From Multi-Generational Trips to Train Rides, These Are the 5 Travel Trends to Expect in 2023, Experts Say

Popular adventures ranging from cultural destinations to ski-centric locales will dominate the travel scene in the new year.

Shot of an adorable little girl having a fun day at the beach with her parents and grandparents
Photo: Dean Mitchell / GETTY IMAGES

With the new year comes a renewed chance to plan adventures, whether that involves a solo trip or a family getaway. Not sure where 2023 will take you and your loved ones? Look to the latest travel trends—they just might encourage you to map out your most meaningful vacation yet.

According to a 2023 report by Expedia, travelers want to revel in restorative sights, journey to nature-centric places, and experience more culture next year. "We're seeing a surge in trips to culture capitals, a new wave of interest in wellness retreats, and a spike in demand for outdoor destinations beyond just beaches and mountains," says Jon Gieselman, the president of Expedia Brands. And though we expected travel to change in the aftermath of pandemic-driven restrictions, this is not a "new normal," Gieselman says. Instead, people are branching out and focusing on "unexpected trends in what we're calling the 'no-normal,'" he adds.

Are you planning a trip for the new year and itching to go somewhere new? Look to these expert-approved trends from travel experts, who will help you plan your next journey.

Multi-Generational Trips

Next year, some of us will be exploring the world in larger groups that extend beyond our immediate family. Multi-generational trips are a projected trend for 2023, explains Uma Subramanian, the CEO of Aero. These trips will be filled with adventure and outdoor travel, so long as the whole family is together and everyone can partake in every activity. "People are also interested in curated experiences that feel more personalized and convenient," she says.

Swiss train in the alps mountains in switzerland around ospizio bernina

Train Travel

Whether you head somewhere domestic or international, traveling by train is a trend to watch in the new year, says Samantha Brown, an Emmy-award winning travel expert and the face of PBS' Samantha Brown's Places to Love. "Eco-friendly and hassle-free countries that get train travel right will see a big boost this year," she says. "[Trains are a more] enjoyable way to see many destinations (and avoid fights over whether or not you should have taken that last exit on the highway!)."

According to Brown, Switzerland is a destination known for its scenic train lines, which pass through grand mountains and lakes—and trips to this country spiked 130 percent between 2019 and 2022. "Their train system is the envy of the world, and you can easily get on their train app to plan a Classic to Grand Tour all by panoramic train!" adds Brown.

Skiers on Chairlift at Aspen
Galen Rowell / GETTY IMAGES

Ski Locales

Outdoor adventure will be a priority for travelers in the new year, says Subramanian. However, beaches and national parks won't be their destinations of choice: Travelers will explore ski-centric locales across the United States in 2023. "In North America, Aspen continues to be high on the list for both winter and summer travel [because of] its world-class skiing, aprés ski, art, and dining scene," she says. "We have seen lots of demand for Sun Valley from travelers in Los Angeles in the new year, as Sun Valley is a more under-the-radar, laid-back ski destination."

Gyeongbokgung palace in South Korea

Cultural Destinations

Per Expedia's report, international locations rooted in culture will be hotspots next year. "For international travel in summer 2023, head to Japan or South Korea," says Brown. "These two countries were slow to open back up after the pandemic, but are beautiful options that are not on everyone's radar yet. They have rich cultures, traditions, history, and art to explore."

Tokyo, Japan will be one of the top-trending destinations for 2023, Expedia predicts, but two other cities will see increased tourism, as well: Edinburgh, Scotland and Lisbon, Portugal.

View from the beach at Santa Monica pier

Hidden Gems

Brown predicts that more travelers will veer off the beaten path in the new year: More and more of us are looking for hidden gems that aren't tourist traps. "Santa Monica, Calif., offers miles of beaches and a great amusement park," says Brown. "Bermuda is another great destination that lacks the massive, rowdy crowds." Put Texas Hill Country on your radar for early spring, she advises: "You'll be arriving just when the wildflowers bloom—and what better arbiter of spring is there?"

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