The Sun Travel team reveal their best trips of 2022 – and the ones to add to your list for 2023

The Sun Travel team reveal their best trips of 2022 – and the ones to add to your list for 2023

TRAVEL came to a halt in 2020 – but now we’re back on track.

And The Sun Travel team has certainly made up for lost time this year with trips far and wide to the Bahamas, Colombia and that Wag ship in Qatar – although we’ll never turn our noses up at a staycation.

Money may be tight this year, but there are some real bargains to be had if you know where to look - Lisa Minot on 'HMS Wag' the MSC World Europa
Money may be tight this year, but there are some real bargains to be had if you know where to look – Lisa Minot on ‘HMS Wag’ the MSC World EuropaCredit: MSC Cruises
Seven-night sailing onboard the MSC World Europa this winter from £1,257pp, including flights, looks like the trip of a lifetime
Seven-night sailing onboard the MSC World Europa this winter from £1,257pp, including flights, looks like the trip of a lifetimeCredit: SUPPLIED

Money may be tight this year, but there are some real bargains to be had if you know where to look and that doesn’t mean scrimping on the fun either.

We look back on our favourite trips of the year and where we’re itching to go in 2023 . . . 

Sophie Swietochowski

I didn’t make it back for the big bash, but I was lucky enough to visit the centre of Paris again with Eurostar
I didn’t make it back for the big bash, but I was lucky enough to visit the centre of Paris again with EurostarCredit: Getty

PARIS stole my heart when I first visited Disneyland as a tot, then again as a teenager, clambering the endless stairs to the Sacre Coeur to gawp at the mesmerising views.

This year, the magical Disneyland Paris celebrated its 30th anniversary with a calendar of show-stopping festivities.

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I didn’t make it back for the big bash, but I was lucky enough to visit the centre of my favourite city again with Eurostar — and what a treat it was.

If you haven’t had the privilege of travelling on the Eurostar, you should give it a go.

Not just because it’s convenient and easy, but it feels luxurious in comparison to the (frequent) chaos of airports.

Plus, you can cram your suitcase full of French wine, gifts and nibbles as there are no weight limits.

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The train takes you to Gare du Nord station, which is a 25-minute cab or Metro ride to the Eiffel Tower or a 30-odd minute walk to the Louvre museum, home of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

GETTING THERE: Eurostar tickets get pricey, so bag a bargain in a sale (see eurostar.com).

Disneyland breaks at attractiontickets.com are from £279.50pp based on one night in a Disney hotel, two-day park tickets, and return Eurostar travel.

AND WHAT ABOUT NEXT YEAR? I’ve got my sights set on a sea voyage or, if I can wait till 2024, I’ll be sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, set to be the world’s largest cruise ship.

And I’ll be jetting to Aruba after British Airways launches direct flights from Gatwick in March.

Ryan Gray

The ancient archeological site of Petra — was an experience I will never forget
The ancient archeological site of Petra — was an experience I will never forgetCredit: Shutterstock

A SECRET holiday to Venice was an exciting highlight this year, with my destination not revealed until I arrived at the airport.

I was wary at first of using the mystery holiday method but had an amazing time and would definitely consider giving it another go.

It was my trip to Jordan, in the Middle East, that topped all others, though.

Witnessing its unearthly deserts and one of the Seven Wonders of the World — the ancient archeological site of Petra — were experiences I will never forget.

I was also blown away by the food and the people — who made me feel like I was part of the family as they invited me in, cooked for me and guided me around their country.

Beholding Petra was a bucket-list moment — one I’ve been itching to tick off for years — while days spent scrambling through gorges and canyons made me realise how much more there is to do in Jordan.

GETTING THERE: Jordanian capital Amman may be more than six hours away by plane but Wizz Air has bargain flights from London from £21 each way (wizzair.com).

If you have cash to splash, splurge on a G Adventures tour which will show you all the key sites and more.

Trips cost from £1,699pp for eight days, including accommodation and most food (see gadventures.com).

AND WHAT ABOUT NEXT YEAR? In 2023, I’d love to go back to Japan now that it’s open to tourists again, but there’s also a lot of America I haven’t explored.

Lisa Minot

Cruising was booming pre-pandemic and this year saw a slew of new liners set sail after the pandemic delayed their inaugurals
Cruising was booming pre-pandemic and this year saw a slew of new liners set sail after the pandemic delayed their inauguralsCredit: SUPPLIED

WITH the world travelling once more after the pandemic, it was a joy to watch as nations dropped their Covid regulations, and heading away became a pleasure once more, not an administrative nightmare.

Cruising was booming pre-pandemic and this year saw a slew of new liners set sail after the pandemic delayed their inaugurals.

