Every year around this time, we're flooded with travel companies telling us their next top travel trends. We've heard everything, from more tech-focused holidays to bleisure trips that blend work and travel, but it's the Expedia Group that has hit the nail on the head with its budget-conscious travel trend for 2023...
What does it mean? It's essentially spending less on where you stay without compromising on cool factor or comfort, whether that's by checking into a purse-friendly but chic boutique hotel or opting for a design-led aparthotel that's more affordable than it looks, and has space for you to do your own cooking, too.
As some of the stylish three-star hotels we've listed below will show you, downgrading from a four or five-star hotel doesn't have to mean giving up all your favourite luxuries, and it is, in fact, a smarter way to see the world as the cost of living goes up.
With more than a quarter (28 per cent) of travellers admitting they are more concerned with value for money than ever before, the travel trend is likely to resonate among many Britons this year.
Furthermore, Hotels.com data found that interest is up more than 20 per cent globally in three-star and under hotels, emphasising the rise in lower-starred stays.
However, it's not just an affordable place to sleep that travellers are after. While 39 per cent of UK travellers plan to stay in one- to three-star hotels, 28 per cent want to book a stay with added value inclusions, such as toiletries or free breakfast.
The Expedia Group's report reveals that there has been a shift in mindset from the post-pandemic bucket-list mentality, with a move towards a more spontaneous approach, and almost a fifth of travellers would rather go on more trips in three-star properties than splurge on one big luxury getaway.
Fewer stars doesn't have to mean lower standards. Many properties, such as Wild Thyme & Honey in the Cotswolds, Una Vida in Mexico, or Mama Shelter in Paris offer superb features, stylish interiors and unique vibes as standard.
And it's not the only trend that could save you money on your 2023 holiday, as foodie-menities could be the one to follow if you prefer a self-catering rental. It appears that kitchen credentials are a must for 2023, with more travellers looking to plate up when they please in their private accommodation.
We all know that cooking at home can be cost efficient, and by cooking in a holiday home instead of eating out or getting take-away, UK travellers plan on saving £417 on average on their next trip.
A Vrbo report revealed that people who want to stay in whole, private holiday homes are more concerned with their group’s needs than the location of their rental. In fact, 60 per cent of UK travellers looking for rentals with family and friends say that a well-equipped property with great amenities matters as much or more than the destination itself.
The best three-star stays to book for a more affordable 2023 holiday:
Wild Thyme & Honey, Cotswolds
The epitome of Cotswolds country chic, this boutique country inn is a relaxing retreat with a taste of the good life. The hotel sits snuggly in The Crown at Ampney Brook pub, so you’ll be in for some great food and drink during your stay.
Corral del Rey, Seville
Beautiful boutique rooms in the centre of the action and some including a freestanding tub in the bedroom or a patio with a pool.
Mama Shelter Paris West, Paris
Explore off the beaten track Paris at this fabulous hotel with designer bedrooms that come with free movies, a lively bar with original cocktails and a gorgeous rooftop.
Hotel Claude, Marbella
A design hotel with Egyptian cotton sheets and designer toiletries. It even has an art gallery and flower-filled roof terrace.
The Verb Hotel, Boston
A retro-style hotel that takes you back in time through the decades of rock 'n' roll. Each themed room comes with a record player and speakers, with unlimited access to the onsite vinyl library.
This is the original ice hotel, which is both a hotel and art exhibition. Guests can bed down in rooms made entirely out of sculptured ice from the neighbouring Torne River.
Aloft Tokyo Ginza, Tokyo
This visually stunning downtown hotel is filled with energy, from the fun vibes of the restaurant to the rooftop bar serving hotdogs. There are luxury touches in the rooms, with ultra-comfortable beds, walk-in showers, 55-inch 4K TVs and free WiFi.
Moss Hotel, Hobart
Where nature meets heritage, this beautiful Australian boutique hotel in Hobart has been created within mid-1800s warehouses and each room is a unique sanctuary, with locally produced mini bars and handmade furniture, cushions and throws.
Hotel Manoir Morgan, Quebec
In central Quebec, this small hotel is housed in a historic building built in 1805. It offers contemporary décor and the 1640 restaurant, which has a stunning view of Château Frontenac.
Una Vida, Tulum
For a taste of authentic Tulum, this tropical oasis is tucked away in the jungle. This stylish and lush Mexican paradise offers stylish rooms with some even featuring plunge pools and outdoor bathtubs.
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