Go Here, Not There: 2023 Trending Travel Destinations For Your Next Getaway

2023 is shaping up to be the year of the bucket list trip. While travelers are dreaming about – and finally booking! – that once-in-a-lifetime trip, plenty of new swoon-worthy destinations are finally getting a chance to shine. These are the destinations to skip in 2023 and the ones you should visit instead. 

Skip: The Maldives

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Long a favorite honeymoon destination, the Maldives are known around the world for their luxurious resorts with overwater bungalows, the perfect spot from which to enjoy white sand beaches and perfectly clear water. These islands are undeniably dreamy, but for travelers looking for a more unique experience, there might be better but just as beautiful destinations to explore.

Visit: Seychelles

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The pristine Seychelles islands in the heart of the Indian Ocean are the embodiment of a tropical paradise. Exploring these islands is easy on a Seychelles yacht charter with Dream Yacht Worldwide, transporting travelers to the very best of the island, exploring world-class snorkeling spots with colorful corals, the stunning St. Pierre inlet where rugged granite boulders emerge from clear waters, and historic vanilla plantations on La Digue. Especially when compared to travel costs in the Maldives, costs to travel to Seychelles might be less than you think.

Skip: Machu Picchu

machu picchu
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Machu Picchu is one of the most recognizable destinations on the planet, at the top of any traveler’s bucket list. There’s nothing like taking in the first morning light over these impressive ruins high above the Sacred Valley. With a new post-pandemic system requiring all visitors to tour Machu Picchu with a guide and limiting time to explore the ruins, the experience of visiting Machu Picchu isn’t what it once was. 

Visit: Choquequirao

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If you think Machu Picchu is one of a kind, you certainly haven’t heard of Choquequirao. Just 30 miles southwest of Machu Picchu, these impressive Incan ruins are quite similar to their nearby cousin but are only visited by 15-20 travelers each day. Visiting Choquequirao means exploring the ruins virtually alone; you can even camp just below them for an unforgettable night under the stars.

Skip: Rome

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Looking for a European getaway packed with historical landmarks and delicious food? Rome is probably at the top of your list. It’s no secret Rome is one of the top bucket list destinations for travelers the world over. You’ll love a trip to Rome, but where else can you travel for an even more unique experience?

Visit: Istanbul

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Istanbul offers a mix of west meets east you won’t find anywhere else. From the famous Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque to incredible palaces and the famous Grand Bazaar, Istanbul is jam-packed with things to do and places to see. Spend hours getting lost among the stalls of the Grand Bazaar before sipping on delicious Turkish coffee and retiring to spend the night in a former palace. Istanbul offers travelers a historically and culturally rich getaway unlike any other. 

Skip: The French Riviera

French Riviera
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A trip to the French Riviera might be at the top of your bucket list, but is it worth the trip? The beauty and rich history of the region is undeniable, so it’s no wonder that Europe’s rich and famous have fallen in love with cities up and down the French Riviera, from Nice to Monaco and everywhere in between. But with crowds of travelers filling small towns and sending prices skyrocketing every summer, you might have a better experience elsewhere.

Visit: New Caledonia

New Caledonia
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Located just across the Great Barrier Reef from Australia, the tropical destination of New Caledonia is a destination you have to see to believe. With ports lined with colorful buildings packed with shops, cafes, and restaurants, the cosmopolitan city of Nouméa feels just like the French Riveria. However, home to some of the world’s most extensive reef systems, New Calendonia has much more to offer. Sail to the world’s largest lagoon, spot whales and sea turtles, and enjoy the diversity of the islands by traveling with Dream Yacht Worldwide, the first company to offer sailing charters in this trending destination.

Skip: The Serengeti, Tanzania

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Looking to take a safari trip of a lifetime? You’re probably considering visiting The Serengeti in Tanzania, one of the most popular safari destinations in Africa. Here you’ll get the chance to see the Great Wildlife Migration involving millions of wildebeests, gazelles, and antelopes making an annual migration across the plains. It’s just one incredible safari experience – but where else can you have an unforgettable experience with wildlife in Africa?

Visit: Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Wilderness Bisate
Courtesy of Wilderness Bisate

For a one-of-a-kind wildlife experience in Africa, consider visiting Rwanda and traveling to Volcanos National Park, home to endangered mountain gorillas. The unique experience of coming face to face with these regal giants is unlike any other; it’s considered by many to be the most incredible wildlife experience in Africa. Stay at the gorgeous Wilderness Bisate, one of the world’s most impressive ecolodges, on your trip. The lodge coordinates world-class gorilla treks as one of their many curated safari experiences and excursions while offering luxe accommodations with front-row volcano views.

Skip: Barbados

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Nice beaches, delicious food, and unique cultural experience at every turn; what could be better than Barbados? While this Caribbean island isn’t as popular for North American travelers as the Dominican Republic or The Bahamas, it’s a great choice for those looking for something more unique than a standard beach getaway. While Barbados is a favorite, what other destinations are worth a visit in the Caribbean?

