These Were the Most Searched for Travel Destinations of 2023, According to Google

This past year, we daydreamed about, googled, and planned trips to these places more than any others.

View of historic Spanish village through archway

Spain was one of the countries travelers searched for the most often in 2023.

Shutterstock

The first thing I do when I’m thinking about a trip is to start googling my destination. Although I’m AFAR’s resident SEO expert and search-engine obsessive, my habit is hardly unique—more than 8.5 billion searches are made in Google each day. When we look at the data from all of these searches, it reveals a lot about our collective travel daydreams and can help answer questions like, “What travel destinations were the most popular in 2023?”

Using Google’s Destinations Insights tool, which looks at travel-related searches to measure interest in a particular region, country, or city, I decided to find out. To compile this list, I focused searches made within the United States between January 1st, 2023, and December 1st, 2023. I also filtered searches to only focus on those tied to accommodations instead of accommodations and air travel, in order to filter out air travel searches made by international citizens flying home throughout the year. The tool also does not have a way to distinguish between business and leisure travel, so the lists below reflect searches by a mix of both.

Although searches don’t always equal trips booked, they can help us understand where in the world travelers are most interested in going. Here are the 10 cities and 10 countries that U.S. travelers searched for the most in 2023.

The top-searched cities overall

In 2023, U.S.-based searchers googled trips to these 10 cities more frequently than any other. Not surprisingly, travelers were searching for trips to cities closer to home, with locales in the USA, Mexico, and Dominican Republic filling out the top 10 spots on this list.

  1. Las Vegas
  2. New York
  3. Chicago
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Orlando
  6. Cancún, Mexico
  7. Nashville
  8. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  9. San Diego
  10. New Orleans

The top-searched international cities

When filtering out domestic destinations, the list looks different. Although cities in Mexico and the Caribbean still remain popular for U.S. travelers, other iconic cities throughout the world appear. In 2023, these were the most-searched-for international cities by U.S.-based travelers:

  1. Cancún, Mexico
  2. London, England
  3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  4. Paris, France
  5. Rome, Italy
  6. Tokyo, Japan
  7. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  8. Dubai, UAE
  9. Barcelona, Spain
  10. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

According to the tool, which considers San Juan, Puerto Rico, an international destination, San Juan was the 10th-most-searched-for international city. However, if we bucket U.S. territories as a domestic destination, then Playa del Carmen in Mexico takes the 10th spot.

The top-searched countries

Continuing to look at international travel, these are the 10 countries that were most searched for in 2023:

  1. Mexico
  2. Dominican Republic
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Canada
  5. Italy
  6. France
  7. Japan
  8. Spain
  9. India
  10. Thailand

Note that Google’s Destination Insights tool lists Puerto Rico as the 10th-most-searched-for country. If we consider U.S. territories as a domestic destination, then Thailand comes in at number 10 for countries. Otherwise, Puerto Rico is at number 10.

Jessie Beck is a San Francisco-based writer and associate director of SEO and video at AFAR. She contributes to travel gear, outdoor adventure, and local getaway coverage and has previously lived in Washington, D.C., Malta, Seattle, and Madagascar.
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