Where the World Wants to Go for Summer Vacation 2024

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Where the world wants to go for summer vacation varies greatly by country. Some people seek an activity-packed urban adventure, while others prefer a relaxing city nearby white sand beaches. Previously, we looked at where the world wanted to go for Christmas; in this guide, we’ll see where the world likes to spend the summer.  

Our editorial team analyzed Google Search data and keywords related to hotels, resorts, Airbnb, weather, activities and holidays to find the most favored global summer vacation plans. We aim to identify the most popular city summer destinations worldwide, focusing on travelers’ preferences from different countries.

Come with us on a global journey to discover where the world wants to go for summer vacation and why. Some of the destinations listed may seem obvious, but some of our other findings might surprise you. Who knows, one of these places could be your next summer trip destination.

Meet the experts

Learn more about our editorial team and our research process.

Key Findings: Where the World Wants to Go for Summer Vacation

  • Travelers like both urban hubs and serene beach cities: We found that people are equally drawn to the excitement of city life (like London, Tokyo and Paris) and the tranquility of serene coastal paradises (like Miami, Buenos Aires, Málaga and Dubai).
  • People travel to destinations near and far: People from some countries prefer to travel to nearby locations, while others opt for more distant destinations. For example, Australians favor Bali, residents of Venezuela often choose Barcelona, Colombians like Florence, and travelers from the U.K. prefer Dubai.
  • There’s a diverse spectrum of travel interests: We found that while cities like London and Dubai continue to draw crowds, destinations such as Zanzibar and Bali appeal for their quiet escapes into nature, suggesting that travelers have a broad range of interests.
  • The world loves London and Dubai:London and Dubai are the preferred destinations for travelers from 10 countries each, spanning the globe from Africa and Asia to Europe and the United States.
  • Cancún and London appeal to U.S. travelers:Despite their starkly contrasting attractions, Cancún’s beautiful, sun-soaked beaches and vibrant nightlife, and London’s cooler weather and historical allure, stand out as equally favored international destinations among U.S. travelers.
  • Americans also like to travel domestically:Domestic summer travel presents a more affordable option for U.S. citizens. Las Vegas is way ahead of the fold as the best domestic summer vacation spot for Americans. Boston and Chicago are close behind, together taking second place.

Worldwide Summer Vacation Ideas

When it comes to vacationing, some people prefer a quiet, serene destination, while others prefer the bustle of a famous city, where they can visit globally acclaimed monuments and historic sites. The map above showcases popular global summer vacation spots.

Top Worldwide Places to Go During Summertime

You can see the preferred international summer travel destinations in the table below. Interestingly, London and Dubai tied for the top spot. Miami, Barcelona and Buenos Aires filled the next five slots, showing a unique balance between city and coastal vacation preferences. 

Destination: Countries That Prefer This Destination
London 10
Dubai 10
Miami 8
Barcelona 6
Buenos Aires 5
Tokyo 4
Toronto 4
Málaga 3
Paris 3
Rome 3
Singapore 3
Cancún 2
Lisbon 2
Athens 1
Bali 1
Cyprus 1
Florence 1
Hong Kong 1
Istanbul 1
Jerusalem 1
Lima 1
Melbourne 1
Moscow 1
Prague 1
Seoul 1
Thessaloniki 1
Zanzibar 1

Why Do People Want to Go to London This Summer?

It’s no surprise that some travelers want to visit sandy beaches in the summer months. However, our research showed that London — also the most popular Christmas destination — is one of the most popular for summer. People want to visit London to experience its historical and cultural diversity; London is home to interesting architecture, historical landmarks and many museums. 

Summer London

London is the bustling capital of the U.K. and is ranked as one of the
best summer destinations in Europe and the world. 

A tour around the city in the famous red London buses or visits to Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace tend to be at the top of many tourists’ lists. London receives a diverse mix of tourists from around the world, from Bangladesh to Morocco, Croatia and Iceland, to name a few. 

London is also laden with well-manicured gardens and parks, such as Kew Gardens and Hyde Park. These outdoor spaces offer tourists a relaxing place to sit outside in the sun while reading a book or watching the bees and other wildlife. 

Finally, the average summer temperatures in London settle in the 70s, which makes it a great get-away for anyone who swelters in the more intense heat (Dubai’s average summer temperatures are over 100 degrees).

Why Do People Want to Go to Dubai This Summer?

Dubai is a coastal city that has grown to become a tourist paradise, just as former ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum planned. We found that people from India, Qatar, Mauritius, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Kuwait and the U.K. prefer traveling to Dubai for their summer vacation. 

Summer Dubai

Dubai has one of the most unique skylines along the pristine beaches.

