These Are the Top Trips Adventure Travelers Are Already Booking for 2023

These thrilling itineraries are among the most popular and most exciting trips avid travelers are booking with luxury tour operator Scott Dunn for 2023.

Ski Chair Lift in the Dolomites,Val di Fassa part of Buffaure, Pozza di Fassa, Trento, Italy
Photo:

Алексей Облов/Getty Images

As travelers look ahead to their 2023 travel plans, it’s not just about where they go, but how they experience their destinations — and that’s exactly what bespoke luxury travel company Scott Dunn sees for the year ahead: travel with more intention. 

The company expects to see a 140% growth in once-in-a-lifetime trips in 2023 as more far-flung destinations like Bhutan and Japan reopen to American travelers. While the experts at Scott Dunn expect Europe to remain the top seller in 2023, they’re seeing more interest in lesser-visited countries like Slovenia and Malta, as well as what the travel company calls “the classics reimagined,” like private experiences in Italy and the more requests for countryside trips in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Conservation and community are driving deeper dives into African communities, especially in Zambia and Mozambique, while popular South American destinations like Peru and Patagonia continue to be favorites and Colombia and Panama are growing in demand. As Asian countries continue to open, travelers seem eager to return in a more mindful way, whether it’s to see the newly reopened Trans-Bhutan Trail in Bhutan or to take a samurai sword-making class in Japan. 

Scott Dunn also expects multigenerational travel to rise by 16% next year, including an increase in “skip-generational” travel, with grandparents heading out with grandchildren (sans parents). The travel company also expects to see more LGBTQ+ parents including biological parents on trips, and solo travelers joining family trips, all situations they’ve seen more queries for recently. 

And above all, travelers are looking to truly experience the world like they haven’t before with adventure travel. Here, five thrilling itineraries that are among the most popular and most exciting trips avid travelers are booking with Scott Dunn for 2023.

Italian Dolomites Ski Safaris

Skier touring around the Dolomites, Italy

Ziga Plahutar/Getty Images

“In recent months, we’ve seen a marked increase in interest in Dolomites ski safaris,” Livia Angelini, a Europe travel specialist for Scott Dunn told Travel + Leisure, saying that guests “light up” when this Italian Alps option is suggested. “Skiing from hut to little private hut is a unique and magical way to blend adventure, luxury, and authenticity. With all the stops along the way at family-owned chalets and restaurants with mesmerizing views, guests get to experience loads of different places and incredible, hearty meals.”

She especially loves the pairing of her two favorite things — skiing and food — and catering it all to each traveler. “The skiing here is sublime: pristine slopes flanked by towering granite pillars in one of the world’s largest interconnected ski areas. Then, there’s the food: from eating authentic hearty local dishes in typical rifugio (Italian mountain hut), to experiencing fine dining cuisine at some of the highest rated restaurants in Italy.”

Solo Trekking to Machu Picchu

While the current events in Peru should be monitored before booking travel (as currently the trains to Machu Picchu are not running amid protests), senior Latin America travel specialist Simon Hunt is excited about an innovative solo trek to Machu Picchu that he’s planning for one adventurous traveler in 2023.

“Staying at comfortable and authentic lodges each evening, [the traveler's] days will be packed with challenging trails, rewarding views, and Incan history,” Hunt says. “The journey will take him through archaeological sites, around turquoise lakes, through the valley and up the peaks of Salkantay, and through misty cloud forests to reach rarely seen views of Machu Picchu. He’ll be rewarded with a private tour of Machu Picchu at sunrise and a scenic train ride to Cusco.”


Shore-to-shore Adventure in Costa Rica

view at conchal beach (playa conchal) in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

TG23/Getty Images

“Costa Rica is always a surprise,” Renata Da Silva, senior Latin America travel specialist at Scott Dunn, says. During her own visit in October, she was taken by the diversity of experiences, food, and people. “In such a such a small country, it is incredible that you can find so many different aspects of the same thing — a visit to the beach can entail a hike through a canyon opening up to the ocean, or you may walk through dense jungle and suddenly find yourself on the shore. White sand, black sand, nesting turtles, the Caribbean, the Pacific Ocean — [it's] all here, on this tiny stretch of perfection.”

“Adventure is around every corner here, and in some cases it’s non-optional,” she added. “At one of the most remarkable hotels I visited, the adventure began before I even set foot in my room. Pacuare Lodge is only reachable via a four-by-four ride, an hour-and-a-half rafting on level two and three currents, and a short stretch in a golf cart. I was rewarded with a candlelit yoga class at sunset on the banks of the Pacuare River and a dreamy passionfruit crème brûlée.” 


Botswana & Zambia Mobile Safari

A group of people on a safari in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Frank Herholdt/Getty Images

For senior Africa travel specialist Bjorn Behlert, one of the most unique itineraries he designed was for a guest returning to Botswana and Zambia in 2023 after they had enjoyed their previous riding safari so much. He decided to “level things up” with a three-week mobile safari in Botswana, ending at Victoria Falls.

“They’ll begin with a riding safari around Botswana’s Okavango Delta, sleeping in pre-arranged bell tents along the way for an authentic experience,” he said. “They will then fly east to the other-worldly expanses of the Makgadikgadi salt plains to explore the moon-like landscape before riding to the sprawling woodlands of the Kalahari plains. A private charter flight will take them up to Zambia, where they’ll trade their mounts for canoes and fishing poles to enjoy the banks of the mighty Zambezi River and the incredible wildlife around it — bathing elephants, dusty rhinos, elusive leopards, and more. They’ll then board a helicopter to fly low over Victoria Falls, taking in one of the seven wonders of the world."


Expedition to Antarctica

Group of penguins on beach with a ship in water in Antarctica

DreamPictures/Getty Images

“In Antarctica your perspective completely flips on its head as you see nature in one of its purest, untouched forms,” the company's personal travel advisor Meg Shepro says. “From steep, jagged mountains, dazzling icebergs, and unique wildlife encounters, this destination truly has it all, like you’ve never seen before.”

On her own recent expedition, she was particularly impressed by seeing orcas in the wild, “a lifelong dream of mine” that was fulfilled after their captain followed the whales in the Gerlache Strait for two hours. But what she remembers the most are the words of one of her expedition guides, Ross, who told her: “In this moment now, capture it, remember it, but also look up from the camera and be present.”


To start planing your 2023 trip with Scott Dunn, visit its site for more travel inspiration.

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