The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (2024)

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Leila Najafi

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (1)

  • I'm a luxury travel planner, and these are destinations I think will be popular this year.
  • For a beach getaway in Europe, I recommend Sardinia, Corsica, and Costa Navarino
  • I suggest Niseko, Japan, for outdoor enthusiasts or Ticino, Switzerland, as a Lake Como alternative.

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With Americans spending more on travel and experiences, now could be just the time to book a trip.

I'm a luxury travel advisor, and I book five-star hotels and luxury vacations around the world for wealthy and high-profile clients.

My clients always ask me about under-the-radar luxury destinations that feel exclusive and are not overly crowded by tourists.

Here are a few places I'm recommending to my clients in 2024.

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Ticino, Switzerland

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (5)

This charming Italian-speaking region is also known as Switzerland's "Little Italy."

I recommend visiting Swissminiatur in Melide, an open-air miniature museum that's great for families with kids. I also suggest visiting the well-manicured Parco Ciani, a beautiful park with statues and fountains that overlook Lago di Lugano.

The region's small lakeside town Ascona is not to be missed. Take a boat cruise there and have lunch with a view of the cafe-lined promenade situated on Lago Maggiore.

You can also take a short boat ride to the Brissago Islands, which consist of two islands. Only Isola Grande is open to the public. There, you can walk around the botanical garden and have a meal at the dreamy, neoclassical Villa Emden.

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Sardinia, Italy

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (6)

Sardinia is also known for its nightlife and white-sand beaches. This island in the Mediterranean is also a hot spot for celebrities.

The northern side of the island is dotted with upscale beach clubs and luxury resorts such as Romazzino, Costa Smeralda, and Hotel Cala di Volpe.

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Botswana, Africa

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (7)

Most visitors go to Kenya for an African safari but Botswana is better suited for a high-end safari experience with luxury accommodations since there are a limited number of camps.

You can spot the Big 5 in the Okavango Delta, which offers a good mix of land and water safaris. Or visit Chobe National Park, which has a very high population of elephants.

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Niseko, Japan

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (8)

Niseko offers some of the best powder for skiing in the winter. In the summer, the area is known for its outdoor activities.

It has natural hot springs, river activities, golf courses, hiking, and mountain biking. If you're up for an adventure in the spring or summer, I recommend climbing to the top of Mt. Yotei, a volcano and one of the famous mountains for skiing. The hike is not for the faint of heart!

Many people visit Tokyo to see the cherry blossoms, but you can also see them in Niseko. They're often in full bloom at the beginning of May.

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Corsica, France

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (9)

Corsica has the perfect mix of rugged landscapes, hiking trails, rich history, and lively beaches. Its Plage de Palombaggia has stunning clear blue waters and a long stretch of white sand.

Corsica also has several vineyards — including a few along the coast — so you can take scenic tours and go wine tasting on the island.

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Costa Navarino, Greece

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (10)

Skip overcrowded Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos. Instead, vacation in Costa Navarino, a coastal town in the Peloponnese known for its world-class golf courses and epic outdoor adventures.

If you want to shop for artisanal goods made by local designers, stop by Navarino Agora, a new outdoor marketplace with an open-air cinema.

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Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (11)

Jose Ignacio is a chic beach town that comes alive after Christmas (during the region's summer season) when locals from Uruguay and nearby Argentina flock here for vacation.

The former fishing village is anchored by the faro, or lighthouse, near Playa del Faro Jose Ignacio — my favorite beach for people-watching and kite surfing. Spend a day soaking up the sun and check out the trendy seaside bars and restaurants.

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Vals, Switzerland

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (12)

Vals is a small, quiet alpine village in Graubünden with only about 1,000 inhabitants.

It's a hiker's paradise with wide open landscapes and rolling green hills. Try the moderate hike around Lake Zervreila at the base of the gondola in the center of Vals — you'll be rewarded with spectacular lake and village views.

A crown jewel of Vals is 7132 Hotel, an architectural marvel designed by prominent Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The hotel is famous for its thermal spa made of local quartzite.

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West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (13)

This waterfront district in Hong Kong is an art hub with multiple major arts and performance venues. M+ and Hong Kong Palace Museum are two of the newer museums that opened in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

The Xiqu Centre in The West Kowloon Cultural District is an especially cool performing arts venue where you can watch a Cantonese opera.

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Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (14)

This warm and sunny region is perfect for foodies and wine lovers, with over 100 wineries and many restaurants that serve farm-to-table food.

It's one of New Zealand's oldest wine regions and a great alternative to European ones. The vast majority of New Zealand's cabernet sauvignon and merlot are produced in Hawke's Bay.

Plus, the area's flat trails make it ideal for wine and food tours by bicycle.

Kids will love the National Aquarium of New Zealand and Napier's Marine Parade, an outdoor playground with a skate park, gardens, and mini-golf.

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The 10 under-the-radar places a luxury travel planner is recommending to her clients this year (2024)

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