Top 5 Travel Trends for 2023

Get Out There is a column for people with itchy feet written by Paste contributor Blake Snow. Although it’s different now, the journey is still worth it – especially to these open borders.

How might travel change this year? Where are people going this year? And how can you save a dollar on your next trip as you move around the planet?

To find out, the folks at Expedia, the world’s largest travel company, surveyed 2,000 people and combined their responses with the latest booking data. While not a foolproof way to predict the future, this approach offers an inside look at the purchasing behavior and changing tastes of travelers.

According to the data, this is what awaits us this year.

1. Cities are back

After many travelers have spent the last two years traveling to nature, the majority of the pendulum is now heading back to the urban jungles. With pesky pandemic restrictions all but lifted, travelers are booking trips to Edinburgh, Lisbon, Tokyo, Dublin, New York and more this year in greater numbers than ever before. You know, big cultural centers, lots of crowds and the associated energy they inevitably share.

2. 3-star hotels are up 20%

As travelers try to counter rising inflation, Expedia has seen a significant increase in bookings for 3-star hotels this year. What’s more, ‘3-star hotels with a view’ is apparently now a thing as holidaymakers try to get the best of both worlds. After all, the more you save on accommodation, the more tours, flights and far-flung destinations you can enjoy. This is not bad.

3. Rentals with kitchens

On a similar note, travelers are booking more hotels and rentals with kitchens this year. This is also seen as a way to avoid sticker shock, especially while eating out. Although food is a huge part of travel (up to 33% by my estimate), it’s clear that travelers this year are willing to skip at least a few restaurants along the way in favor of self-cooked meals. I don’t blame them.

4. Television tourism

In case you haven’t noticed, television is sort of cannibalizing cinema. It also entices viewers to visit the locations of their favorite shows this year. Of course, movies have been doing this for decades. But travel figures show that New York, Paris, New Zealand and the UK are enjoying surges in bookings for specific locations from the most popular TV series. So if you want to get one step closer to your favorite series this year, you need to go “on location”, wherever that is.

5. Know your plane ticket hacks

According to the latest figures, booking on Sunday is the best day to save on flights this year. Similarly, experts recommend booking one month for maximum savings on domestic flights and six months for best savings on international flights. Of course, these tips won’t completely eliminate rising airfares. But historically, they can save you several (and sometimes hundreds) on flights. Every little bit helps.

BONUS:: In terms of popular destinations, France, the UK, Portugal, the US (especially New Mexico) and Germany are on the rise, according to several overlapping reports. Essentially, after taking a backseat to Mexico for the past two years, Europe is making a strong comeback this year and once again welcoming visitors from all over the world. I’m not complaining. But it would be nice to see more Latin American and Asian destinations on the trending list.

Blake Snow contributes to luxury publications and Fortune 500 companies as an intrepid freelance writer and frequent traveler. He lives in Provo, Utah with his teenage family and two dogs.

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