With the new year around the corner, it’s never too soon to start thinking about your 2023 plans. A new year means new goals, and something you could be manifesting for yourself is a big vacation. Whether you’re someone with a suitcase always half packed and ready-to-go, or your passport has never been touched before, you’ll still want to know the biggest 2023 travel trends and predictions from the industry’s top experts.
Similar to how 2022 was full of spontaneous trips and vlog-worthy adventures, 2023 has its own vibe and travel trends everyone will be wanting to follow. These 2023 travel trends are influenced by different factors like budgets and lifestyles. For instance, many people are working remotely nowadays, which means you can work from just about anywhere in the world. A hybrid work vacay could be the easiest way for you to see everything on your bucket list without having to sacrifice your PTO. There has also been a shift from rental homes back to hotel accommodations to avoid clean-up costs and the stress of having to deal with certain hosts, which will definitely play into how people travel in 2023.
Elite Daily tapped 10 travel experts from Lonely Planet, National Geographic, American Express Travel, EF Ultimate Break, and more to share their their travel predictions for 2023, and here is everything you should consider before booking your first plane ticket for the new year.
Ditch Rentals For Hotels
While you can’t pass up a one-of-a-kind stay on Airbnb, the President and CEO of Refined Hospitality, Ron Gorodesky, believes that hotel accommodations will take over in 2023. Gorodesky says, “[T]ravelers are looking for freestanding home alternatives with all the service of a traditional hotel.” Instead of having to do dishes or throw your towels in the wash on your final day to avoid additional fees, you can just stay in a hotel that feels like a unique rental stay.
One of these options is Refined’s River House at Odette’s in Pennsylvania. You could also find a hotel that’s all-inclusive, so you not only avoid extra fees but also receive tons of amenities as well.
Go On Extended WFH Stays
Stephen Arthur, the Director of Leisure Sales at Timbers Resorts, shared that “due to increasing remote work,” Timbers is seeing more guests choosing to go on trips with an extended stay. Instead of just taking the weekend to visit, you can spend an entire week or even longer in your dream destination, exploring when you’re off the clock.
Travel With Your Family
Another trend that Arthur says will be big in 2023 is multi-generational traveling. While you may want to go places with your partner or bestie, “family travel is expected to rise by nearly 25% annually.” You want to share these once-in-a-lifetime trips with the people you love the most, so it makes sense to go old school with a family vacay.
Choose Outdoor Adventures
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It seems the adrenaline rush isn’t over in 2023. Similar to how high adrenaline excursions and outdoor adventures were a travel trend in 2022, National Geographic’s Senior Editor, Amy Alipio, also sees 2023 as a big year for adventure. Some recommendations include off-the-beaten-path spots like Choquequirao in Peru, going bungee jumping in New Zealand, or hiking in Austria. If you rather stay close to home, Utah has hiking, camping, and river rafting.
Keep Conservation In Mind
Alipio also sees community as a big trend that focuses on conservation and sustainable tourism. This means that, along with taking away memories, you’re also giving something back to the community you’re visiting. That could mean getting to know the culture or contributing to the economy in positive ways. Alipio suggests visiting the Dodecanese Islands in Greece, checking out some breweries in Milwaukee, or taking a train through Laos.
If you enjoy the outdoors but aren’t looking for an adrenaline rush, Alipio also says that visiting to see natural wonders is a travel trend next year. While bioluminescence was huge in 2022, you’ll want to “marvel at the biodiversity of Botswana” in 2023. Foodies may want to check out the gastrotourism in Slovenia that takes you to different farms and cheesemakers as you bike around. There are also plenty of national parks and natural wonders like the Northern Lights that should be on every traveler’s to-do list.
Maximize Your Trip To Mexico
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On the top of American Express Travel’s list of places to visit is Mexico City. While you can make your trip your own, they shared an itinerary that packs every minute of your trip with something memorable to do, like strolling through San Angel’s Saturday Bazaar and visiting art galleries. While in Mexico, Nat Geo also suggests visiting the Revillagigedo National Park for both checking off the nature sights and sustainable tourism from your list.
Unwind For Your Mental Health
Sure, vacations are about experiences and making new memories, but they’re also for relaxation. American Express Travel reports that 89% of their respondents are looking to escape their day-to-day routine while “74% plan to travel more in 2023 for their wellbeing.” Lonely Planet suggests beachy locations like Halkidiki in Greece or Jamaica as options while American Express travel has stress-free itineraries planned to the Florida Keys and Fiji. Even an all-inclusive stay at a resort is a great way to relax, just as long as it’s not at a White Lotus Resort.
While a traditional trip is always welcome, Hotels.com also shares that 60% of Millennials are hoping to take “alternative wellness getaways” in 2023. Get creative with non-traditional activities like forest bathing or staying in a Whitepod in Switzerland.
Splurge On Your Bucket List Getaway
American Express Travel also reports that 74% of their respondents are planning to spend more next year on their travel plans. They may even sacrifice their budget for upgrades and amenities like late checkout. Since 70% of people also want to go on new adventures and check off their bucket list, this may be your sign to finally go on that one expensive trip to your dream destination.