The city’s proximity to the Persian Gulf and beautiful beaches offers visitors a dynamic adventure. The city has memorable water sport activities, and desert experiences let travelers drive to the top of huge sand dunes. Dubai’s biggest attraction is the Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building, full of luxury homes, and the Armani Hotel, which gives an unbeatable 360-degree view of the city.  

Dubai’s luxury hotels and architecture — including the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel — make it a top destination on many people’s bucket lists. Dubai is also a shopper’s haven. You’ll find everything from electronics to beautiful Persian rugs, pashmina shawls, jewelry and even camel-milk chocolate, all at affordable prices.

It is also a family-friendly destination. Tourists will find activities for the whole family to enjoy and will be able to keep their kids occupied throughout their summer vacation. Theme parks and exciting amusement centers like Motiongate and Legoland provide children with unforgettable vacation experiences. 

The dreamy aquariums and water parks deserve a special mention. Places like Wild Wadi Waterpark in Jumeirah, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Dolphin Bay, Sea Lion Point and Aquaventure Waterpark are filled with young enthusiasts and their parents during summer break.

Finally, Dubai is technologically advanced. It is a haven for tech gurus and enthusiasts looking for inspiration or a place that nurtures fresh ideas.

Continental Insights

We researched each continent to see where its people like to visit during the summer months. We found that people from Asia generally like to travel to cities and urban metropolises for the summer, with Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Hong Kong and Moscow ranking as the most visited cities.

People from Africa prefer visiting cities like Dubai, London and Toronto, while South Africans prefer the white-sand beaches of Zanzibar.

Based on our analysis, South America has more balanced vacation destination preferences. Some South Americans like traveling to Tokyo and Florence, while others go to Lima, Miami, Barcelona and the cobblestone streets of Buenos Aires.

Europeans tend to seek close-by destinations with a rich cultural heritage, antique shops and historic sites, such as Thessaloniki, Athens, Rome, London, Cyprus and Paris. Some enjoy visiting charming cities like Seoul and Málaga, which have interesting museums, various art galleries, stunning architecture and pleasant weather.

Residents of Australia and New Zealand like traveling to Bali and Melbourne, respectively. North Americans prefer traveling to cities like Toronto, with Cancún and Miami also receiving some attention. 

Urban Exploration vs Tranquil Escapes

During our analysis, we discovered that people have diverse travel preferences for their summer break. Some seek coastal getaways with picturesque beaches or the serenity of mountain retreats. Others opt for the excitement of urban adventures. 

We found cities like London, Dubai, Tokyo, Toronto, Paris and Rome to be the top 10 places tourists worldwide want to visit on summer vacation. Miami, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Málaga are equally gorgeous tropical destinations that also rank in the top 10 preferred summer vacation destinations.

Luxury and Budget-Friendly Escapes

Tourists who like the finer things in life find the luxury vacation destinations on our list appealing, including Dubai, Paris and Singapore. These destinations are known to offer indulgent, high-end travel experiences with premium amenities, exceptional service and exclusive comfort.

Budget-friendly escapes allow travelers to get away without breaking the bank. You have more control over how much you spend, and there are activities to suit any budget. Bali, Cancun and Zanzibar are a few examples of budget-friendly destinations. 

United States International Summer Vacation Destinations

What Do Americans Prefer Internationally in the Summer: Beach Getaways or Urban Exploration?

When it comes to where American travelers like to spend their summer vacation, beach getaways and urban exploration received equal interest. The table below shows that London and Cancún are the target summer destinations for people from 18 states each, and reveals other popular destinations.

Destination States That Prefer This Destination
London 18
Cancún 18
Vancouver Island 3
Tokyo 2
Bermuda 2
Paris 2
Tulum 1
Singapore 1
Toronto 1
Machu Picchu 1
Florence 1
Istanbul 1

Our research revealed that American citizens love spending their summer vacation in London and Cancún, with those two destinations ranking first for residents of 18 states each.

Vancouver Island took second place as a top destination, offering a mix of mountainscapes, beaches along the Fraser River Delta and vibrant city life. Bermuda, Tokyo and Paris ranked first for two states each. Americans also like to travel internationally to Tulum, Singapore, Toronto, Machu Picchu, Florence and Istanbul in the summer.

Cancún vs London: Top Summer Places to Visit

Let’s explore why American citizens consider London and Cancún to be the best for summer trips, despite the two destinations being so different. London offers beautiful cityscapes, historic tours and shopping opportunities. It’s a great place for sociable Americans who don’t mind a bit of city noise while on vacation. 

Cancún is a dreamy, tropical location offering white-sand beaches, sunny weather, rock climbing, deep-sea diving and various water sports and hiking trails. If you’re looking for gorgeous scenery and natural vistas, you may also want to visit a national park like the Río Secreto Nature Reserve while in Cancún.

