This Dreamy Caribbean Island Is the No. 1 Trending Destination for U.S. Travelers

Americans are trading in their fedoras and scarves for sandals and piña coladas.

<p>VisionsbyAtlee/Getty Images</p>

VisionsbyAtlee/Getty Images

It appears Americans want something different out of vacation this year. Asia is out, as is Europe. Instead, Americans are looking for white sand beaches, tropical climates, and low-stress holidays closer to home. According to Skyscanner, which examined user travel searches over the course of a year, six of the top 10 trending destinations are island hot spots, with the Cayman Islands coming out on top.

The Cayman Islands, which saw a 483 percent increase in searches from the same time period the year prior, was the notable standout. The three Cayman Islands, which are south of Cuba between Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea, are just an hour by plane from Miami and have nonstop flights from most major U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York City, and Denver. English is the official language and U.S. dollars are widely accepted, as is the local Cayman Islands dollar.

The three Cayman Islands include Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. The former is known for its luxury resorts and the iconic Seven Mile Beach, while Cayman Brac is popular for deep-sea fishing and the Little Cayman is considered to be a diving community mecca.

“It's clear that U.S. travelers are craving island adventure, particularly the tropical climate and white sands of the Caribbean,” said the Skyscanner report.

So what will Americans do once they arrive at these island hot spots? Skyscanner says historical tours and sampling local food top the list of vacation activities, with a whopping 45 percent of users selecting a destination based on its culinary offerings, along with attractions and weather.

Following the Cayman Islands was French Polynesia with a 227 percent increase in searches, year-over-year. The ranking then included two destinations in Japan — Osaka and Tokyo — before listing the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, St. Maarten, and Oranjestad in Aruba. The only European destination to make the cut was Bucharest, Romania at No. 6.

  1. Cayman Islands

  2. French Polynesia

  3. Osaka, Japan

  4. Tokyo, Japan

  5. U.S. Virgin Islands

  6. Budahrest, Romania

  7. Bermuda

  8. Taipei, Taiwan

  9. St. Maarten

  10. Oranjestad, Aruba

The report reviewed searches from the U.S. between July 8, 2022, and July 8, 2023, and compared them to the same time period the year prior. The top 10 destinations reflect those with the biggest year-over-year increase in searches.

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