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, and Paros. These islands offer more budget-friendly options for flights and stays, which will lead to them blowing up. Travelers might not be ready to take Santorini or Mykonos off their list, but I believe they will be more inclined to add these less-discovered cheaper islands to their list. Lastly, smaller cities will start to blow up as travelers are starting to realize if they are going to have a city vacation anyways, they might as well do it somewhere like Heidelberg or Salzburg, where there are beautiful mountains and other activities to do nearby. These unknown but breathtaking locations will allow them to get more out of their vacation than just visiting the classic European city sites like museums and cathedrals. 

Europe will continue to be a trending summer vacation spot; however, where travelers are going is expanding to the lesser-known places due to wanting to avoid the crowds and desiring a more budget-friendly trip. 

Madison Loscalzo is Vice President and Head of Social Media for Her Campus at The University of Tampa. She plans and designs social media posts for the Instagram and TikTok. Madison also communicates and assists with organizing events and meetings. Madison is an advertising and public relations creative major with a minor in film and media. Madison does freelance photography and videography. While also being a content creator for Academic Studies Abroad and University of Tampa Communication Department. Madison enjoys writing articles about travel, lifestyle, and holiday activities. In her free time she does pilates, spends time outdoors, and volunteers as a foster mom for puppies.