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The world’s most peaceful countries in 2023

By Maureen O’Hare, CNN

(CNN) — In travel news this week: the world’s leading destinations for neighborliness and tranquility, what’s trending in aircraft interiors and top picks for city getaways and Asian hotels.

World’s most peaceful countries

What do Iceland, Denmark and Ireland have in common, other than being Northwestern European countries with oceanic climates and gorgeous, green landscapes shaped by ancient glaciers? The answer is they top the Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index for 2023, which in these times of rising global conflict is an achievement to be celebrated.

They excelled on measures including acceptance of the rights of others, equitable distribution of resources, good relations with neighbors and free flow of information. This year’s results found that global levels of peacefulness have deteriorated for the 13th time in 15 years — so congratulations to Iceland, which has been the most peaceful country in the world for every year since the index began 17 years ago.

Asia’s hottest hotels

One of Hong Kong’s most beloved hotels has finally reopened after 22 years. The Regent changed the city’s definition of luxury when it opened back in 1981, and the new iteration is determined to live up to that legacy and then some.

If the dense streets of Hong Kong aren’t your thing, a magnificent eco-lodge in one of the most remote places on Earth might be more your style. Mongolia’s Three Camel Lodge gives guests an introduction to the desert region’s traditional nomadic way of life.

Finally, one of Japan’s most elegant hotels is called Treeful, and it is an enchanting collection of treehouses deep in the Okinawan forest.

Aircraft interiors

Imagine stepping on a plane and getting your own private bedroom with a king-size bed and a bathroom with a rain and massage shower. That’s what’s promised by Lufthansa Technik’s new cabin design for the upcoming BBJ 777-9 — the private jet version of Boeing’s new widebody aircraft, the 777X.

Privacy has been key to business class innovations in recent years, too, with doored minisuites being a growing trend. Doors, however, are heavy, complex and take up valuable cabin space. Here’s why experts think we’re due a “less is more” pendulum swing.

All that said, the fact is most of us are still sucking it up in coach. That’s why our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have put together these 21 tips and tools to make your economy seat more comfortable.

City slickers

If you’re looking for culture, nightlife, fantastic food and lots of people-watching, we have some city getaways to recommend. National Geographic has some fun choices in its 2024 “cool list,” such as Belfast, Northern Ireland — a lively little city with big personality — and the Peruvian capital of Lima, which has become one of the world’s most acclaimed dining destinations.

Samarkand may not previously have been on your travel radar — or the nation of Uzbekistan for that matter — but it’s one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and is still wowing visitors. Visit for its spectacular mosques, mausoleums and madrassas.

Another ancient capital but with greater brand recognition, Cairo is home to an array of kaleidoscopic delights and has a raw energy all its own. Here are tips on how to approach this “beautiful mess.” 

Quitting your job and traveling the world

Many Gen-Zs and millennials are reporting increased levels of burnout because of work-related pressures. CNN spoke to four young people who decided to quit their jobs and go traveling.

In case you missed it

Two Los Angeles-based lawyers renovated a 16th-century Tuscan farmhouse into a luxury villa. 

Here’s how they did it.

The most expensive cities in which to live in 2023 have been revealed. 

Here’s where you can really feel the pinch.

Italy’s prized white truffles sell for big money in fancy restaurants. 

But there’s a deadly cost.

The world’s biggest cruise ship is one step closer to setting sail. 

Royal Caribbean took ownership of Icon of the Seas this week.

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