New year, new trips. From an unforgettable road trip in Europe to a holiday inspired by your love of architecture or horses to a satisfying retreat or sleeping holiday: five suggestions for your next trip.
Trend 1: Experience over destination
A journey does not always have to be determined by a destination. So let yourself be guided by your passions and interests. If you are crazy about horses, you can opt for a horse holiday through Outside the Corral, a Belgian travel agency that specializes in horse holidays. If you love nature, put the Isle of Skye in Scotland on your list. In March, The Bracken Hide, a wilderness-hotel with 45 luxurious cabins, a wellness area with Nordic saunas and a natural pond. If you can’t get enough of architecture, design and beautiful interiors, a stay at Rosemary in Marrakesh (opening this year) might be your dream vacation. It is the riad of Laurence Leenaert, designer of the colorful design label LRNCE. But a renowned restaurant abroad can also be a starting point for your trip.
Trend 2: By car through Europe
Due to the increasing climate awareness and the corona crisis, travelers realize that they do not have to fly to enjoy a good holiday. Long-distance flying holidays are increasingly being traded in for a road trip within Europe. Looking for inspiration? Then it recently appeared Mythical road trips in Europe from Lonely Planet a must. From the legendary Route 59 in Slovakia to cruising in Western Crete, the book bundles fifty impressive road trips. If it is a bit more adventurous and somewhat back to basics, then the camper is your ideal means of transport. Els Sirejacob and Bram Debaenst, creators of our ‘Weekend recipe’ section, are currently writing a sequel to their book Camper food & nice places, which will be released this spring and combines the best road trips in Italy with the best camping-friendly recipes from Italian cuisine. Or why not a road trip with an electric car? The E-Grand Tour of Switzerland is a 1600 kilometer route through beautiful landscapes with a dense network of charging stations. So you won’t end up with an empty battery.
Trend 3: Focus on sleep
Holidays can be a good opportunity to escape the stress of everyday life and recharge. The emerging sleep tourism responds to the need for peace and quiet. Luxurious hotels offer soundproof rooms, mattresses with sleep technology incorporated and pillow menu from which you choose a pillow for your favorite sleeping position. Zedwell in London, Park Hyatt in New York and Six Senses Ibiza, among others, promise travelers an optimal night’s sleep. A retreatoften in combination with yoga, meditation and breathwork, is a good way to connect with yourself. Usually those holidays take place in beautiful natural environments such as the mountains or on the coast. Organizing both Chicks on Waves and Monte Cucs, two Belgian initiatives women only retreats on the beautiful coast of the Algarve.
Trend 4: The big comeback
Due to covid, several destinations such as Australia, New Zealand and Asia remained closed to visitors for a long time. Now that most borders are open again, many travelers are taking their chance. Travel sheet Conde Nast Traveler put Taiwan on their’best places to go in 2023′-list. The island has a lot to offer with its rich culture, breathtaking landscapes and bustling cities. The capital Taipei is also recommended. In August, the Taipei Performing Arts Center opened its doors to culture lovers after ten years of construction. It is a striking appearance with three large theater halls that are visible from the outside: a spherical, an inclined and a cube-shaped volume. The theater complex was designed by the Dutch architectural firm OMA. The metropolis is also an attractive destination for foodies. In 2022, several restaurants in Taipei achieved a Michelin star: Shin Yeh Taiwanese Signature, Holt, Yu Kapo, Paris 1930 de Hideki Takayama and Sushiyoshi (2 stars). Closer to home: England also remained closed to travelers for a long time during the pandemic. Now that the country can be visited again, the book leads Hidden Englandwhich will be published this spring, takes you to hundreds of special places in the country.
Trend 5: Under our own steam
Travelers go out into nature on foot or on two wheels to recharge their batteries. Multi-day treks are a popular way to enjoy a green region to the fullest. If you don’t feel like dragging a ten-kilo backpack along the way, you can rely on travel organizations such as Joker and Zuiderhuis. They offer individual walking tours with luggage transport. Also bike packing – backpacking, but with a mountain bike or road bike – is a unique way of traveling. If it is something different, you can participate in one bikepacking race like Desertus Bikus. That is an eight-day race from Anglet to Nerja that crosses four desert areas in Spain. If you are looking for a nice walking or cycling destination, we would like to recommend Ireland. You have the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2500 kilometer long coastal walking route from Donegal to Cork. And the Royal Canal Greenway, from Dublin to the Hidden Heartlands. In 2022, that bike ride was named cycle route of the year in Europe.