A new year means a fresh start. In 2023, use this formula liberally in your travel planning. Many countries have lifted the majority of their pandemic travel restrictions after nearly three years of disruptions and complications. People are travelling internationally in record numbers, and there is plenty of pent-up demand to go around.

Many travellers are rushing into the new year, and for good reason. Here are 5 travel destination ideas to get you started.

Western Australia

A total solar eclipse will be visible over the northwestern edge of Australia on April 20, 2023. Exmouth and the surrounding Ningaloo Peninsula have been planning for more than a year for an event that will most likely last about one minute. There will be outdoor viewing platforms where visitors can safely observe the solar miracle (while wearing protective eyewear, of course), as well as musical performances, educational opportunities to learn about science and astronomy, and a three-day Dark Sky Festival. But Western Australia has much more to offer than 60 seconds of awe. It stretches from the vibrant, growing state capital of Perth across deserts such as the Great Victoria and Great Sandy to the wine country of Margaret River, the dramatic clifftops of the Kimberley, and the quokka-covered Rottnest Island.

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston celebrates its history like no other city in the United States, but it frequently glosses over the history of its Black residents. It has been working to correct this. Enter the International African American Museum, which has pushed back its January opening date and promises to make an announcement "soon" for 2023. The museum will be located on the Cooper River's shoreline, near where many Africans first set foot in North America. It will delve into the lives of slaves and their heirs.

In late May and early June, visitors can enjoy the world-renowned Spoleto Festival, which includes opera, theatre, dance, musical acts, and artist talks.

As far as food is concerned, Magnolias serves fancier Southern fare. It opened in 1990 and contributed to the city's culinary renaissance. Bertha's Kitchen in North Charleston serves red rice with sausage, fried chicken, and lima beans for a more casual meal.

Liverpool, England

Liverpool, England's port city best known as the birthplace of The Beatles, is adding another chapter to its musical legacy. It will be the host city of Eurovision 2023 in May, an extravaganza of song that draws thousands of flag-waving fans from across the continent. The city will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Liverpool Biennial contemporary visual arts festival in June, with more than 30 international artists and collectives taking over spaces throughout the city until September.

In 2023, England will also celebrate the Year of the Coast, with food festivals and beach clean-ups taking place along the country's coastline. Crosby Beach, a half-hour train ride from Liverpool city centre, is the permanent home of sculptor Antony Gormley's "Another Place," where 100 cast-iron figures face out to sea.


Fiji is an easy sell, with its brilliant blue waters, expansive coral reefs, and hundreds of peaceful islands. But why should you go in 2023? For one thing, the country only reopened after the Covid disaster at the end of 2021, so visitor numbers to the South Pacific paradise have yet to fully recover. While the country is spoiled for underwater beauty, take advantage of the opportunity to discover its above-ground treasures as well. The only UNESCO World Heritage site in the country is the town of Levuka, a former capital and important port with British colonial-era buildings nestled among coconut and mango trees.

Visitors can learn about the local Indigenous communities by participating in a kava welcoming ceremony, named after the traditional drink at its heart, or by eating a lovo, a meal cooked over hot coals in an underground pit covered with banana leaves.

Fiji Airways now has direct flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco, making getting to the islands relatively simple. Bula, as the Fijians say.

Vilnius, Lithuania

Lithuania's capital celebrated its 700th anniversary on January 25, 2023. A yearlong celebration is planned, including music festivals and exhibitions.

The entire city center has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ranking it alongside fellow V-cities Venice and Vienna. Vilnius is on the list because of its Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings, all of which are located on a mediaeval street plan, but it is best known for its Baroque architecture.

Don't miss the frothy bell tower of St. John's church (climb it for sweeping city views) or St. Casimir's church, which is topped by a massive crown. Do you have a knack for social media? This is Europe's only capital city where hot air balloons can fly over the cityscape.