Have you booked a trip in 2023? If you haven’t, you might already be behind the curve. Using data from card member travel bookings, American Express Travel has identified that many travelers aren’t just dreaming about 2023 travel: they’re already booking it. A full 50% of travelers are even thinking about summer vacations. You might be surprised to learn where eager travelers are headed.
Grab Your Passport
After years of pent-up demand, international travel seems poised to continue to be more popular than ever. American Express Travel found that 54% of Gen Z & Millennials say international travel is a “high” priority in 2023.
Travel bookings prove that would-be globetrotters are putting their money where their mouth is. Eight of the ten destinations on American Express Travel’s 2023 Trending Destinations list, compiled using American Express card member travel bookings for 2023 travel, are international ports of call.
The most popular spots for upcoming travel by American Express card holders, per American Express Travel’s 2023 Trending Destinations include the following destinations:
Copenhagen, DenmarkMontenegroFlorida Keys, FloridaParis, FranceIstanbul, TurkeySydney, AustraliaLisbon, PortugalWoodstock, VermontMexico City, MexicoYakuve Island, FijiWhile some of the destinations on the list might surprise you, Audrey Hendley, President of Global Travel & Lifestyle Services at American Express, wasn’t caught off guard by the international focus. “Everyone has a travel wish list,” she says, “especially after the challenges of the last couple of years that made getting out and adventuring so difficult. As borders continue to re-open, people are not only dreaming about big international trips; they’re booking them.”
Pandemic Travel Trends, Three Years Later
While international travel looks poised to boom in 2023, more recent travel shifts might be here to stay, too. With destinations like Woodstock, Vermont, on the list of popular destinations in 2023, the pandemic trend of visiting smaller cities closer to home, with plenty of outdoor activities, seems to be staying in fashion.
The sole Caribbean destination on the list, the Florida Keys make their case as a great destination for an island vacation in the US and affordable for travelers that may have been considering a getaway at a pricey Caribbean resort.
Bucket List Travel
Whether sticking closer to home or jetting off to exotic locales, bucket list travel destinations are a priority for 2023 travelers. The American Express Travel survey found that 70% of respondents want to journey to “wish list” destinations in 2023.
They’re willing to spend more to get it, too. 73% of surveyed adventurers admitted they are willing to pay more for the itinerary and experiences they really want.
With destinations like Paris, France, and the white sand island vacation paradise of Yakuve Island, Fiji, on the list, it’s clear travelers are looking to check dream destinations off their bucket lists. But what about the unexpected trending destinations on the list, like Istanbul or Montenegro?
Getting a bit off the beaten path is itself a bucket list-worthy activity. Responding to American Express Travel’s survey, 81% of travelers said they want to feel a sense of adventure at their next travel destination. While “adventure” can mean many different things to different people, going on an excursion to find that illustrious feeling of adventure is among travelers’ greatest priorities. The feeling of “discovering” a new off-the-beaten-path destination before it becomes travel’s next big thing could be a perfect way to do it.
Getting a Head Start on Travel Planning
While summer 2023 travel may seem far away, the eagerness to get plans on the books wasn’t surprising for Hendley or the American Express Travel team. “Everyone is excited to travel these days, and with the pent-up demand and desire for great experiences, it’s never too early to start planning, especially for busy travel seasons.”
It’s easier than ever to get a head start on planning. To accompany their inspiring destinations list, American Express Travel created curated itineraries for each locale, with something for every type of traveler. From cruising along Copenhagen’s canals to taking a master cheese class in Paris, these recommendations for memorable activities make planning easy, whether you have months to prepare or just a few days.
Travel Trend Setter
As fate would have it, Hendley has long been looking forward to her own summer 2023 getaway to Montenegro, perhaps one of the more unusual destinations to make the trending destinations list. “I am happy to see that I’m on trend!” she said, looking forward to experiencing a destination new to her.
Whether you’re setting travel trends or still looking for inspiration, now is the perfect time to start making your 2023 travel dreams a reality.
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