Around the country, college students, families, and couples are beginning to jet off to warmer weather, iconic international cities, and championship sporting events.
While U.S. beach destinations remain some of the most booked spring vacation spots for 2023, iconic international cities knocked Orlando, Phoenix, Maui, Oahu, and The Smoky Mountains off this year’s list.
What is driving this change?
A Long-Awaited Return to International Destinations
After years of visiting national parks, wide-open nature retreats, and domestic tropical island getaways during the pandemic, Americans show renewed interest in border-crossing this spring.
“Interest in international travel is increasing given the favorable exchange rate for Americans,” said Philip Ballard, Chief Communications Officer, Hotel Planner. “For example, we’re seeing about a 20% increase in UK-bound bookings because the U.S. dollar hasn’t been this strong against the pound since the early 1980s.”
“When we look at Expedia, Hotels.com, and VRBO data together, we’re seeing a surge in trips to culture capitals,” said Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands. “People are ditching nature to go to the biggest cultural capitals of the world.”
So Where In the World Are Americans Going This Spring?
World Nomads report that more than half of Americans’ top 2023 destinations are European cities, and they’re no longer waiting to go. According to Airbnb, travelers are showing an increased interest in city travel for Spring. Couples, in particular, are springing across the Atlantic and immersing themselves in the rich cultures of iconic European cities.
The top-trending international destinations for U.S. Airbnb customers include:
- Rome, Italy
- Seoul, South Korea
- London, United Kingdom
- Porto, Portugal
- Barcelona, Spain
- Dublin, Ireland
- Whistler, Canada
- Madrid, Spain
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Paris, France
Why Are Travelers Picking These International Cities for Spring?
From ideal weather to fewer crowds and lower prices, Spring can be the perfect time to explore global cities while others enjoy sea and sand getaways.
“As cliché as it sounds, Paris in springtime was everything I hoped it would be,” says Karee Blunt, Founder, Our Woven Journey. “We were there in April when the air was crisp, and the flowers were beginning to bloom, which only added to the romantic atmosphere in the city. There was something surreal about walking around the gardens at Versailles, witnessing the same trees blooming that had been there for so many years. Paris is lovely any time of year, but I think it would be hard to beat in spring!”
“Spring is the perfect time to explore trendy Dublin before all of the tourists converge in early summer,” said Casandra, a frequent international traveler. “The weather is warm enough for only a light jacket, and you can easily visit many attractions like the famous Temple Bar, St. Stephen’s Green, and get that classic Instagram shot on Ha’penny Bridge.”
“My family and I love to travel in the off-season because we get great deals,” said Alicia, Founder of Travels With The Crew. “We visited Rome for Spring Break a few years ago and love that we could see all the sites without waiting in enormous lines. Plus, the weather was spectacular; not too hot but lots of sunshine.”
“My husband and I went to London in early spring to enjoy the cooler weather and avoid the more crowded summer,” said Karen, Founder of Seasonal Cravings. “Staying in Piccadilly Circus allowed us to see the sites while being close to Trafalgar Square and the National Portrait Gallery. In addition, we loved relaxing at The Queen’s Head Pub with an amazing selection of ale, lager, stout, and ciders.”
Stateside Spring Travelers are Sticking to Sunshine and Sports
While flying across the globe is a dream for many, more than half of all nights booked on Airbnb for Spring are in U.S. cities.
Top American destinations include places hosting major sporting events such as Indianapolis’ Final Four College Basketball championship game and Augusta, Georgia, home of The Masters golf tournament and the top trending American city for spring travel.
Other trending U.S. destinations include the vibrant jazz destination Kansas City and several coastal beach towns famous for fair weather relaxation:
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Steamboat Springs, Colorado
- Fort Worth, Texas
- Tampa, Florida
- St Petersburg, Florida
- Port Aransas, Texas
- North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
“Spring is an ideal time to visit Tampa. The weather is warm enough for travelers from northern destinations to bask in the sun before summer’s excessive heat and humidity make their entrance,” said Laura of A Piece of Travel. “It’s also a great base for taking day trips to nearby beach towns once you’ve gotten your fill of the Tampa Riverwalk, exploring downtown’s museums, and gawking at mansions framed by flowerbeds on Bayshore Boulevard.”
Spring Travel Savings Are Still Possible
Despite the increased interest in Spring travel and surge pricing, travel deals are still available. According to Expedia, airfare is 20% cheaper when departing on a Tuesday versus a Saturday. Avoiding peak spring travel days of March 10-11, March 25, and April 1 will also enable travelers to score cheaper flights.
This article was produced by Planner at Heart.