Kate Whelan outlines the most popular trending summer holiday destinations of 2023.
The winter months have left me with itchy feet, and while the thought of sitting around in Dublin airport may sound horrendous to some, to me it brings great joy. Seasonal depression is in full swing and the only light at the end of the tunnel is booking a trip away. With 195 countries to choose from we are spoiled for choice, so the most important question is: where do you go? To cure my travel bug, I did some much needed research to find out the best places to go. I took to social media to see where people were spending their hard earned cash. I scrolled through thousands of “Travel-Tok” and Instagram reel videos until I found some dream destinations that I’ve since booked.
After some hardcore online research, I decided that this summer I will go island hopping in Greece. I cannot wait to explore the islands that look like they came out of a story book and live out my Mamma Mia fantasy! Let’s face it - we all have a bit of Donna in us. On the two week itinerary I will be heading from Athens to Mykonos, Syros to Milos and finally Santorini. Between a handy Ryanair flash sale at the start of the year and cheap enough boat fares between islands, it was a deal I couldn’t resist. The reviews about Greek island hopping have been incredible and the videos of scenery, food and nightlife have made me all the more excited to get started. Island life seems like the life for me and the thought of basking in that clear blue sea surrounded by pristine white buildings while sipping on an Aperol Spritz sounds heavenly.
Another worthy contender and popular spot I have already travelled to is Budapest in Hungary. Budapest flooded the Instagram feed back in August with the lively Sziget festival outlining it as a hotspot for interrailers. I cannot stress it enough that my trip to Budapest was the best money I have ever spent - I have not stopped daydreaming about it since. With a September heatwave in full swing, it was a city break paradise. Budapest is a bustling metropolis complete with beautiful architecture, interesting history and a fascinating culture. With so much to see such as the Buda Castle, Hungarian Parliament building and the Fisherman’s Bastion, there's no time to waste. Budapest’s nightlife boasts a whole other range of experiences. You can take a cocktail river cruise along the river Danube that separates Buda from Pest and see the Hungarian city lights; or grab a drink in a groovy ruin bar where there's 20 rooms of fun! Hungary is the home of paprika so it is no surprise that the food tastes like a bite out of heaven. Not only is it a beautiful part of the world, it's very affordable - a meal and drink can be bought for 15 euro and transport around the city is equally reasonable. If you’re looking for a great city break that won’t hurt your wallet too much, Budapest is the place to be.
Italy never fails to flood TikTok each summer and remind you that you are missing out on experiencing its glory. Italy has something for everyone - if you’re more of a city break type of person, Rome has everything you need. The historic city provides a portal to a lost world with famous structures like the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel and the Trevi fountain all within close proximity. A hop-on, hop-off bus gives you a great opportunity to see everything in one day so that your evenings are free to enjoy fantastic wine and dine experiences.
If you’re looking for more of a paradise-like getaway, Sorrento is the spot for you. A coastal town located in the south of Italy, it's no wonder the beauty of this town has gone viral online every summer. With millions of TikTok posts and Instagram reels posted of the traditional southern city, Sorrento looks like the set of a hit Hollywood romance movie. It’s the perfect seaside getaway where you can relax on the beach surrounded by lemon trees and explore everything it has to offer by slowly strolling the streets after a carb heavy meal.
Although Sorrento is a lovely place in itself, you can also visit its neighbouring towns and experience more Italian culture. A bus to Positano will cost you about four euro and you can hire boats along the Amalfi coast which will be around the ninety euro mark. No matter what type of holiday you plan on taking, Italy has it all. The home of pizza and pasta is guaranteed to be an enjoyable experience with great food, culture, architecture and the top locations to get some Instagram photos!
Although social media can have its positives and negatives, it has done wonders for when you need to pick a spot on the globe to go to. Whether you pick one of the places I have mentioned or find a different place to go within your own research, I hope you enjoy every bit of it! Remember, the greatest journey starts with a single step. The world is too big to stay in one place.