Saturday, 7 January 2023

My 2023 & Beyond Travel Wishlist & Plans

I love a brand new year. There's just something about the first blank pages of a fresh, new diary that fills me with excitement. The whole year seems so wide open, so full of possibility and opportunity...

As someone whose biggest love in life is taking holidays with my family, travel plans are never far from my mind when I'm making new year fact one of my favourite things to do in January is to start vision boarding some destination ideas and research possible trip ideas.

This year, we actually already have our main holiday booked in and so I'm not entirely sure what the rest of the year will look like for travel...but I thought I'd share some of my goals and dream destinations anyway, as these posts are always fun to look back on.

Disney Dream Norwegian Fjords Cruise

This 7 night trip onboard the Disney Dream cruise ship is going to be our main holiday this year, and I am so excited for it.

I have always loved cruising, and a Disney cruise was always a bucket list goal for me but something I never thought I'd get chance to experience as not only are they very expensive - but they don't often sail to or from the UK, making them more difficult to organise and plan for.

But our surprise chance to try one out came during the pandemic years, when Disney Cruise Line introduced a series of UK Seacations - short trips onboard the Disney Magic where there were no ports of call, just days at sea instead.

We absolutely fell in love with Disney Cruise Line during the seacations, so much so that we booked a second one later on in the year.

So when Disney announced that they were bringing the Disney Dream to the UK in 2023 for a series of sailings, I knew I had to book. Thanks to our seacations, we had reached Gold status in Disney's Castaway club loyalty scheme which meant we had early access for booking and I'd also reserved a placeholder which meant we had a slight discount on our booking. 

We sail in September, and our 7 night itinerary includes visits to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stavanger.  I'm really excited to visit Copenhagen as I've never been there before, but it will be the first time visiting all of these destinations for my children. I'm also really looking forward to sailing down the Norwegian Fjords again, as we've been lucky enough to do this before on a P & O cruise and it was truly breathtaking.

City Breaks

With our Disney cruise being a pretty expensive trip, I'm not sure how much opportunity we'll have to visit other places throughout the year but one thing I would really like to do is try to fit in a few short city breaks here and there.

There are usually plenty of cheap flights to utilise whether it's searching for last minute availability or using an easyjet promo code for discounts, and there are plenty of hotel bargains to be had so some 2 or 3 night trips to cities such as Rome, Venice, Dublin, Edinburgh and Paris would be lovely.

It's also my partners 50th birthday in August, and I would really love to book a surprise trip for the 2 of us to celebrate - I'm thinking either a mini cruise or perhaps even a visit to New York City would be really lovely as it's his favourite city and one I've always wanted to visit. 

Foodie Trips

My partner & I are both big foodies, and after seeing so much tempting foodie content on TikTok and Instagram we are both really keen to try to fit in some quick getaways to foodie destinations. A visit to the German Christmas Markets is high up on our wishlist to experience a weekend of trying various snacks and treats, and I've also been reading up on some of the truly spectacular restaurants in Abu Dhabi which have me really tempted too - Square Meal UAE lists some fantastic options such as Michelin starred sushi restaurant 99 Sushi and the incredibly fancy Fouquet's which is a French fine dining experience with a menu designed by Pierre Gagnaire. 

Disneyland Paris

It's fair to say that a trip to Disney is never far from my mind and although I'm excited about our Disney Dream cruise, nothing quite scratches that Disney itch like a visit to the parks - so I would love the opportunity for a few nights visit to Disneyland Paris with kids at some point this year.

I had been hoping to be able to go in January which is something we always used to do, but I don't think that funds are going to allow it - so I'm setting my sights on a pre-Christmas visit for the end of 2023 instead!

Beyond 2023

With our main 2023 holiday already booked, I'm also setting my sights further ahead and there's one big goal on my mind!

Returning To Orlando?!

I know, I know...we've only just got home from what I said would be our once in a lifetime trip to Orlando! But what can I say?! I need more!

I loved our visit to Orlando but I can't help but feel that such a huge and overwhelming holiday would really benefit from personal experience when it comes to planning an Orlando holiday, and now that I've been once - I feel that I'd be SO much better at planning another visit and really getting the most out of it.

I would love to save up some money and return for another long, dream trip in a few years time but in order to get us back there sooner - I had the idea of trying our luck at getting a last minute bargain deal. After all, my partner and I work fully flexible jobs from home and our children are home educated so one of the biggest perks of our somewhat unconventional lifestyle is the ability to pick up and travel whenever we want.

So my idea is to keep in mind that we're hoping to visit Orlando in January 2024 - save like crazy, and then - a few weeks beforehand. Try our luck and see what sort of bargains we can get! It means we won't have much say over our flights, where we stay or how long we're there for - but I'm thinking that will just add to the adventure and from what I've been seeing - it could mean reducing a £20,000 holiday down to a £3,000 holiday! So it's worth a try, right?!

Do you have any holidays planned in for 2023 and beyond? I'd love to hear your thoughts and where you'd most like to visit!

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