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2023 in Review: These Top Travel Trends Were Hot on Frommer's | Frommer's Disney Parks / Shutterstock / Pauline Frommer

2023 in Review: These Top Travel Trends Were Hot on Frommer's

As 2023 draws to a close, a look back at the year’s headlines shows it was an eventful one in travel—and much of what happened wasn’t great. 

Wars raged. The planet roasted. Prices soared.

A wildfire devastated Maui.

A tiny sub carrying passengers to see Titanic wreckage met a similarly tragic end.

Higher-ups in various C-suites and statehouses made often mystifying, frequently infuriating decisions that ended up shrinking travelers' options, bank accounts, and, in some cases, sense of safety

Here at Frommer's, readers turned to us for travel news, analysis, and practical advice for taking memorable, affordable, and reasonably hassle-free journeys in our complicated and captivating world. 

As in 2022, the majority of our most popular stories of the year had to do with air travel

In fact, no less than half of our top 10 most-viewed pages in 2023 cover topics related to flying, including the article in first place—a packing list of things you should always carry in the personal item that goes under the seat in front of yours on an airplane. 

Speaking of packing, an analysis of whether the TSA could expand its liquid limits for carry-on luggage anytime soon (don't hold your breath) ranked third on our most-read list. And speaking of liquids, news of a ban on single-use plastic water bottles at Los Angeles International Airport placed 10th. 

On the airlines front, Pauline Frommer tried out the newish, Norway-based "cheapo" carrier Norse Atlantic Airways on a transatlantic flight and reported back on the good, the bad, and the legroom. Her September review of the airline came in sixth on our list of most popular stories. 

Another dominant trend in 2023 was Disney drama. And we're not referring to anything the entertainment giant put onscreen. 

Frommer's resident theme park expert Jason Cochran (author of our Orlando guidebook) diligently and incisively documented the goings-on inside the house of Mouse during the company's much-ballyhooed 100th anniversary year.

Back in January, Jason's very first post of 2023 (and the second-place holder on our most-read list) counted off the signs that Disney theme parks could be in trouble—a paucity of significant new attractions, lax maintenance, and prices that could bankrupt Scrooge McDuck among them—and outlined why a recent CEO change wasn't likely to help. 

By summertime, Florida's Walt Disney World was experiencing a rare drop in attendance numbers, and, as Jason pointed out in our ninth most-viewed story of 2023, Disney's cash-grabby policies amid surging inflation likely had more to do with the visitation downturn than the company's culture-war feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

A destination in the state that saw the opposite of a downturn in visits was Port Canaveral on Florida's Atlantic coast. In February, that cruise port—not coincidentally, the closest to Walt Disney World—was named the world's busiest, squeaking past Miami and Fort Lauderdale in the southern part of the state. Our post on Port Canaveral gaining the title was our seventh most popular story, reflecting the importance of cruise news to Frommer's readers. 

Evidently, many of those cruisers are curious about whether they can take cannabis on ships. The short answer: definitely not. For the full details, consult 2023's eighth most-visited Frommer's page, which weeds out the myths from the facts. 

Let's just say they don't call 'em the "high seas" for the reason you might be hoping for. 

The 10 Most Popular Frommer's Travel Stories of 2023:

1. 8 Things You Should Always Pack in Your Onboard Personal Item for Air Travel (published December 29, 2022) 

2. 4 Signs That Disney Parks Are in a Lot More Trouble Than People Think (January 4)

3. Is the TSA's 3-1-1 Liquids Rule Ending Now That Technology Has Improved? (May 2)

4. The Las Vegas Sphere: Your Guide to the Best Spots to See It (September 28)

5. If You Use the Public Phone Chargers at the Airport, the FBI Has a Warning for You (April 11)

6. What Is It Like to Fly Norse Atlantic Airways? Our Review (September 11)

7. The World's Busiest Cruise Port Has Been Dethroned (February 27)

8. Can Passengers Bring Cannabis on Cruise Ships? What to Know About Pot and Cruising (July 18)

9. Disney World Attendance Is Way Down, but Don't Blame Politics (July 12)

10. Flying Through LAX? Now You'll Need to Pack One of These (August 7)