Typically, travelers are rushing to arrive as quickly as possible to a single destination, where they’ll spend the majority of their vacation. But the joy, as they say, is in the journey. Seventy-five percent of global travelers believe a trip is more enjoyable when the journey feels like part of it, so why not build experiences into the voyage? From sleeper trains to super yachts, slow, nostalgic travel has returned with a focus on high luxury and design. For some travelers, the mode of transportation is the destination, which helps them slow down and enjoy the scenery.
You can still embrace this trend when traveling by car by mapping out landmarks for pitstops and overnight stays along your route. RV trips are another hot trend in 2023, with 61% of Americans planning to take an RV road trip this year (up 13% over 2022).
When flying internationally, many airlines offer stopover programs that let you enjoy a popular destination after the first leg of your trip. This stopover from Air Canada gives you 48 hours in Toronto on your way to Europe or Asia. Extended layovers like this are likely to decrease the cost of your flight while giving you a chance to rest, recharge, and experience another region of the world within the same vacation.
With increasing discussion and concern around climate change and limited resources, travelers are looking for ways to lessen the environmental and social impacts of their tourism. Beyond eco-friendly choices like staying closer to home or choosing green certified hotels, a recent survey shows people also equate sustainable travel with supporting local economies, cultures and communities, and visiting lesser-known destinations. To support more conscious travel choices, Airbnb launched its flexible search feature in Europe, which has helped divert bookings from the continent’s most over-touristed destinations and peak travel dates. This dispersing of European tourism creates more balance in both sustainable and economic ways.
From yurts and treehouse cabins to softer, more intimate hotel interiors, our recent homebody tendencies are influencing where we stay. To bring the comfort and privacy of home with us while we travel, hospitality venues have gotten creative with amenities and finishes. Worn vintage pieces are mixed with new to create a look that feels lived in and collected over time. In public areas, guests are given opportunities to find more intimacy—both indoors and out—through more private seating and green plant screens.
We’ve all taken trips that left us feeling like we needed a vacation from our vacation. But this year, we’re ready to actually relax on vacation. Expedia Brands report that people’s searches for wellness hotels saw a 30% increase in 2022 versus the prior year. Newer to the wellness scene are some of the activities you may find during your getaway, such as sylvotherapy (forest bathing), chakra sessions, food boot camps, puppy yoga, laughter therapy, and fruit harvesting. If you’re looking for a relaxing destination that helps you maintain healthy habits or form a few new ones, this list of top wellness hotels may prove helpful. Namaste.
Overall, 2023 travel trends seem to be less about following trends and more about planning the trip you need in a way that aligns with your broader values. Wherever your journeys take you this year, we hope you find yourself overlooking a beautiful landscape from beneath a Tuuci parasol.