Travel certainly returned with a bang in 2022, with global air traffic reaching around 70% of what it was pre-pandemic. This is remarkable, especially given the staffing and operational limitations in place, as well as the fact that some destinations had their borders shut.
As we welcome back a sense of normality and watch tourism start to recover, it’s hard to forget the chaos of travel in 2022. From rental car shortages to the packed capitals of Europe and the dramatically increased airfares, travel was far from straightforward. Will 2023 bring a similar struggle? To help you with what lies ahead, let’s have a look at the likely travel trends for the upcoming year.
Travel Is Still a Priority
Despite inflation affecting everyone’s finances, it hasn’t been enough to stop anyone from going on their planned trips. In 2023, the U.S. Travel Foundation expects an increase in travel spending compared to the previous year. This means it’s likely that flights will be busy and tourist attractions will be crowded. Although it may be more challenging to find bargains, there are still ways to save money while traveling in 2023.
Luxury Travel Is Here To Stay
For those who skipped out on trips during the pandemic, your travel budget may now be bigger than ever before. Those first-class upgrades, five-star luxury hotels, and personalized experiences are all within reach. Many travelers are likely to spend more on their next trip, willing to pay whatever it takes to get the most out of the experience, even splurging on some upgrades.
A Stronger Dollar Puts New Destinations on the Map
The U.S. dollar is at its strongest in a long time, resulting in a favorable exchange rate with the euro and many other popular destinations. This has made international travel more appealing, especially to lower-cost countries, where travelers can get more for their money. Because of this, don’t be surprised when you have to battle the crowds in countries that are newly accessible. You can opt to put the trip off until the initial surge has passed.
Travelers Are Planning Ahead Again
With travel restrictions stabilizing, travelers are more comfortable booking trips in advance rather than waiting until the last minute to avoid disappointment or scrambling to adjust to new policies. Pre-paying international travel expenses such as hotel stays can also give you the advantage of today’s exchange rate if you are able to afford it. Travelers are booking trips much earlier for 2023 compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic). Many of them are already considering their summer 2023 destination.
“Hush” Trips Provide Remote Workers Opportunities to Travel on the Job
As remote work has become more common, digital nomadism has gained popularity. “Hush” trips could be the next major travel trend of 2023. This involves working remotely somewhere else for a short period of time without their employer knowing. They can log in and do their work while taking some extra time to explore the new place. Hotels are even getting in on the trend by providing an ideal workspace away from home, offering discounts and perks such as pools, bars, and fitness centers for extended stays to cater to remote workers.
Experiences Are a Priority, No Matter Where You Travel
Gone are the days when people just wanted to go on a trip to relax. Now, the majority of travelers want to spend at least some of their trip doing new activities. Many desire to experience their destination from an insider’s perspective, like a local, with the goal of having an authentic experience. Though it may seem as if everyone is aiming for the same goal, there are numerous approaches to discovering culture or trying something new. Utilizing the internet can help you locate unique tours and local events, yet this year might be the perfect opportunity to make the plunge and partake in a spontaneous adventure.
Responsible Travel Is No Longer Niche
Travelers are increasingly striving to travel responsibly and view destinations as locals do, bridging the divide between tourists and residents, creating human connections, and impacting the local economy – and willing to pay more to benefit local people. For a few years now, environmentally sustainable travel has become increasingly important to travelers as it can improve the traveling experience. Meaning travelers are making an effort to purchase from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible. Traveling ethically and sustainably is becoming easier, with more brands offering eco-friendly experiences and detailing how they are contributing to the cause. This makes it simpler for travelers to pick companies that reflect their values.
In 2023, it is anticipated that travel will return to pre-pandemic levels, despite inflation and any operational issues. People are expected to journey to exotic places, even if it requires a larger budget and advanced preparation. Additionally, there will be a greater focus on creating memorable experiences and a commitment to traveling responsibly and sustainably.