After two years of being at home and the revenge travel surge of 2022, the world has welcomed a more, shall we say, logical approach to vacationing. People are traveling again. Really traveling. To exotic places. Far-flung locales. Urban oases. We’re talking cross-this-off-your-bucket-list type outings. But they are doing it wisely. The travel trends of 2023 point to a year of purposeful, smart travel inspired by television shows and movie sets, lower carbon footprints, ice baths and magic mushrooms. And we couldn’t be happier.
- Transformational Retreats
Travelers are booking destinations that offer life-altering experiences, not just pretty views. The questions being asked are how will this destination enrich my life? Will it make me an improved version of myself? Enter the world of “transformational” retreats. These wellness-based escapes are expected to see a big boost in 2023 and will forego the usual massages and facials for innovative offerings ranging from grief therapy and dance classes to emotional detox sessions.
People will be set-jetting in 2023. Yep. Set-jetting. As in traveling to the sets where their favorite shows are filmed. Think Emily in Paris (bookings for France in 2023 are already 20 % higher than pre-pandemic levels.) Bridgerton and The Crown-inspired stays in London. White Lotis-esque resorts. There’s even been a surge of travel to Wyoming due in large part to the success of, you guessed it, Yellowstone. Look for the set-jetting travel trend to dominate in 2023.
- Greener Travel
The traveling “green” trend is expected to grow in 2023. According to a report by Expedia Group Media Solutions’ Sustainable Travel Study, the majority of travelers (90% worldwide) look for sustainable options when selecting a destination. People will also look to get from Point A to Point B in ways that significantly reduce our carbon footprint, i.e., electing to travel by rail vs. airline. Recent headlines (think the recent Southwest debacle) may add to the likelihood of this trend taking off.
- Dollar-Conscious Travel
Shorter, affordable stays are also heating up in 2023. Three-star hotels are seeing an upswing. Travelers are looking for valuable deals, saving hacks and shortcuts via points, miles and rewards. Yet, despite higher gas prices and other costly considerations, recession-cautious Americans are starting the year with a strong enthusiasm toward travel. In fact, Destination Analysts report 79% of American travelers already have their trips planned. The difference is, in 2023, most aren’t booking at uber-luxe hotels.
- Low-Key Locales
Call them charming. Quaint. Or hidden gems. But in 2023, some of the most unpredictable places in the U.S. will become the new trendy travel hotspots. According to Vrbo, the demand for travel to unconventional destinations has increased by 30% or more. Rounding out the top three at the time of the report – Nampa, Idaho, Greensboro, North Carolina and Layton, Utah. Also on the rise are so-called “cowboy-cations” to similar low-key locations with log cabins and flickering fires.
- The Big Chill
Ice baths have been around for a long time. In Japan, Shintoists rinse themselves in cold-water shrines at the start of each new year. In Russia and Eastern Europe, Orthodox Christians jump into freezing ice baths to celebrate Epiphany. And recently, the NY Times announced that no one is interested in team yoga anymore. The hottest place to network is an ice bath which has been known to enhance clearer thinking and decrease mental stress. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for the Big Chill of ‘23.
- Magic Mushrooms
Magic mushrooms are joining ice baths, IV vitamin drips and sound baths on the wave of wellness in 2023. Based on Google searches, interest in psychedelic therapy, psilocybin mushroom and microdosing reached all-time highs last year, both in the U.S. and worldwide. This trend is expected to become even more prominent in 2023. Oregon and Colorado have voted to legalize psychedelic mushrooms for people 21 and over, and psychedelic “healing centers” in Jamaica, the Netherlands and Mexico are on the rise.
- Itinerary Travel
This year people don’t just want to go to a destination, they want to experience it. In 2023 not only do a large portion of travelers want to experience a destination, they also want to learn from it. Educational itinerary travel is expected to pull up a chair in 2023 and make itself at home. Today’s travelers want to immerse themselves in an educative journey. The Luminaire reported that almost 90% of survey respondents gave high marks to the appeal of luxury educational travel experiences, with ratings of 8, 9, or 10.
By all accounts, 2023 promises to be a year of travel with a zest for purpose and value influenced strongly by actions taking place in the world and on the screen today. Learn about other travel trends expected to evolve in the new year and how they can be the basis for your marketing masterpiece.
Contact Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.