Michelle McNeice, the Vice President of Marketing at EF Ultimate Break, shared with Elite Daily that many Gen Zers are planning to go all out: “Call it ‘revenge travel’ or ‘the semester abroad that COVID cancelled,’ Gen Z is embracing adventure and taking on their bucket lists with extended trips across multiple cities.”
You could go on an
Emily in Paris-inspired trip to Paris or immerse yourself in everything that Portugal has to offer. Now that their borders are open to tourists, take that wanderlust trip to Japan or go on a month-long European Summer that gives you “more experiences, more core memories.”
Edoardo Fornaciari/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Foodies will be excited to know that Lonely Planet has also released their list of the best places to eat in 2023. Of course, Italy — more specifically Umbria, Italy — tops the list. Sip on some wine while snacking on Italian truffles, prosciutto, and fine cheeses. Lima, Peru is also a must for anyone with an appetite. They have everything from ceviche to Peruvian doughnuts, Picarones. Other foodie spots include Fukuoka in Japan, South Africa, and Montevideo, Uruguay.
As mentioned, Japan is way easier to travel to now as a tourist. McNeice also shared that all of Asia is going to be a big travel destination in 2023. “Travel is all the way back, and Gen Z and Millennial travelers have made it clear that they’re focused on one destination — Asia. From Bali to Japan to Thailand, interest in adventures across the Asian continent is ever increasing,” McNeice says.
To account for the interest, EF Ultimate Break is launching new destinations that were voted for by customers and include South Korea and Vietnam. This may be an ARMY’s chance to visit the home of BTS and K-Pop, while foodies will love eating pho in Vietnam. As McNeice says, “Simply put, Asia is having a moment.”
“Traveling solo continues to gain popularity within the Gen Z and Millennial demos,” McNeice revealed. “They’re over the idea of coordinating with friends when they can skip the hassle and fly off on an adventure themselves.” Of course, if you’re not ready to do everything by yourself, booking a group getaway with EF Ultimate Break is a great option. You’ll still be choosing your own adventure and charting your own path to where you want to go, but you’ll feel safe and be able to “connect with other travelers” along the way.
If you are planning to travel alone in 2023, be sure to check out our solo travelers issue for tips on where to go and what to pack.
Have you always wanted to visit
Sex and the City filming locations in NYC or stay in the hotel from your new fave show, The White Lotus? With Season 3 of Emily in Paris about to drop on Netflix, you may even want to follow in her footsteps by visiting France.
Expedia reports that 40% of their travelers find inspiration forwhere to go next from TV shows and movies. As such, set-jetting or visiting IRL filming locations is expected to be big in 2023. Apps like SetJetters make it easy to find locations from what you’re currently marathon-watching, so you can add it to your travel to-do list.
Visit A Culture-Rich City
While trends like cottagecore have inspired people to travel to cabins and national parks in the past, Expedia believes that cities will make a comeback in 2023. Not just any cities, though. The travel site expects to see culture-rich cities with a lot of art and festivities like NYC, Edinburgh, Lisbon, and Dublin to be extra popular.
Consider A Cowboy-cation
“Rustic getaways are on the rise,” according to Vrbo. If cities still aren’t your thing, you may want to consider a cowboy-cation. You could listen to “Cowboy Like Me” by Taylor Swift as you go horseback riding in Montana. Choosing to vacation in a western state rather than traveling all the way to Europe can also be great for your budget, and Vrbo shares that 42% of their travelers find inspiration in outdoorsy locations.
Find Creative Ways To Save
Although splurging on your dream trip will be a thing in 2023, experts at Hotels.com and Vrbo believe travelers will still take advantage of creative ways to save money. In fact, Hotels.com shared that three-star hotels have increased in popularity recently. These value hotels still include amenities like free parking and breakfast, so you’re not sacrificing quality or comfort.
At the same time, Vrbo also shared that 43% of travelers plan to cook on vacation to save some money as well. That’s why they’re seeing “foodie-menities” — aka food amenities — as a 2023 travel trend.
Go Off The Beaten Path With Hidden Gems
Vrbo also sees the rise of hidden gems in 2023. Everyone has the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon on their travel bucket list, but something they don’t have are hidden gem cafes in Los Angeles or off-the-beaten-path restaurants in Europe. The vacation rental site shared that interest in “unconventional destinations has increased by 30%.” That includes cities like Nampa, Idaho and Spokane, Washington.
Dust Off Your Passport With International Destinations
If other 2023 travel trends have piqued your interest, like solo traveling and splurge vacations, but you’re not sure where to go, the experts at Airbnb offer up the top trending travel spots for 2023 — and they’re all international. Three of the biggest destinations include Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil, with Málaga, Spain taking the No. 1 spot.
You could definitely tour around Australia for a trendy extended vacay, while stopping in cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. Other options include a set-jetting trip to
The Rings of Power filming locations in New Zealand or unwinding on a mental health vacay in Brazil.
Expert Sources Cited:
Amy Alipio, National Geographic’s Senior Editor
Michelle McNeice, VP of Marketing at EF Ultimate Break
Ron Gorodesky, President and CEO of Refined Hospitality
Stephen Arthur, Director of Leisure Sales at Timbers Resorts
American Express Travel
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