The travel industry has certainly had its ups and downs over the last few years. With everyone canceling trips in the spring of 2020, to an increased demand for vacations this past year, there have been many changes in the last three years. Looking forward to 2023, we see some major trends emerging as the world has reopened and temporary policies and protocols such as testing have been lifted.
Note: These trends are based on our observations and opinions and were not scientifically derived. All opinions are my own. We have received complimentary trips over the years and have paid our own way many times. We are not specifically recommending these trips – we are just noting the trends.
5 Travel Trends We See for 2023
With a long shutdown, the cruise industry definitely took a big hit. But, 2022 saw many brand-new cruise ships from established lines, including Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas (the largest cruise ship in the world), Carnival Celebration, the Disney Wish, Norwegian Prima, and Celebrity Beyond. Since the shutdown, two additional cruise ship lines have launched – Margaritaville at Sea, and Virgin Voyages.
In the upcoming years, there are even more new, eagerly anticipated cruise ships. The most exciting of these is Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, which will be launching in early 2024. These ships have been designed with some amazing features that families will love. We definitely expect more and more families to enjoy a vacation at sea in the coming years on these, and other cruise ships.
Destinations: Sicily, Portugal, Antarctica
In recent years, many families have either forgone their vacations or chosen to vacation closer to their homes. That way, things could be easily canceled if necessary, and they wouldn’t be too far from home if they needed to return quickly.
Recently, we’ve seen more and more families travel abroad again. Antarctica, which was once an impossible dream, has become a possibility for some, with companies like National Geographic, Quark, and Adventures by Disney offering voyages there.
Portugal, on the other hand, has steadily been growing in popularity with family travelers. It’s one of the easier continental European destinations to access (especially from the US East Coast) and is affordable and beautiful. There are many fantastic Portugal resorts that are great for families, and there’s so much to see.
Walt Disney World just celebrated its year-long 50th-anniversary celebration, with many guests returning to the parks after the shutdown. Like the cruise lines, the theme parks in the United States have many new attractions and lands in the works, including Super Nintendo World opening up at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2023.
Other theme parks have made changes. Walt Disney World has been unveiling changes to EPCOT for the 40th anniversary, and a new TRON attraction is opening in the Magic Kingdom soon. These parks continue to be very popular with guests.
This trend has been growing in recent years, with families often including grandparents in their big vacations. Families have many options when traveling with multiple generations, including vacation homes, suites, guided tours, and much more. These trips are typically planned well in advance and are most popular in the summer when school is out.
In the past few years, travelers, with good reason, were apprehensive about planning a big, expensive trip well in advance. There were so many things subject to change, and it wasn’t clear what type of experience you’d get.
We feel that as testing requirements have gone away, families will start looking to plan bigger future vacations again. Many families will want to replace vacations they had planned and lost, while others will plan entirely new trips.
What trends have you seen in travel?