Long live the summer vacation, the midyear escape that always seems to arrive just when it’s needed. Be it a family trip to Greece or a solo adventure in the Caribbean, summer travel is at the top of our minds – we’re all ready for a little getaway.
To find out where travelers are headed this summer, Virtuoso tapped into its data warehouse of $49.5 billion in bookings and analyzed this year’s biggest destination trends and patterns. We created two top-ten lists: one based on the most popular summer vacation destinations based on all booking data, and a Hot 10 list of emerging destinations with the largest year-over-year percentage increase in summer bookings. (Translation: These are the places your trend-setting friends are likely heading.)
The Most Popular Summer Destinations for 2019
1. United States
The top spot on the list proves that many American travelers are opting to stay close to home this summer. The scenery and diversity of the country’s national parks, including the Grand Canyon (pictured here), appeal to families and adventurers.
3. United Kingdom
France is one of eight European countries in the top ten – as always, the continent’s history, culture, cuisine, and luxury are always in high demand.
6. South Africa
It’s technically winter in South Africa, which is the ideal season for wildlife viewing on safari and whale-watching on the coast.
Spain was No. 10 on last year’s list but moved up this year thanks to the value it offers travelers compared to other destinations in Western Europe.
The Hottest Summer Destinations for 2019
The South American country’s upswing in popularity is thanks in part to its variety of terrain to explore, from the Atacama Desert and the Andes to the wine valleys outside of the vibrant capital city, Santiago.
3. Puerto Rico
Back in action after 2017’s devastating hurricane season, Puerto Rico is ready to welcome travelers looking for a classic summer beach getaway.
An on-the-rise safari destination, Kenya offers outstanding game-drive opportunities, the annual wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara, and several UNESCO World Heritage sites and beaches.
Pop culture tourism is fueling interest in this Asian island destination, thanks to the release of last year’s popular film, Crazy Rich Asians.
9. Costa Rica
10. Dominican Republic
Top Photo: Palawan, Philippines (Mlenny/Getty Images)