Travel Trends for 2023

2022 saw a phenomenal unleashing of pent up travel demand for Epic, which was very welcome after the drought of the global pandemic. We saw more group travel, whether singles going on group experiences or events coming back into the game, and more cherished family travel moments along with many trips which had of course been brought forward from pre-pandemic bookings. High Net Worth travellers seem to be looking for ultra bespoke and tailored travel experiences with a once in a lifetime appeal and give back element. In terms of our destinations, The Azores is hitting the top of the request list – perhaps because of its more remote appeal and natural landscapes.

So what will 2023 behold?

We asked one of our internal trends experts, Nicole, to give us her view.

‘Let Me Sleep’

Can you relate to this? It’s highly likely you will, up to 30% of people in developed societies are impacted by sleep issues. And this is likely to have increased post pandemic with the acceleration of social jet lag; the eroding of boundaries between social, work and leisure times created by living in a more ‘flexible’ digital age. Most of us still live in cities illuminated by artificial light which combined with increased screen time is also a real sleep spoiler.

Catching up on the sleep we have lost is therefore a big motivator, and that’s why a focus for some will be to go on holidays where sleep and relaxation is the biggest benefit.
The beauty of it? Weather is never a problem in this kind of travel, it can be done off-season so you won’t have to deal with a lot of other tourists, if what you are really looking for is tranquility.
The focus is on going to places that inspire you to breathe, to connect with yourself and where calm, peace and simplicity are intrinsic. For us, Alentejo in Portugal or the Atlas Mountains in Morocco really encapsulate these feelings with so many opportunities for natural relaxation. A lack of light pollution, pure fresh air and after lunch traditions of napping all mean your brain can go on a gentle detox.

And there are many authentic and calming stays to choose from in Portugal and Morocco, like São Lourenço do Barrocal, Douar Samra, or Kasbah Tamadot in the Moroccan Mountains, far away from the urban hustle and bustle where you can get closer to a proper 8 night hour rest, with a few extra cheeky naps thrown in

‘Conscious Luxury’

Over the years we have seen a growth of purpose-driven and environmentally sensitive travellers, as living more sustainably has shifted from optional to imperative impacting every part of our lives. But, sustainable travel doesn’t mean sacrificing creature comforts, on the contrary – its about enriching the travel experience by consuming locally, helping developing communities, learning about different cultures and exploring untamed landscapes in a conscious and respectful way.

That’s why we are finding The Azores, an archipelago off the coast of Portugal, to be a new popular request as it has it all for the traveller looking for a more conscious but still luxurious experience. Enjoy spaces such as The Azores Wine Company accommodation naturally nestled beneath Mount Pico, designed for minimal impact on the local scenery and built with walls made from volcanic rocks which protect the vines from sea breezes, it’s a great base from which to explore the island while restoring the spirits with local organic food and wine matching.

‘The Reminiscence Bump’

Psychologists name the reminiscence bump as the action of remembering vividly experiences from the past and its most prevalent in those 40 years or over. Nostalgia has helped people to feel more grounded in the present. In this trend the traveller wants to revive the most sweet memories of their life, and reconnecting with places they have once been to is one way to do it. Whether its reminiscing the honeymoon you took to remind yourselves of where you started, or going back to your roots to discover your family heritage, reliving the first trip you had with your kids or going back to that place you trekked in your 20’s but now with a bit more money and luxury involved.
Life is made out of memories, old and new ones.

We enjoy planning trips for our many Jewish families coming to Morocco (and Porto in Portugal) to discover the ancient religious connections there, a country which has embraced both Arab and Jewish traditions for centuries. We love rekindling special moments for couples and delivering adventure treks for older flash packers across our destinations treating each trip personally with people on the ground who make the magic happen – making sure the new memories not only enhance but supercede the old ones.

‘I want to be outdoors!’

The urge to be outdoors has come from the mental exhaustion of being kept inside for so long. After 2020, the world became aware of the health benefits that out door exercising or simply experiencing the joy and health benefits of nature could provide. There are many positive aspects that reinforce in people the desire to be outside four walls, to live in balance is the strongest one of them.
We expect to see an embracing of adventure-seeking tourism. Glamping, canoeing at remote rivers, sleeping in the desert, getting lost in the forest to find your way back by yourself. The options are unlimited. As Epic has always been an adventure company at heart, we have to say, we are totally in love with this trend and with all the possibilities we have to create a tailor-made trip for you! Whether its canoeing down the Douro, paragliding in the Rif Mountains, hiking in the Azores, or Glamping and sand boarding in the Moroccan Desert – the only limit is your imagination.

For more information contact quoting our 2023 travel trends.