Top Travel Trends of 2023

HotelPlanner has anazlyed internal data to compile this major list and expects 2023 to be a huge year of adventure and personal growth for the travel industry. From inspirational getaways, budget planning, and dream vacations, please take a peek at the trends below. 

  • Exchange Rate Travel – The weakened British pound and Euro have given Americans more purchasing power parity across Europe than at any time since the early 1980s. If there were ever a time for Americans to save money in Europe, it’s now. And it’s not just Americans who are taking advantage of ‘currency arbitrage.’ Savvy travelers around the world are choosing where to travel based on the most advantageous exchange rate. For example, the Japanese yen hasn’t been this weak against the U.S. dollar since 1990, thereby making a trip to Japan more affordable right now in relative terms.
  • Luxury Travel – Among all the new travel trends, luxury travel may be the biggest to emerge from the pandemic. Millions of people were diligent in saving their increased disposable income, or started new businesses and careers, and now have the financial means for a more bespoke, upscale, inclusive, or other luxury experience. This may include flying private, staying at an all-inclusive resort, going on an exotic safari, ski trip or cruise, or simply staying in more upscale hotels and eating at nicer restaurants.
  • Wedding Travel – About one in four Americans traveled in 2022 for a wedding-related event. 2023 will be no different. After two years of waiting to tie the knot, there will be unprecedented demand for wedding event space and hotel blocks next year. Given the waitlist for venue space, many couples are choosing destination weddings, such as the Caribbean or Hawaii, or in their family’s country of origin.
  • Revenge Travel – Despite inflation, after two years of limited travel due to pandemic restrictions, millions are eager to make up for lost time. The industry is calling this trend ‘revenge travel.” But what does that really mean? It means that millions of people are telling their spouse or partner: “Honey, let’s finally go to Paris! It’s now or never. We deserve to go big. We’ve earned it.” That’s the typical travelers’ mindset right now. They just want to see the world because life is short. Travel “FOMO” is real.
  • Digital Nomads – These are remote workers whose employers allow them to work from wherever they want. Millions of digital nomads are now taking advantage of this newfound freedom from the office cubicle. These are people who might visit five cities or five countries over several weeks or months, and work from coffee shops and extended stay hotels and AirBnBs. This trend has created a brand new category of traveler: the digital nomad. And they are here to stay. Hotels are already spending millions to market directly to digital nomads with extended stay incentives.
  • Bleisure Travel – This is a combination of business & leisure travel where a typical employee is on a business trip from Monday – Thursday, and then extends their trip for a mini-vacation, oftentimes with their spouse or family in tow. Given that corporate travel is still recovering, customers should take advantage of the ‘Saturday Night Stayover’ deal where many airlines and hotels will offer discounts if you extend through the weekend.
  • Sustainable Travel – Travelers are becoming more environmentally conscious about the carbon footprint of their travels and the positive or negative impact their travels may have on the planet. Travelers are searching more for ‘Eco-friendly’ hotels and transportation options, as well as “environmental impact” or ‘sustainable travel’ trips where part of the experience includes local philanthropic events like growing a community garden, or cleaning up a beach – almost like a mini week-long “Peace Corps” of sorts.
  • Multi-Generational Travel – Traveling with three or even four generations of family members is becoming more popular as people realize that Grandma and Grandpa won’t be around forever. We’re seeing an increase in trips with multigenerational families all traveling together. This could be a large family reunion, or just inviting grandparents to join the family on a weekend road trip.
  • Heritage Travel – With the increased popularity of sites like 23 & Me and Ancestry.com, people are rediscovering family roots and tracing their lineage all the way back to their ancestors’ country of origin. This has led to an increase in heritage travel, where families are traveling all over the world to visit the hometown of their great-great-great grandparents.
  • Cannabis Tourism – With dozens of U.S. states now offering various forms of legal marijuana, this has created a whole new market of travelers who are visiting states where cannabis is much easier to obtain legally than wherever they reside. This is no longer just trips to ‘hash bars’ in AmsterdamThere are now hotels in Denver specifically marketing to “420 friendly” travelers, and not just on April 20th, but year-round.

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