AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Booking.com has released research on seven travel predictions for travellers in 2023, based on a survey of UK travellers.
Off-Grid and Back to Basics
Travellers surveyed are looking for eco-friendly, ‘off-grid’ style holidays, with 54 per cent wanting stays that offer the option to prep their meals while still having the comforts of home.
Research also shows that 33 per cent want to escape reality; 57 per cent want to switch off with only having the bare necessities; and 54 per cent are seeking an opportunity to learn survival skills, including how to source clean water, light a fire from scratch, forage for food in the wild, and even prep for an apocalypse.
Twenty-eight per cent of those surveyed have reported the desire to embark on a multi-day AR/VR experience where they can try a new adventure in a fully immersive and safe environment unlimited by physics to somewhere they’ve never travelled.
Virtual travel to a new destination will help those who might feel anxious about trying somewhere new, with 32 per cent more likely to travel to destinations they wouldn’t have previously considered after virtually experiencing them.
With over half of survey respondants looking forward to experiencing ‘out of comfort zone’ travel that pushes them to the limits, there will be an influx of niche experiences encouraging people to make their travel escapades to the extreme.
Of those surveyed, 45 per cent want to experience an entirely different culture and language, while 24 per cent want to explore lesser-known cities that are unique and off the radar in 2023.
Reminiscing in the Nostalgic
In the pursuit of escapism, Brits are craving experiences that harken back to simpler times, with nostalgic getaways that provide the thrill of reliving the glory days.
Millennials and Gen-Zs also want to experience memories of the good ‘ole days, with 20 per cent chasing experiences of a pre-digital era, such as visiting landmarks or attractions featured in iconic retro films or opting for a bus as a primary mode of transport to live the group spirit of school trips.
Destinations such as Budva in Montenegro, a glam alternative to St Tropez for celebs in the 80s or Bolzano in Italy, famous for its retro Christmas markets, will be popular for family and family reunions.
Meditation and mindfulness getaways continue to be popular with 41 per cent of travellers surveyed. In comparison, 29 per cent crave peace at a silent retreat, and 33 per cent want a health hiatus that focuses on mental health or transformative health.
A Company’s Great Escape
Travelling for business will see a rise in destination business retreats, focusing on strengthening relationships and corporate recreation rather than work. Almost half of those surveyed believe exploring new places will inspire them to be more productive at work.
Employers will offer ‘survivor’ themed trips at luxury cabins or country farmhouses complete with communal cooking and outdoor-adventure activities, or crime-centric escapes where spy school, detective courses or CSI simulations double as a sight-seeing scavenger hunt.
Getting the Best Deal
Of those surveyed, 62 per cent say they will continue to prioritize travel while seeking more bang for their buck despite global economic uncertainty. Almost half will look to save money by considering off-season destinations. At the same time, more than half will plan travel more in advance to secure a better deal and opt for one or two longer holidays instead of several short breaks.
“If the last few years have taught us anything, travel should not be taken for granted. This year’s travel predictions research shows the undercurrent of intentional paradoxical behaviours that will put us all more comfortably in the driving seat amid relentless instability,” says Arjan Dijk, Senior VP and CMO at Booking.com. “It also demonstrates a desire for travel to be a way to seek unapologetic moments of happiness and escapism to counteract the heavy realities of our news feeds.”