2024 Is A Great Year To See The Northern Lights, Expedia Survey Finds
2024 is projected as an awesome year to witness the Northern Lights. In helping to spread the word about this news, Expedia has released both a survey and a guide on what travelers need to know and where to go to see this multi-colored light phenomenon.
Unveiled in a media announcement, Expedia’s new survey cited that, in the year ahead, nearly half of Americans (42 percent) will make aura chasing a priority over other iconic bucket list experiences. Seeing the Northern Lights ranked higher than visiting the Egyptian pyramids (36 percent) and walking along the Great Wall of China (33 percent).
According to Christie Hudson, head of public relations for Expedia’s US division, the travel technology company became aware of this travel forecast late last year.
Hudson noted that meteorologists and space experts began reporting on the Aurora Borealis’ visibility becoming greater. This finding is happening due to a favorable solar cycle taking place, which is driven by the sun’s magnetic field and resulting in a side effect that causes auroras such as the Northern Lights to visualize.
“When we learned that, we realized there was just such an opportunity to help people plan this type of trip, because a Northern Lights viewing trip is kind of a bucket list trip for a lot of people,” said Hudson.
Where to See The Northern Lights in 2024
The Expedia survey also lists places where travelers can witness this phenomenon, some of which Expedia asked participants what they thought they were. Hudson said that the most commonly chosen answer from respondents was Finland but she also mentioned that there are other viewing places “a lot closer to home.”
According to Hudson, Canada has two great destinations for seeing the Northern Lights, one being Yellowknife, a city within the Northwest Territories and the other is Churchill, a town in Manitoba that is also known for polar bear sightings.
Other locations mentioned in the survey include Banff and Jasper, Canada; Narvik, Alta and Tromsø, Norway; Isle of Skye, Scotland; and Abisko and Kiruna, Sweden.
The United States is also included in the survey, listing Alaska, Michigan and Minnesota. In the “North Star State,” Hudson noted that heading to Voyageurs National Park during the winter months can provide a chance at getting a really good view.
What To Know About Seeing The Northern Lights
However, Hudson added that it’s best to known that catching glimpses of this natural wonder is not always certain. Having coinciding activities on your itinerary is important. For example, if you’re in Norway to see the Northern Lights, look to book a reindeer encounter such as sledding.
“Even if everything is optimal, weather is unpredictable. It’s part of what makes [the Northern Lights] so magical is that there’s no guarantee that you’re going to see them,” said Hudson. “Make sure you have other things you want to see and do in that area when you go.”
Along with the survey, Expedia has published an online guide on seeing the Northern Lights. The free digital magazine breaks down just about every aspect of planning an upcoming trip, along with specific guides to cities featured in the Expedia survey. The magazine also covers topics such as how to best take pictures of the Northern Lights with tips from a professional photographer.
As for other trip advice, Hudson recommended booking with a local tour operator. She added that their guides can provide in-depth knowledge not only on seeing the Northern Lights within their destination but also about the location you’re viewing them in.