Get us in your inbox

Sydney Harbour
Photograph: / Javen

City breaks are officially back – here are all the travel trends to watch out for in 2023

Travel agency Expedia gets out the crystal ball to predict the next year’s biggest travel trends

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

It’s crystal ball time! Looking ahead to 2023, what’ll be the biggest travel trends? Where’ll we go? What type of trips will everyone want to go on?

Travel agency Expedia reckons it has the answers to at least some of those questions. Using search data and feedback from 2,000 survey respondents, the travel agency has made a series of predictions for next year’s travel trends.  

First up, Expedia reckons travellers will opt to visit cities and urban landscapes. Thanks to the Fringe and World Pride, culture capitals such as Edinburgh and Sydney are set to prove more popular than ever. In other words, city breaks are back, baby!

Due to the cost-of-living crisis in many places around the world, Expedia is also predicting that travellers will choose rentals with kitchens. Which kind of makes sense, right? Eating out is often a huge holiday expense – cooking for yourself frees up loads of money to spend elsewhere.

Thanks to the increased popularity of spontaneous trips, Expedia also predicts an increase in popularity for three star hotels. Hotels rated three stars and under have apparently enjoyed 20 percent more interest over the past year, with travellers valuing shorter, more affordable stays over big blow-outs.

Another curious trend, according to Expedia, will see travellers inspired to book trips after seeing a destination in a TV show. Forty-four percent of respondents said that TV had inspired their travel plans, with the likes of New York (as seen in Inventing Anna and Sex and the City), New Zealand (The Lord of the Rings and The Rings of Power) and the UK (Bridgerton and The Crown) all benefiting from TV appearances.  

Something else we could be seeing much more of is new wave wellness – in other words, unconventional or adventurous wellness experiences. Expedia says that things like sylvotherapy (forest bathing), cryotherapy (low-temperature medical therapy) and fruit harvesting are all set to prove more popular than classic wellness stuff like meditation and cookery courses.

As well as city breaks, travellers could also head off to do the exact opposite in 2023. Expedia reckons that rustic getaways are on the rise, with travellers heading for private holiday homes with loads of space and fabulous countryside views. Converted barns and farmhouses in countries such as Italy, Spain and France have apparently all seen a recent uptick. Similar to this is a preference for hidden gems, with 37 percent of Expedia’s respondents saying that they’d rather book a holiday home in a lesser-known destination. 

Of course, it’s worth taking these predictions with a pinch of salt – they are just predictions, after all. But still, it’ll be interesting to see how many of them prove true...

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for the latest travel news and the best stuff happening across the world.

You may also like
You may also like