Travel News: Vacation inspiration for 2023 and the world’s most expensive restaurant pop-up

(CNN) — The world population hit eight billion this week, and at times it can feel like they’re all packed on the same flight as you.

Here are the rest of the biggest travel stories of the moment.

wild world

A video has gone viral of a baby elephant tickling Kenyan news reporter Alvin Kaunda until he bursts out laughing.
The sweet interaction was filmed at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s elephant orphanage in Nairobi, which provides sanctuary to elephants, rhinos and giraffes. Watch this video from CNN Travel to learn more about how they get baby pachyderms back on their feet.
A Montana television reporter became a meme back in 2020 after posting a video of his reaction to an approaching herd of bison in Yellowstone National Park. The mighty beasts were out of shot, but Deion Broxton’s blazing eyes and murmurs of “Oh no, I’m not messing with you” told the story.
Yellowstone afterwards tweeted that his quick exit was a perfect example of what to do when wildlife approaches. Watch this October 2022 video of a hiker who happily escaped after getting too close to a bison in Texas.

Destination Inspiration

Travel guide company Lonely Planet has announced its top destinations for 2023, including the Ghanaian capital Accra and the Central American country of El Salvador. The night train between Istanbul and Sofia also received a nod.
If you want to explore Turkey beyond the capital, the Aegean coast has a lot to offer. We recommend Alacati, known locally as ‘Heaven on Earth’, and the island paradise of Bozcaada. And don’t forget to taste local wine.
The marine wonders of Indonesia’s Raja Ampat, featured in this newsletter two weeks ago, have also made Lonely Planet’s list. If you want to extend your island hopping, try a luxury train trip around Java. The five-star resort Amanjiwo offers a seven-hour journey from Jakarta to Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.

food and hospitality

Sublimotion is known for its long waiting list, but in Japan, a brand of Kobe frozen beef croquettes is so popular that there’s a 30-year waiting list to get your hands on a box. It’s best to wait a few decades before turning on the oven to preheat.
Finally, the world’s chicest interiors were recognized at the 2022 Dezeen Awards.
Kelly Wearstler’s Mexican folk art-inspired design for Downtown LA Proper Hotel won Hotel and Short-Stay Interior of the Year, and Copenhagen art gallery café Connie-Connie’s calm mint green hues and recycled wood chairs won Restaurant and Bar Interior of the Year.

Lucky for the second time

An American woman and an Australian man had a whirlwind romance in the 1980s before marrying other people. 23 years later they got back together and this time they were determined not to let love slip away.

Misbehaving Travelers of the Week

A Frontier Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Atlanta on November 11 after a passenger was found with box cutters. Then, two days later, a recalcitrant passenger was removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago after an onboard incident that hospitalized three people. Be sure to smile and thank your flight attendant on your next trip: they may have had a rough week.

In case you missed it

What do hotel stars actually mean?

A cruise ship with 800 Covid-positive passengers docked in Sydney on November 12.

A refugee who inspired The Terminal died this monthafter spending 18 years in a Paris airport.

The “most magical place on earth” is becoming more and more expensive.

travel gifts

It’s that time of year again. If you’re looking for gift idea inspiration, our partners at CNN Underscored, a CNN product reviews and recommendations guide, put together this roundup of 45 great holiday and Christmas gifts perfect for frequent travelers.

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