By Andrés Muñoz

Planning a trip can be a quick, spur-of-the-moment decision or a long, organised process. Both strategies have pros and cons, with the former adding a level of excitement that’s really hard to match. Nothing screams, “I’m living right here and right now!” like a last-minute adventure. 

That being said, some of my best journeys have been long, planned projects. You are more likely to be able to source inexpensive airfares and have a structure to your journey. Also, the satisfaction of seeing months of hard work pay off during the trip is, for lack of a better word, priceless.

Heads up: 2023 will arrive before you know it. That makes now the PERFECT time to start planning, allowing you to save as much as possible and research and organise everything you’d like to do when you get there. So here are five destinations I think you should consider for your 2023 adventure!

Mexico

In a country rich in culture, gorgeous food, and spectacular landscapes, I suggest you give yourself time to explore different parts of the country, not just Mexico City. While the booming capital has concerts, nightlife, and museums to match any metropolis on the planet, one week in the capital is enough.

The rest should be all about exploring Mayan ruins during the day and Tulum beachside clubs at night, learning how to surf and relax at Pacific hotspots like Puerto Escondido or Mazunte, or discovering the best ecotourism spots near San Luis Potosí!

The Balkans

For many, it is a dream to visit classic Western European destinations. Who wouldn’t love to see firsthand the Eiffel Tower, have some pizzas in Italy, or admire the culture and history of Berlin?

The underrated Balkan countries offer many of the comforts of Western Europe but at a cheaper price. Only a few use the Euro, a plus for those who wish to spread their funds around. This blog’s editor lived in Albania and loved every second of it!

One might think of Croatia thanks to the beautiful city of Dubrovnik being a backdrop in the Game of Thrones. The country offers so much more, though! The Plitvice Lakes National Park is a lovely alpine setting with beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Slovenia is a superb catch, too, with its capital, Ljubljana, consistently being ranked among the top underrated cities to visit in Europe.

Colombia

While Netflix might be perpetuating certain stereotypes through its hit series, Colombia has battled the drug label for a long time and is emerging as one of the most exciting spots in Latin America. 

You can enjoy the culture, nightlife, cuisine, and museums of Bogotá, but like with Mexico City, save some weeks for the rest of the country! Try the expat-darling Medellín, or the coastal gem of Cartagena, with its historical city and island tours. Jungle adventures also lie in store, should you venture to Leticia in the southern tip of the country.

New Zealand

No, I didn’t include this country, thanks to my fascination with the Lord of the Rings film locations—okay, I lie, I did! Still, New Zealand is a fantastic destination, thanks not just to its cinematic location history but also to the hard work it puts into making the country a sustainable tourism and eco-friendly hotspot. It is an epicentre of sustainable adventures, as it lowers its carbon emissions and supports many local economy initiatives.

If you are into sport or want to understand what makes the inhabitants of New Zealand tick, check out the All Blacks Experience in Auckland. It is an in-depth tour of one of the greatest rugby teams in the world and how it has become an integral element of the country’s culture.

South Korea

Let’s face it, K-pop has taken the world by storm. Few things could be as exciting for a fan as going to the Seoul Olympic Stadium in South Korea and enjoying a performance of their favourite idols. But what does South Korea offer to the rest of us who haven’t dipped our toes into the Kpop universe? 

Seoul has five beautiful palaces that tell in rich detail the culture of this peninsular nation. After exploring one (or more), you should visit the Namdaemun and Dongdaemun markets for some memorable souvenirs. 

One of the greatest assets of South Korea is its vast public transport network. With state-of-the-art trains and bus systems, travelling around Korea is quick and easy. We recommend visiting the Demilitarised Zone, attending the Jinju lantern festival in October, or flying out to the remote, volcanic island of Ulleungdo in the east. Or, perhaps, the island of Jeju-do to the south might be an easier trip. 

Travel in 2023 will be back in full swing, so you better prepare for your adventure as soon as possible. What other destinations should you consider organising a trip to? Let us know your travel plans in the comments section below!