Crowded airplanes, flight delays of Rip Van Winkle proportions, suitcases disappearing like sailors in the Bermuda Triangle, and stubborn inflation is doing little to dissuade travelers from amping up their 2023 vacation plans. The almost-post-pandemic urge to travel remains strong, according to MMGY Travel Intelligence.
The market research organization found that personal finances and affordability are still top-of-mind, but 6 out of 10 surveyed said they plan to travel in the first six months of 2023. Translation: Kids, we’re spending your inheritance on two weeks in Tahiti.
So where will that insatiable travel itch be scratched?
- Let’s begin with American Express’s outlook. Based on card member reservations, the company compiled a list of trending destinations for 2023. Copenhagen ranked at the top of the list, followed by the Florida Keys, Istanbul, Lisbon, Mexico City, Montenegro, Paris, Sydney, Woodstock (the one in Vermont), and Yakuve Island in Fiji.
- Expedia put together its own list based on major cultural events happening in international cities, as well as lodging availability and online interest. Edinburgh took top honors, followed by Lisbon, Tokyo, Dublin, New York City, Sydney, Dubai, Montreal, Munich, and Bangkok.
- More you say? The travel search website Hopper compiled a list of destinations that are already booked for 2023. This batch represents the most realistic look at where Americans are really traveling in 2023. Domestically, they’re going to (in order of popularity) Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles, and Miami. Internationally, the most booked cities are Cancun, London, Barcelona, and Punta Cana. When it comes to demand, Hopper’s customers are really aching to travel. This could also be because they’re responding to a survey that’s on a travel booking website. In its survey, 93 percent of Americans said they plan to take at least one vacation in 2023.
- The research company Morning Consult similarly found that Americans will stick to conventional favorites in 2023. Topping the list of US states were Florida, California, Nevada, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. If you’re thinking, “Why Tennessee?” it’s because of Dolly Parton. Dollywood is gaining on Disney (go, Dolly!). Internationally, top countries for 2023 travel are Mexico, France, England, Italy, and Canada.
There are practical lists, but I tend to be a fan of those random “Where to go” lists that have no basis in reality and are far beyond my means. These are the kind of lists that I assemble for myself. I know that I’ll end up in places such as Florida, Quebec, and Mexico in 2023, but where do I want to go when left to my own devices?
Here is Christopher Muther’s official where-to-go list for 2023.
1. Andorra la Vella, Andorra
2. San Blas, Panama
3. Contovello, Italy
4. Montevideo, Uruguay
5. Montpelier, Vt.
6. Palm Springs, Calif.
8. Marrakech, Morocco
9. Loreto, Mexico
10. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore
Next week, my editor Chris Morris will take over this space with another survey, and unlike me, she won’t be pretentious enough to come up with a personal survey.