Of course, the most exciting one this year had to be the launch of the MSC World Europa in Qatar — just a week before the World Cup started and England’s Wags came aboard.

I got a sneak preview of the ship — the largest ever built for MSC — and the luxury all-suite Yacht Club area where the families would be staying while they cheered on our boys.

But the ship itself was a real surprise — despite carrying 6,000 passengers it had a cosy feel with luxe, refined interiors and fabulous deck spaces featuring multiple pools and terraces for soaking up the Qatari sunshine.

As luxury as it is this is a ship for ALL — the World Europa is currently sailing on Middle Eastern itineraries from Dubai with prices from £679pp for a seven-night full-board holiday.

From April it will be sailing the Mediterranean and you can enjoy a two-night cruise from Genoa to Barcelona from £169pp.

It demonstrates you can still holiday like the A-listers next year — without the hefty price tag.

And with everything included, it’s the perfect foil to the cost-of-living ­crises.

GETTING THERE: Seven-night sailings onboard the MSC World Europa this winter are from £1,257pp including flights from ­London and transfers.

See ­iglucruise.com.

For summer Med sailings, prices are from £1,333pp including flights and transfers, based on the April 16 sailing from Genoa, calling at Naples, Messina, Malta, Barcelona and Marseille before returning to Genoa.

See cruise1st.co.uk.

AND WHAT ABOUT NEXT YEAR? With money tight for Sun readers, due to the cost-of-living crisis, I’ll be making sure we travel to some of the best value destinations across the globe to report on how you can make your holiday pounds go further.

The beaches of Bulgaria and Albania are on my list — as well as the Kent and Northumbrian coasts for some good-value stay­cation ideas.

Kara Godfrey

A break packed with fascinating traditions, colourful streets and all-night partying
A break packed with fascinating traditions, colourful streets and all-night partyingCredit: Shutterstock

IT’S certainly been a crazy 2022 filled with firsts for me, despite having been in this industry for seven years.

I went on my first cruise, boarding the Disney Wish to the Bahamas, my first visit to Africa on Tui’s new flights to Senegal and my first business-class experience thanks to Finnair.

And I can hardly forget my first time in South America — glorious wifi-free days on an island in Columbia thanks to Corona beer.

But if there is one standout trip, it was to Puerto Rico, below, after a visit during their biggest celebration of the year, Noche de San Juan.

A break packed with fascinating traditions, colourful streets and all-night partying.

It may not be the first place in the US you’d think to visit but it should definitely be one to consider if you are in nearby Miami, or opting for a Caribbean cruise.

And Senegal proved to be such a surprise hit.

Tui’s newest winter-sun destination offered so much more than just fly and flop, with the chance to discover the unique flora, fauna and geography.

GETTING THERE: You can save up to £250 on summer holidays with Tui in its Boxing Day sale, now on.

Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the Riu Baobab in Senegal is from £981pp, including Gatwick flights on May 1.

See tui.co.uk.

AND WHAT ABOUT NEXT YEAR? I hope my new experiences will continue, with plans for my first trip to Australia — which, given the present temp­eratures in the UK, is especially warming to think about right now.

Caroline McGuire

My favourite trip was our week in Kefalonia — beach picnics and a perfect day moored off the stunning coast in our rental boat
My favourite trip was our week in Kefalonia — beach picnics and a perfect day moored off the stunning coast in our rental boatCredit: Getty

IT’S hard to believe now, but 2022 was my first year of foreign holidays since 2018 thanks to navigating the pandemic with a young child — so taking off on that first flight with my partner and our son was a big highlight.

But I’ve more than made up for it since, with trips abroad to Cape Verde, Kefalonia, Disneyland Paris, Ibiza twice and Tenerife.

Highlights have to be a blissful sunrise swim off the coast of Ibiza, hiring a boat and ex­ploring a “deserted island” with family and friends near my all-time favourite, St Mawes in Cornwall, and watching my three-year-old glow with happiness while handling a JCB at Diggerland in Kent.

Experiencing the glorious British Airways First Class lounge at Gatwick is also something I won’t forget in a long time.

My favourite trip was our week in Kefalonia, though — beach picnics with spanakopita and beef tomatoes, endless hours in our villa pool where my son fell in love with swimming, rustic al fresco tavernas with sea views and a perfect day moored off the stunning coast in our rental boat.

GETTING THERE: Book before January 31 and you can bag a holiday in Kefalonia from £392pp, including flights, in the British Airways sale (see ba.com).

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Or book budget flights with easyJet from Gatwick to Kefalonia from £25.99 each way in April 2023 (see easyjet.com).

AND WHAT ABOUT NEXT YEAR? I hope to enjoy my first ski trip in four years and to go on a child-friendly holiday in India.

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