6 Tired Travel Trends We’re Ready to Say Goodbye to in 2023
The Sunset staff weighs in.
The thing about trends is, they’re not timeless. And that applies to fashion design, decor, and even to the travel industry, where there’s a real tendency to copycat successful ideas. (Hello Airbnb spin-offs and same-same mid-mod interiors.) Here are the trends we’re ready to wave au revoir to this year, and some alternatives that we’re really looking forward to.
1. Flying Private
Celebs and those with means are using private jets in excess, with Kylie Jenner and Drake using their PJs to commute less than 20 minutes, and it’s causing a climate disaster. (You can check out a list of the worst offenders here.) While I admit that there’s a certain appeal to bypassing the total meltdowns the airline industry is continually struggling with by using semi-private charters like JetSuite X and Aero, why not try tapping into nostalgia and indulge in train travel this year? According to the National Geographic Green Guide, traveling by train cuts your emissions in half. Plus, it’s just the kind of affordable throwback trip we need in times like these.
2. Bucket List Trips
We’re all about dreaming big, but the trouble is, vacation time in the United States is so short. With no federal paid vacation policy in place and a work-obsessed workforce, those trips of a lifetime often don’t ever end up happening. Case in point: My trip to Sicily that just keeps on getting pushed. Instead, this year, I’m considering micro-travel, like a weekender in Banff and Jasper National Parks, or taking a quick trip up to the new Tenzen Hot Springs in Oregon for a soak and rejuvenation. Like most annual goal-setting strategies, breaking it down into bite-sized goals can make sure things are attainable.
3. All-Neutral Everything Hotel Rooms
Neutrals are great and can be done in an interesting way, and they do seem calming, especially in hotel rooms. But ultimately the ultra-beige look of the “Los Angeles Pilates Girl” has got to go. There’s just no life and character to spaces that you’re afraid to walk through, let alone pour a glass of red wine from the mini bar in. We’re loving the maximalist look of properties like the Downtown L.A. Proper and Noble + Proper in Big Bear and hope other folks follow suit.
4. Corporate Boutique Hotels
There have been so many times we’ve almost been duped by the myriad of big box spin-offs from major hotel groups that are trying to access the Airbnb millennial crowd. Heck, we’ve even checked into a few of them for the sake of convenience. But they’re always lacking soul. For us, small, nature-adjacent properties are where it’s at this year, and we can’t wait to check into spots like ULUM in Moab and the A-Frame Club in Colorado.
5. Banana Leaf Wallpaper in Hotels
We love the classic Martinique banana leaf print by CW Stockwell, made popular by its introduction into the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1949 by decorator Don Loper. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. As designer Justina Blakeney said, we’re going to be “seeing less and less cookie-cutter designs and more bespoke, thoughtful, and individualized design projects” this year. While she was chatting about home design trends, we think this applies to hotels, too. Thank goodness.
6. Room Service Shame
It’s 2023, and it’s time we give ourselves a little grace and stop treating our travels like a checklist. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with staying in for a night, snuggling up in a robe, and ordering a Caesar salad and some fries. It’s the ultimate self-care, and will help you be even more present for the adventuring and authentic experiences you’ll have on your trip.