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Travellers across the world are set to make 2023 a big year to go out and explore with optimism for travel shooting 73 percent over the last year despite rising economic and political uncertainties, according to a study.
Travel portal Booking.com recently conducted an extensive research to map the travel trends for 2023. The research included answers to questions like where travelers want to go, what are their inspirations for traveling, and how budget plays a big role in their plans.
As the world adapts to the new normal after wriggling out of Covid-induced travel restrictions, travellers word over are now stepping on the gas. A look at the various aspects of the study:
The most popular types of vacations and experiences in 2023
Nostalgic getaways, community minded travel are among the most popular types of vacation for 2023.
BK1
The most popular type of niche experience in 2023
A vacation is a great way to unwind and relax. 42 percent of the travellers want to go on a break that focuses on their mental and physical health, including retreats to smooth the processes of pregnancy and menopause. Almost half (44 percent) want to go on meditation or mindfulness retreats.
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Virtual reality inspiring travel choices
According to the research, some of the travelers are keen to spend multiple days in the Metaverse, with over a third (35 percent) revealing that they would take a multi-day AR or VR travel experience. As haptic feedback technology advances, virtual travellers will soon be able to feel the sand between their toes and the sun on their skin without even having to step outside.
While this sounds exciting, it’s not enough to dissuade the majority (60 percent) of travellers, who agree that virtual travel isn’t as fulfilling as being there in person.
Off-grid style travelling
Lockdowns had forced people to remain confined to their homes and this made our lives more and more dependent o technology. Now, with most restrictions being lifted, travellers are keen to disconnect, with 55 percent wanting to spend their vacations off-grid.
Many travellers are expressing a desire to use their vacations in 2023 as an opportunity to learn survival skills (58 percent). This includes learning how to source clean water (53 percent), light a fire from scratch (42 percent), forage for food in the wild (39 percent) and even how to prepare for an apocalypse (39 percent).
bk3
 
Escape from Reality
Almost half (48 percent) would only consider going off-grid if it meant they could take a few luxuries and indulgences with them, and 53 percent revealed they’d need their phone and stable internet connection.
Bk4
 
Embracing the unfamiliar
Almost three-quarters of the travellers (73 percent) want to experience something out of their comfort zone, with 30 percent keen to explore lesser-known cities to find some hidden gems.
Plenty of travellers (38 percent) want an out-of-this-world culture shock, and to go on the hunt for UFOs. This means there will be an increase in visitors to extra-terrestrial hotspots such as Roswell, New Mexico.
Others may go further east with 47 percent being interested in exploring exotic delicacies such as the hottest chili pepper (the current world record is held by the California Reaper, bred in Rock Hill, South Carolina).
Budget-concious traveling
Travellers are now becoming more budget-conscious, with 68 percent paying close attention to how much they’re spending on their adventures. However, despite the ongoing economic and energy crises, half (50 percent) of them believe investing in a vacation is still a priority.
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Prioritising travel spend
Following travel restrictions in the last two years, many travelers were able to save the money they would have otherwise spent on vacation. As a result, half (49 percent) will make up for it by spending more during their 2023 adventures, while 43 percent plan on indulging by splashing the cash to maximise their experience. A third (33 percent) revealed they like to indulge in shopping on vacation for things that aren’t available back home.
bk6
 
How are travellers saving money when booking vacations?
While many intend to live their best life while on a vacation, travellers are finding ways to spend less to get there.
Almost two-thirds (63 percent) will keep a close eye on deals and hacks, with more than half (53 percent) are happy to travel off-season or through longer routes. That means 2023’s off-season may be a little busier than last year’s.
Around 61 percent people also intend to plan their vacations in advance so expect to see fewer last-minute travellers in 2023.
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Embracing ‘real life’ work travel
The work-from-home culture adopted as part of the new normal has transformed into a work-from-anywhere mindset. While employees have enjoyed hitting the beach during their lunch hour or working on their laptops by the pool, employers are counting on better productivity and improved work culture.
Two-thirds (66 percent) of the people surveyed want their trips to be strictly work-free in 2023, while 51 percent want their employers to use the money saved from remote working to fund corporate travel or retreats.
Perhaps this is something businesses should consider, as 59 percent believe exploring somewhere new will inspire them to be more productive at work and 44 percent believe that ‘real life’ work trips help bring people together.
Top Trending Destinations for 2023
According to the research conducted by Booking.com,  these are the top trending destinations for global travellers.
450km west of Rio de Janeiro is the fabulous city of São Paulo, home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in the country. It’s also filled with culture and hosts the São Paulo Museum of Art, the Museum of Ipiranga, the Football Museum and the Museum of the Portuguese Language. Of course, there are plenty of beach hotels in São Paulo for those looking to soak up the sun in between soaking up the culture.
Budva may be a small Montenegrin town on the Adriatic coast, but with picture-perfect views and beautiful sandy beaches, it offers a chance to relax by day and enjoy the eclectic party scene by night.
Located on India’s southeastern coast, Pondicherry is a wonderful, laid-back town with a rich French history. With plenty of culture and opportunities to relax, there’re lots to see and do for adventurous tourists. Pondicherry has a wide range of independent stores. Around 25 percent of travellers want to incorporate local accessories into their style.
Located in central Mexico, Querétaro may not have any beaches but it makes up for it with a variety of ecosystems, including rainforests, mountains and deserts. There are plenty of tours on offer around the city to keep you busy for days.
At the foot of the Italian Alps and just 85km from the Austrian border, Bolzano is an Italian medieval city that offers skiing, history and buzzing nightlife. Home to the Museum of Archaeology and mountainside Roncolo Castle, you won’t run out of things to see and do in this diverse and lively city. For 33 percent of travellers, who will be traveling with friends in 2023, Bolzano has plenty to keep you entertained both day and night.
Located on the northwestern coast of the island of Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, often referred to locally as KK, offers miles of exploration. From Kinabalu National Park to Mount Kinabalu, travelers can take walking tours to see orangutans in the wild. For those less adventurous days, there are plenty of white sandy beaches offering views across the South China Sea. Kota Kinabalu is perfect for the 21 percent of travellers who said they want to spend their 2023 vacation relaxing on a beach.
Nestled at the feet of rocky mountains, Kalabaka is a Greek destination steeped in religious history and culture. The monasteries of Saint Barbara Roussanou and Meteora are sights that have to be seen to be believed, built in the 11th century at the peak of towering rock formations. There are also plenty of museums to visit to feed inquisitive minds, including the Natural History Museum, the Geological Formation Museum and the Hellenic Culture Museum.
From skiing during the winter months to exploring some of the 1.6 million acres that make up the Santa Fe National Forest in spring and summer, there’s so much to experience in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Renowned as an art city, there’s also a variety of galleries and museums to visit, from textiles and folk art at the Museum of International Folk Art to the inspiring work by Georgia O’Keeffe at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
Many travelers head to the Czech Republic for exhilarating nightlife in cities such as Prague. However, 235 miles away, the city of Olomouc is packed with incredible architecture and quaint streets lined with restaurants and cafes. There’s also history and culture to experience, including the Museum of Modern Art and the 12th-century St. Wenceslas Cathedral.
Hobart is a town in southern Tasmania on the banks of the River Derwent. To the west is Mount Wellington, a 4,170-foot mountain that provides jaw-dropping views across Wellington Park and the surrounding areas. The town also has a lively nightlife, with a selection of bars, clubs and restaurants, making Hobart the perfect location for the 72 percent of travelers open to nightlife-centric vacations.
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