Optimism is the name of the game when it comes to travel in 2023. After a few years of overwhelming uncertainty and instability, travel is set to make a triumphant return, making travellers bolder than ever before. And nothing will be off limits – while some of us will go off the grid in the name of adventure, others will return to old favourites in search of that warm and fuzzy feeling. Elsewhere, evolving technology will make us more savvy planners. Let’s dive in.
Following the path less travelled, burnt-out city dwellers will escape reality by going back to the basics on their trips in 2023 – think: staying in cabins, learning survival skills, and dining on campfire cuisine. Chalk it up the upheaval of recent years that saw political unrest and natural disasters accent the global pandemic.
Speaking of which – remember when you were terrified to make travel plans in light of flight bans and border closures? Well, those days are behind us. Travellers will (finally) feel comfortable with locking in trips ahead of time as opposed to waiting until the eleventh hour. Translation: book ahead if a particularly popular destination is on your bucket list.
After a couple of years in isolation, family reunions and multigenerational trips will also trend in 2023. Travellers – especially millennials – will seek a feeling of familiarity, returning to destinations that they know and love. Heavy on the feel-good factor, simpler trips rooted in railway rides or seaside R&R will also be popular.
‘Try before you buy’ will influence our holiday choices in the year ahead as technology allows us to experiment with different travel experiences, courtesy of the Metaverse’s ever-evolving 3D virtual space. That’s right – your online avatar will be able to visit a destination before you do, perfect for those anxious about the unknown when it comes to travel.
A self-explanatory term that began to dominate the travel industry in 2022, revenge travel will continue to trend in 2023. With the pandemic causing havoc on people’s vacations, revenge travel refers to ‘taking revenge’ on coronavirus, with travellers fervently making up for lost time by booking their dream trips – rising inflation be damned.
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All the essentials for a stylish trip, with or without the kids.
Travelling can be a stressful time, so why not make it as enjoyable as possible? As we enter the travel season, I’m here to help you make your airplane rides chic and comfortable. With some of my favourite pieces from local and international brands, you’ll be ready for any destination in style.
When dressing to fly there is such a range of styles, from just out of bed to fully suited and booted — I like to go somewhere in between, rocking a super comfortable yet stylish vibe. A look I love for flights is wearing a silky slip dress with chunky boots and knitwear layered over the top; this look is fashionable and comfortable, perfect for long hauls.
Cool and Comfortable Chic
Another look I love for travelling are ankle grazer trousers and a comfortable top. My absolute go-to is my draped back sweater; this is one of all-time favourite pieces. With organic cotton and uber-soft jersey, it ticks all the boxes for stylish travel with ultimate comfort.
The third favourite combo is the tone-on-tone sweatpant outfit — you can chose a cropped sweater or an oversized and roll up the sleeves to give it some shape. Additionally, to style it into true-cool chic lounge style, layer it with a biker jacket or oversized blazer. The on-trend black cap of the moment will also compliment any colour combo.
I love that casual wear has had a huge influx over Covid as so many brands have now stepped up a gear in their style offering while simultaneously making oversized jersey a completely acceptable day-time look.
When shopping recently, I can across this three-piece set from Massimo Dutti and I was absolutely sold! This look comprised of three pieces of knitwear, which can be worn separately with other looks too and I have never felt so comfortable! It was like wearing pyjamas but looking flight chic. This is how it looks on the left online and how it was on me.
Then I decided to take it up a gear; you could style it with a bold white blazer and a leather bag for all your flight essentials. This will definitely be my next airport lounge look!
Bags To Go
Bags can be the bane of your life when travelling unless you get ones that really suit your needs. Pre-kid, I would love checking in all my bags and only carry a small bag with my passport and documents in; this way there’s less opportunity for me to lose things or leave them behind.
A great all rounder is this travel sleeve from Olivia & Co — big enough to hold your phone, documents, tickets and passport and discreet enough to feel stress-free in the airport. Now that I have a two-year-old in tow, I need places for snacks, books, toys, wipes, and just about anything else I can think of to stop him banging on the pilot’s door at 32,000 feet (this actually happened). So, I use the Suveno Diaper Bag which is a backpack shape and holds everything you need, including three bottles.
There are so many travel bag options out there for parents. I definitely researched too much when trying to find a good one; this has done the job and fared quite well considering how much it’s been used.
For the adult backpack, I use the CamSafe backpack from PacSafe — these are high quality anti-theft bags that use anti-slash fabric, have tons of lockable pockets, key and wallet attachment areas, as well as block your cards from being skimmed. You can also lock it to the table at a bar or restaurant, which may sound excessive but you can never be too sure in a new city.
These are not the most fashion savvy looking bags but they are quite minimal and understated, so I let it pass considering the benefits they offer. In addition, I have put an Apple Air Tag into the bottom of the bag, so in case it does get stolen, we can track where it is.
If, for some reason, the backpack isn’t enough for our in-flight packing needs, I absolutely cannot take a hold-all and trudge it around the airport; my back aches, my shoulder aches, they have one big space and no compartments. Trying to find my laptop at security in between eye masks, shades, neck pillows, and healthy snacks is literally the worst! So instead, I opt for a four-wheeler roll-along hand luggage-size case.
This way, I save my back and shoulders and can easily locate things when opened at security. I really like the latest Clifton collection from Antler. They come in a cute colour palette and have a hard case which is a must for me.
When it comes to accessories, I keep a few essential items to make my trip more enjoyable; The basics I take are flight socks for good circulation, a hydrating face mask to stay nourished, some nutritious snacks and a water bottle.
There’s a good reason why those headphones come free on your flight: they’re annoying, noisy, and terrible quality. Noise-cancelling headphones can help you drown out any background noise on the plane and have been one of my best purchases over the years. I use Sony ones but I hear good things about Bose too.
Travel packs are something that have been mentioned to me, but I haven’t tried yet. For my next trip, I’ll be purchasing some to help the packing organisation and separating kids things from mamas to help with sanity when we’re moving around a lot.
Lastly, my must have for the plane a giant lovely cosy knit — I’ve got about 10 styles as I actually LOVE knitwear, even in Dubai! I have bought from COS and All Saints mostly, but recently I found this gem from Mikutas which I adore. I am always cold on the plane and usually we’re landing somewhere colder than Dubai, so these are also fab for the airport and ride to the hotel.
Whether you’re going on a business trip or a pleasure cruise, looking and feeling your best while traveling can help you make random connections with strangers — which I love doing on planes. Also, being organised with the above items helps reduces the stress, especially when travelling with little ones.
May your next trip be stylish and stress-free!
Deborah Henning launched her own namesake label in 2014 after working with up and coming brands in the Middle East as well as Alexander McQueen in London, much loved Australian brand Sass & Bide, and British brand Ghost. Follow her on Instagram and check out her website.
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