We’ve all got our dream destinations that we would love to go to in 2023 but what about something off the beaten track?
From Guyana and Jordan to regenerative travel, Richard Mellor rounds up next year’s top travel trends and destinations.
This Middle Eastern nation is firmly on the up, tourism-wise. Hiking trails to watery canyons, hanging gardens or homestays have come to the fore of late, as have a new school of smart, minimal-impact Bedouin desert camps led by Rum Planet.
It helps that visa-inclusive ticket passes are a bargain and the offerings are so varied. If floating in the Dead Sea or rock-carved citadel Petra don’t do it for you, then how about some Red Sea diving, street food in Amman – for which Skyscanner says searches are up 195 per cent – or, yes, beautiful desert glamping?
South of Lisbon is the much-lauded, wild and wonderful town of Comporta, with its bars and big-name chefs. Sadly, it is now no secret. So, step forward Melides, the next town along.
Here, between dune-backed golden beaches and forested mountains, visitors can find rustic restaurants that serve fried sardines with tomato rice while cats snooze on the cobbled square. Things are changing, though – an enclave of angular rental villas, such as Pateos, arrived last year, while 2023 will deliver Christian Louboutin’s boutique-y Vermelho, plus a new sibling of Comporta’s smart Spatia resort.
From March 27, British Airways will fly twice-weekly from Gatwick to Guyana (via St Lucia). It’s a daring but welcome addition. This small South American nation offers broad sandy beaches beside Georgetown, its vibrant, Caribbean-tinged capital, while a refreshingly unspoiled interior involves community-run eco-lodges amid oceans of Amazonian jungle hiding jaguars and one of the world’s great waterfalls in Kaieteur Falls. Helpfully, English is the official language.
Buy thirteen nights from £3,395pp, B&B, including flights and transport, via Original Travel.
Meet 2023’s destination du jour. Huge on Insta this summer, with reels showcasing its caramel-coloured shores and their Maldives-mimicking waters, this non-Eurozone country’s affordability might prove irresistible after winter’s frightening energy bills.
In April, for example, return London-Tirana flights cost from £64, via Easy Jet, taxis on to Durres start at £15 and the coastal resort’s beachside, well-regarded Cosmo Hotel is only £57 a night. That means weekends can come in under £200pp including other feasible costs. For longer, more specialised trips, book via see Regent-Holidays.
Travel trends for 2023
UK road trips
A Hilton survey found almost a quarter of Brits want a staycation road trip next year as people seek ‘more cost-effective ways to reach destinations’. This year the South West 660, a 12-stage English epic via Cornwall, joined Scotland’s North Coast 500 and Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way in the scenic drive stakes. UK chain Brightside, meanwhile, aims to ‘reinvigorate roadside dining’ with its restaurants. The first opens on the A38 near Exeter in February.
Given our growing carbon-consciousness and graded airline baggage charges, it’s no surprise travel tech company Amadeus says 2022 has spawned a growing determination to travel light. Aiding this trend is the growing array of high-quality luggage at low prices, such as Tripp, and an upsurge in hotels and resorts hiring out sports or exercise gear. This means you can fly lighter and meet the heavy stuff on arrival.
Subscriptions are rife right now and in the US Frontier Airlines has introduced ‘all-you-can-fly’ yearly tickets at about £660, while Alaska Airlines offers six US round trips a year for £41 per month. Opodo charges an annual £59.99 for exclusive deals and a dedicated customer service line.
Non-fungible tokens have infiltrated travel. One of the first brands to utilise these digital blockchain assets is Marriott Hotels, whose loyalty scheme, Marriott Bonvoy, launched its own NFTs last December. Also the Dominican Republic’s Casa de Campo Resort & Villas has transferable ‘room night tokens’ that let recipients enjoy cut-price guest rates.
Not a sexy phrase but one that can loosely be defined as your trip having a net-positive impact in terms of environmental and economic impact. That could be via visiting Emboo River Camp, an eco Kenyan safari lodge that stresses gender equality, using trains more, or opting for small-group tours that explore rewilding schemes.
Natural swimming pools
Chlorine-free natural swimming pools are healthier for the environment and will appear at more hotels in 2023. Filtering naturally from segregated plant-lined sections, they only need filling once. Find one at Ibiza’s Agroturismo Can Marti, Il Paluffo in Tuscany, Cornwall’s stylish Scarlet Hotel or amid Chaumarty’s eco-gites in the French Pyrenees. There will be a sauna-accompanying ‘natural dipping pond’ when The Bracken Hide’s cabins open in spring on the Isle of Skye.