This Is the City Americans Are Flocking to Most for the Holidays

Christmas in paradise sounds very merry, indeed.

This Is the City Americans Are Flocking to Most for the Holidays

Is it any wonder this is the most popular place to spend the holidays?

Photo by okimo/Shutterstock

U.S. travelers are looking to warm up this holiday season. The most popular domestic holiday destinations include warmer weather locales such as Hawaii, Florida, Arizona, and California, according to TripAdvisor flight search data for end-of-December travel.

For those travelers who still haven’t decided on or booked their holiday travel, TripAdvisor reported that the least expensive days for a domestic flight before Christmas are Monday, December 16, and Tuesday, December 17—domestic round-trip flights are pricing at $341 on average on those days.

Traveling the Saturday before Christmas, December 21, will cost you. It’s the most expensive day of the holiday season to travel, with round-trip flights averaging $497. You’re better off flying Christmas Eve, which is 25 percent cheaper, averaging about $374.

Whether heading home to see family or friends, 41 percent of travelers are planning on journeying more than 1,000 miles this holiday season. And it’s going to be busy both out on the country’s highways and in airports, with 46 percent of travelers planning on driving to their destinations and 44 percent flying.

So, where are the majority of travelers heading? Here are the top domestic holiday destinations, according to TripAdvisor.


With temperatures that range from the mid-60s to the mid-80s this time of year, it’s no wonder Oahu’s biggest city is the top travel destination this holiday season. While lying on the beach, surfing, and snorkeling feel plenty festive to us, if you want an added dose of merriment and cheer, head to the Hawaii Convention Center for its Winter Wishes festival, complete with an indoor ice-skating rink, Christmas market, Santa appearances, gingerbread house contest, musical acts, crafts, and holiday drinks and treats. The Hawaii Theatre Center hosts numerous holiday shows this time of year, and a big Christmas tree is on display on the grand lawn of the Honolulu city hall (called Honolulu Hale).

Florida boasts the highest number of popular cities for domestic holiday travel.

Florida boasts the highest number of popular cities for domestic holiday travel.

Photo by Mia2you/Shutterstock

As for where else traveling revelers are heading to this year, this is the remainder of the list:

  • Phoenix
  • Miami
  • Orlando
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Fort Myers
  • Tampa

>> Next: AFAR’s Ultimate Guide to Hawaii

Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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