The 10 Most Exciting Places to Travel in 2023, According to American Express

Plus, here's where actress Issa Rae hopes to check off her bucket list

France, Ile de France, Paris, Ile de la Cite, Notre-Dame, morning
Jeremy Walker / Getty Images

Stumped on where to travel next year? American Express is here to help.

The financial services company just released its list of the 10 most exciting places to travel in 2023, which includes a mix of rebound-ready destinations (hello, Paris and Lisbon!) and up-and-coming spots poised to have a moment (ahem, Montenegro and Yaukuve Island). And while the list of destinations spans four continents, they all have one thing in common: each has seen significant increases in booking popularity between 2019 and 2022.

"We have a diverse list this year that includes everything from the close and enjoyable to the further-flung and 'I really should go there,'" Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel and Lifestyle Services, told TripSavvy.

"I live in New York, and Woodstock, Vermont, is on the list. I know why everybody wants to go to Woodstock: it's so close, and you can drive. Meanwhile, you see Sydney on there, and you're like, I know why they're on there because people couldn't go for so long."

Other top contenders for 2023 include Copenhagen, the Florida Keys, Istanbul, Lisbon, Mexico City, Paris, Fiji's Yaukuve Island, and Montenegro, all highlighted through expertly-designed itineraries on American Express's website.

American Express Travel Consultants created three-day itineraries for each place, offering recommendations on where to stay, eat, shop, and explore the local culture. Platinum Card Members also get a "bonus day" in the form of a guaranteed 4 p.m. check-out time if they book one of American Express's Fine Hotels + Resorts properties through the company's travel portal.

Hendley notes that the list includes places many astute travelers may have visited before, like Paris, but it's nice to have other options that are bubbling to the surface, she adds.

"People have been home a long time. They've had a lot of time to think about what's important to them. What are they going to do when they get there? 'How am I going to experience it like a local? I want to feel like I'm giving back,'" she explained. "A lot of these destinations give a richness of culture."

American Express also tapped Issa Rae, the actress, writer, and producer behind hits such as HBO's "Insecure" and "The Hate U Give," to share her thoughts on the list and wax poetic on her love for travel at the list's reveal event in Manhattan on Tuesday night. Rae has loved Paris for years and added Fiji to her bucket list. "Living in L.A., everything's a bit far from us, but Fiji's a bit closer," she said. As for where she's dying to jet off to next?

"I plan on food. That's what will motivate my travel," she said. "I want to go to Japan more because it's culturally rich, but also: sushi."