We’re born with a desire to travel  – and it still shows

From the eager first steps of a toddler to the strides of an adult, our urge to travel and explore seems innate. For some it’s enough to go regularly to a favorite spot, even if it’s not far from home.  With others it’s about how they travel, not just to where: witness the popularity of sports as different as backpacking and the Extreme E offroad racing series. And for many it’s the annual vacation, or traveling long distances for Thanksgiving or Christmas with families.

All these tell us something about the individual, and about the way society values travel. And what better reminder of this than one of the world’s premier international travel conventions: ITB, in Berlin, Germany, held this year from March 5th – 7th.

Up-to-Date Travel Trends for 2024

In the build-up to ITB earlier in March, numerous commentators revealed some thought-provoking data about international travel, including:

  • For the first half of 2024, North American flight capacity is set to increase by 7%. The number of flights is likely to drop, also by 7%, thanks to the popularity of larger and more efficient aircraft. Globally in the same period, increased seat capacity looks more like 3.5%. But that’s equivalent to 97 million more passengers than in the same period in 2023. (FCM Consulting)
  • According to Berlin based consultancy IPK International, the demand for international vacation travel will remain high. In 2023, 60% of international travel was by air. This share is likely to continue in 2024, further bolstered by steadily growing business travel.
  • The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) reports that 37% of Americans over 50 plan to take a foreign vacation in 2024

Berlin-based consultancy IPK International reflects this optimism, predicting a continued high demand for international vacation travel. In 2024, it is reasonable to expect passenger numbers to be similar or greater than in 2023, especially given continued resurgence in business travel.

The Joy of Vacation Planning

Behind these trends are real people. And one of the great pleasures of foreign travel is planning the trip – looking at maps, checking out sites to visit, beaches to relax on, and activities to try. There are practical considerations too: checking travel advisories and health requirements and, increasingly, arranging foreign currency travel money in advance. This is better value and less stressful than doing it last-minute at an airport booth, or even in destination.

Credit unions  and banks have a golden opportunity here, especially credit unions, whose not-for-profit status gives them more room to be competitive. However, that only works if the systems  they have in place are convenient, efficient and cost effective.

Transforming the Travel Money Experience

This is where a service like Money 4 Travel comes into its own. Money 4 Travel, from Essiell, delivers innovation and convenience at every step. Integration with existing systems is seamless, so transactions are smooth and time-efficient. For branch staff, Money 4 Travel means minimal paperwork and more opportunities to engage with members about additional services. Behind the scenes, the service manages currency stocks, automatically ordering those which are not immediately available in-branch. It’s a fast, efficient, and cost-effective operation.

And that’s what matters. It enables credit unions to deliver a service of real benefit to their members. It’s something they’ll be grateful for even while they’re relaxing several thousand miles away, confident in the knowledge of good value, easily achieved.

By Declan Morton, staff writer at Money 4 Travel and Essiell Ltd.


For reference

Data Suggests Even More Trips for 2024 Despite Rising Costs, FCM Consulting, Meeting Spotlight, February 22, 2024

ITB Berlin and IPK International: Big global increase in outbound travel in 2023, Breaking Travel News, February 27, 2024

2024 Travel Trends: Despite High Costs and Travel Challenges, Older Travelers’ Plans Hold Steady, AARP, February 28, 2024

This site is better experienced portrait - please rotate your phone