Khao Sok National Park, Khlong Sok, Thailand
If you’re anything like us, the start of a new year — reflections, resolutions and new beginnings — means it’s time to plan a great trip (or several). This year, we’re dreaming of visiting destinations far and wide, from old faithfuls to bucket-list locales and beyond. To aid in your planning, we tapped into the experts — our community of Fora Advisors — for their best advice for 2023 travel. Read on for their tips and words to the wise for the year ahead. Also check out the 23 best hotels to visit in 2023.
Ready to travel? Chat with a Fora Advisor to customize and dream up the perfect itinerary — and unlock exclusive perks along the way.
Image courtesy of Capri Tiberio Palace, one of our favorite luxury boutique hotels
… One more time for people in the back! With travel demand as high as ever (and greater chance of airline woes), our best advice is to be the early bird.
“Book early! I can't say it enough” advised Fora Advisor Natalie Kurtzman.
The most important thing to plan ahead is hotels.
“Plan out as much as you can, and at the very least, lock in accommodations. We [advisors] will be able to recommend our favorite hotels because availability, and pricing will work in our favor,” said Natalie.
Advisor Sara Graham-Baldi advises to book “at least six months out to ensure you get what you want, at the best possible pricing” — especially for travel to Europe.
“I’m already seeing properties for Italy vacations booked out for the summer and into early fall 2023!” Sara said.
Go off the beaten path
Image courtesy of Roku Kyoto, an intimate wellness retreat
“With the world reopened, we should definitely take advantage of all the new travel opportunities out there,” said advisor Cindy Rhee. “Every major tourist destination has so much more to offer if you venture beyond the typical tourist areas.”
For instance, “don’t just visit Tokyo & Kyoto while traveling to Japan. Instead, take the train to coastal Kanazawa and spend the night in a traditional ryokan," Cindy advised.
Less popular locales are always a good idea, echoed Fora Advisor Nicole Ciehoski.
“Sicily will be a hot spot from season two of 'White Lotus.' If you're looking for a more underrated gem, try nearby Sardinia for a different look at Italian culture, with extensive coastlines, beautiful mountain ranges and delicious food,” said Nicole.
Pssst: If Sicily is still top of mind, check out our article on the hotel in season two of "White Lotus" — along with our other favorite hotels featured on the small screen.
Embrace “Slow Travel”
Image courtesy of Chablé Yucatán, one of our favorite wellness retreats for 2023 travel
Defined as a longer trip with a more mindful, meaningful and sustainable approach to the destination, slow travel is alive and well in 2023.
“Does your company have a flexible or remote work policy? Take advantage by extending a vacation with one to two weeks of work in a new location, living like a local,” noted Fora Advisor Amanda Khazem.
“I see long-term wellness travel as a growing niche for those who are able to work remotely,” echoed advisor Natasha Wiscombe. “That encompasses relocating to an environment that is aligned with one’s personal inspiration (think mountains or sea) for three or more weeks, and might involve acquisition of a new skill (like surfing) and nourishment in the form of community and healthy food.”
Slow travel goes back to sustainability, according to Fora Advisor Carmen Candal.
“It is more important than ever to preserve the destinations we love. Travel mindfully and responsibly, seek authentic experiences run by locals and support businesses that prioritize environmental conservation,” Carmen said.
Think outside the box
We’re all for hotels, but why not up the ante to make the journey the destination?
“That might mean a night on the Venice Simplon Orient Express to experience some timeless glamor on a trip to Europe,” said Cindy Rhee. “Or, several nights traveling through and exploring Kyushu on the Seven Stars Luxury Train, which exquisitely blends Japanese and Western traditions.”
Adventure cruises are another great way to explore uncharted territory.
“Instead of mega-ships, try an ultra-luxe voyage with Seabourne, Silversea, Viking, Amamara, Oceania,” said Cindy. “And opt for destinations like the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, Antarctica, the Amazon. You'll only unpack once, be treated like royalty and have some amazing experiences in each port of call.”
Don’t forget the basics: Perennial travel tips
“When traveling to an international destination, try to learn a few key phrases in the local language. It goes a long way when they see you making an effort,” said Fora Advisor Cameron Tempest.
It’s also crucial to get your proverbial ducks in a row, and make sure logistics are taken care of.
"If you're planning on going international, make sure to double check your expiration dates on travel documents like passports, and give plenty of time for applying for Visas and renewing passports," advisor Juli Hall explained.
Another pro tip: “Try traveling during ‘shoulder seasons’ to skip the crowds and save on hotel and villa prices,” said advisor Taylor Votaw.
Advisor Nadia Bess encouraged us to take advantage of technology.
A few apps Nadia recommends: “Easy Currency Converter or Convertr+ will convert currencies offline. Google Translate will translate languages offline. Roadtrippers will find interesting places to stop during a road trip. Happy Cow allows vegans & vegetarians to find places to eat. Google Flights allows you to set alerts when the price of your desired flights drops,” Nadia said.