The 8 Most-Read Travel Stories of 2023

Another year in travel, another 12 months of meltdowns and debacles. As one analyst put it, 2023 “took chaos to a new level.” Yikes. Still, travelers kept flying, including in record-breaking numbers on Thanksgiving weekend.

Whether they decided to enter the fray or just armchair travel, our readers loved stories that took them away, whether it was about a journey across London on the new Elizabeth rail line, hiking long-distance walking routes (like the new Pekoe Trail in Sri Lanka or the 637-mile Michinoku Coastal Trail in Japan), or the slow-motion ballet of whales off the coast of Long Island in New York.

And plenty of odd trends emerged, too: fake A.I.-generated guidebooks flooded Amazon, dogs flew in private jets and “sky couches” became an in-flight amenity option.

Here are eight of Travel’s most-read stories for 2023, some of which got readers very fired up (let’s say people have opinions on airplane sock etiquette).

Credit…Bianca Bagnarelli

8. Say Goodbye to Daily Hotel Room Cleaning

“Housekeeping!” Does the phrase — usually following two startling knocks on the door — fill you with happiness or dread? In 2023, travel largely rebounded to prepandemic levels, but daily cleaning in hotels appeared to have become a thing of the past. Good for sustainability, perhaps (less laundry), but hotel unions are concerned the changes could threaten housekeepers’ jobs.

You said:

Credit…Dani Pendergast

7. Whether You Call It ‘Skiplagging’ or ‘Hidden-City Travel,’ It’s Contentious

An obscure phrase became more popular in 2023: skiplagging. Passengers discovered that, in some cases, airfares to their destination were cheaper when booked as a layover to somewhere else — so they would disembark after the first leg of the flight, and not board the second. Genius, right? Turns out, the airlines don’t think so — American Airlines banned one teenager for three years for the practice.

You said:

Credit…Joann Pai

6. 36 Hours in Paris

Is anyone surprised this was the most-read 36 Hours guide of the year? Laura Cappelle, a Paris-based theater critic for The Times, mapped out a weekend exploring a different side of the French capital. After reading her guide, you might dream of climbing the spiral, wrought-iron staircase in the painter Gustave Moreau’s magnificent two-story art studio.

You said:

Credit…Roddy Mackay for The New York Times

5. Why Did 488 Golden Retrievers Gather in Scotland?

For the Guisachan Gathering, of course! Think of it as a kind of golden retriever convention, commemorating the anniversary of the founding of the breed.

You said:

Inwangsan, a mountain in central Seoul, offers sweeping downtown views.Credit…Jun Michael Park for The New York Times

4. In 7 Great Cities, 7 Great Walks

Exploring a city on foot is one of the great pleasures of traveling. We mapped out seven superb city strolls: Follow a 600-year-old fortress wall in Seoul, ramble along Rio de Janeiro’s beaches and discover a spider web of passageways in Marrakesh, Morocco.

You said:

Credit…Miguel Porlan

3. Help! A Check-In Agent’s Mistake Made Me Miss an Antarctic Cruise and I’m Out $17,000.

Travel is fun until things go awry — and travelers find they have little power when an operator refuses to refund thousands of dollars. This Tripped Up column — part of our travel advice series — resonated with readers, many of whom had been in similar circumstances, and who left nearly 2,000 comments. In this case, our columnist managed to secure a full refund for this reader in need, but it wasn’t easy.

You said:

Credit…Hannah Agosta

2. ‘Never a Reason to Take Off Your Socks’: A Flight Attendant’s 12 Etiquette Rules

Have you ever sat in an airplane seat and noticed, just out of the corner of your eye … no, it’s too terrible … a bare foot creeping just by your arm rest? By the summer of 2023, travelers were overdue for a refresher on airline etiquette. Kristie Koerbel, a flight attendant for more than 20 years, laid down the law.

You said:

The Alaska Railroad — which traverses 470 miles of mountains and glaciers — marked 100 years of operation in 2023.Credit…Christopher Miller for The New York Times

1. 52 Places to Go in 2023

Our annual list of destinations worth visiting sparked plenty of wonder, surprise and feisty discussion. Scroll through to be inspired for a future trip, or just to broaden your world with a spot of armchair travel.

You said:

Back to top button