Visit: Curacao

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Colorful Curaçao has long been a favorite Caribbean destination for Dutch travelers, but now it’s easier than ever for travelers from North America to visit this under-the-radar escape. With a thriving arts scene, cool restaurants, charming boutique hotels, and old Caribbean favorites like world-class diving and hidden beaches, Curaçao truly has it all.

Skip: Croatia

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Once a hidden gem though a stone’s throw from Italy, Croatia is now easily one of the most sought-after destinations in Europe. It’s no surprise why: taking in the views from the historic city walls of Dubrovnik, cruising to countless islands, and swimming in crystal clear waters makes for a dream vacation. But the price of a getaway in Croatia is higher than ever, and summer sees quaint towns overflowing with visitors.

Visit: Albania

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The northern neighbor of Greece, Albania is a secret stunner yet to be “discovered” by the crowds of tourists that head for Croatia every summer. With crystal clear waters and sandy beaches, historic fishing villages, and quaint mountain towns, Albania won’t stay under the radar for much longer. Take a beach vacation at the coastal favorite cities of Vlore or Sarande, or visit Albania’s surprisingly cool capital of Tirana.

Skip: Cancún, Mexico

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With white sand beaches lined with unending hotels and resorts, Cancún has long been a favorite for a beach getaway. Looking for a vacation spent by the pool and on the sand, where you barely have to leave your resort? Cancún is your spot. However, Cancún certainly isn’t a hidden gem, and it lacks the authentic, local experiences many travelers are looking for. 

Visit: Mérida, Mexico

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Just a few miles from the stunning beaches lining the rest of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Mérida is a gorgeous city packed with impressive architecture, delicious food, and authentic charm – it has everything that Cancún is missing. Rest your head at Wayam Mundo Imperial in the heart of Mérida; this modern yet cozy boutique hotel has all the amenities you need for a memorable retreat, while curated excursions and activities will introduce you to the best of charming Mexico.

Skip: Key West

Key West
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A tropical paradise within the continental United States, Key West, Florida feels straight out of the Caribbean. Connected to the mainland by the famous Seven Mile Bridge, it boasts history and some of the best beaches in the country. However, it’s undeniable that a visit to Key West is an expensive one. With so many other affordable spots in the Caribbean, head elsewhere for that wallet-friendly tropical getaway you’re looking for.

Visit: The Rosario Islands, Colombia

Rosario Islands
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Just a short speedboat ride from the city of Cartagena on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the Rosario Islands are a group of just 27 tiny islands plucked from paradise. With mangrove forests, white sand beaches, and crystal clear waters, these affordable islands are the stuff of dreams and are considered among the last remaining hidden gems in the Caribbean

Skip: Santorini

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Santorini, in the heart of the Greek Cyclades Islands, is undeniably gorgeous. Its white buildings with blue-domed roofs cling perilously to the edge of a volcanic crater above the perfectly blue sea. However, Santorini’s incredible scenery draws so many visitors each year that you’ll pay sky-high prices and wave through crowds of tourists to appreciate it.

Visit: Zakynthos

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Situated in the less-visited Ionian Islands on Greece’s west coast, the charming island of Zakynthos is both stunning and affordable. With winding streets, ancient ruins, and even a famous white-sand beach with a shipwreck, it’s hard not to fall in love with this hidden gem. Another popular alternative to Santorini? The historic island of Crete, which boasts some of the most impressive beaches in Europe.

Skip: Peru

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There from the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu in the Sacred Valley and the soaring, snowcapped Cordillera Blanca mountain range, there’s so much to explore in Peru. However, it can be hard to break off the well-worn tourist path of popular tourist destinations like Cusco to explore the rest of Peru’s beautiful cities and unique destinations.

Visit: Ecuador

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Mainland Ecuador is often overlooked by tourists heading straight to Ecuador’s famous Galapagos Islands. This is a huge mistake! Ecuador boasts countless volcanoes, archeological sites, hidden waterfalls, cities packed with adventure sports, and even the most biologically diverse parts of the Amazon Rainforest. It’s a hidden gem, with something more to discover around every turn.

Skip: The Bahamas

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The Bahamas are undeniably beautiful, with some of the clearest blue water and finest white-sand beaches anywhere on the planet. However, with endless resorts and amenities, it can be a challenge to find the truly untouched and unspoiled spots for an unplugged retreat.

Visit: The Cays of Cuba

cays of cuba
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Did you know that Cuba isn’t just one island? The country of Cuba is composed by almost 1,600 islands, big and small, with the barrier islands (called cays or “cayos”) boasting some of the most pristine, untouched beaches in the Caribbean. You’ll find your fair share of luxe resorts with all the amenities, but unspoiled white sand beaches abound.