Europe is once again a top travel destination for Americans. Five European countries—Italy, Ireland, France, Iceland and the United Kingdom—comprised half of the top 10 spots for vacation plans in 2018.
The U.K. saw the biggest increase in interest among U.S. travelers, rising from tenth to fifth place year over year. France moved up one place from ninth to eighth, and Iceland made it into the top 10 for the first time. The only international destination preferred over Europe was the Caribbean, while Mexico fell down to the tenth spot from eighth last year. The statistics also show a growing interest in travel to Europe with searches to France and Italy up more than 50% in 2017.
Safety Concerns Waning
Though safety concerns led travelers to seek alternative vacation destinations in the past couple of years, the survey showed these concerns decreased nearly 20% year over year, and that more than one-fifth of respondents had no concerns about safety at all.
Bucket List Growth
In addition to the increase in confidence about travel safety, there was a 56% year-over-year increase in the number of travelers who plan to take two or more international vacations. Two-thirds of those surveyed also indicated they were planning a “bucket list” trip in 2018.
Travelzoo North America president Michael Stitt noted, “Low-cost carriers like Wow Air and Norwegian helped make Europe more affordable and accessible again for Americans. A weekend trip to Iceland is now as easy as a weekend in Austin. And major airports like JFK are no longer a choke point. There are now plenty of non-stops from cities like Hartford and Pittsburgh, opening up access and increasing competition, which is always appealing for travelers. Transatlantic is the new transcontinental.”