Summer Tulum

Tulum, one of the country’s ancient wonders, is only a two-hour drive from Cancún.

In Cancún, you can go fly fishing, view sea lions and enjoy spa treatments or exquisite outdoor dining. History buffs will also find Cancún appealing: A two-and-a-half-hour drive takes you to the famous Mayan ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Dream Domestic Summer Destinations USA

Where Do Americans Prefer to Get Away Domestically During the Summer?

As thrilling as international travel is, the United States offers a wide variety of summer activities, from spectacular national parks and pristine beaches to bustling cities and world-class golf courses. Here are the top domestic summer vacation spots for Americans.

Destinations States That Prefer This Destination
Las Vegas 14
Boston 5
Chicago 5
Denver 4
Panama City Beach 3
Miami 3
Seattle 2
Memphis 2
Washington, D.C. 2
Myrtle Beach 2
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 1
Nashville 1
Houston 1
San Diego 1
Minneapolis 1
Dallas 1
Charlotte 1
Portland 1

Best Summer Destinations: USA

A domestic getaway helps Americans save money while taking a well-deserved break. They get to choose how far to go and how much to spend on each trip, often without the need for plane tickets or visas. This makes domestic summer vacation spots more appealing to some Americans than international destinations.

Summer LasVegas

Paris isn’t’ the only city to have an Eiffel Tower; Las Vegas is ranked
at the top for best summer vacations for Americans.

People in 14 states rank Las Vegas as topping places to go on summer vacation, including Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Idaho, Minnesota and Hawaii. Aside from casinos and gambling arenas, Las Vegas also has kids’ activities, like theme parks, botanical gardens, aquariums and circuses. 

Boston and Chicago tied for second place, with votes from people in five states each. Denver, Panama City Beach and Miami took the next five slots. Boston’s appeal to travelers is easy to see, with the Freedom Trail presenting a walk through 16 historic sites that represent the core of America’s civil liberties and freedom. 

Chicago has multiple museums, jaw-dropping architecture and a vibrant food scene. The Skydeck observatory and 360 Chicago are tourist favorites. These vantage points offer breathtaking views of the city. Tourists also enjoy boating and sport fishing on Lake Michigan while in Chicago. 

Why Do Americans Want to Go to Las Vegas for Summer Vacation?

The Neon City is known as the entertainment capital of the world and is popular for bachelor parties (and bachelorette parties). However, Las Vegas has more to offer than 24-7 parties. 

Las Vegas is the gateway to the Wild West. If visiting a national park is on top of your summer activities, many national wonders are a couple hours drive away, including the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Zion National Park and more. 

Summer Grand Canyon

Las Vegas is the closest major city to the Grand Canyon and
other natural wonders in the U.S. National Parks.

It also provides family-friendly summer activities like desert adventures, amusement parks and water worlds. Attractions like Hershey’s Chocolate World, M&M World, Discovery Children’s Museum and Shark Reef Aquarium make Las Vegas a great domestic family vacation destination for Americans.

Las Vegas has about 150,000 hotel rooms, with an option for every budget. More importantly, prices tend to dip during the summer months, when hotels unleash the best deals. Therefore, Las Vegas is a budget-friendly destination for U.S. citizens. 

Addressing Summer Vacation Scams

Summer vacation scams are a concern worldwide. Scammers attempt to get tourists to pay for trips that don’t exist. The unsuspecting tourist hands over their credit card details for payment and ends up losing money. Scammers also attempt to trick tourists into buying fake discounted gift cards and phony amusement park tickets.

Any deal that looks too good to be true probably is. For instance, an all-inclusive trip for an unbelievably low price is a potential scam. Be sure to only book deals with reputable travel companies to steer clear of online scams. Check out customer reviews and star ratings that reveal other travelers’ experiences with the company you choose. 

A pro tip while traveling is to use an effective VPN to protect your identity from prying eyes as you browse using public WiFi. The best VPNs for travelers have servers in multiple locations globally, allowing you to access your favorite websites from any destination. You can also use VPNs to stream shows while traveling regardless of streaming geo-restrictions.

It’s also wise to check your bank accounts regularly while on your trip to catch any fraudulent activity before it goes too far. Report suspicious activity to your bank to nip scammers’ efforts in the bud and safeguard your hard-earned money.

Methodology & Sources

Our study looked at global search data to find out the most popular summer destinations worldwide. We began by gathering a variety of popular destinations and listing them. We then checked search data for keywords pertaining to hotels, resorts, Airbnb, weather, activities, travel packages and vacations for each destination. 

This analysis includes data available in English and the respective countries’ native languages. It’s important to note that some countries had limited or no available data, leading to exclusion from our list. 

Finally, we divided our findings into three groups: international summer destinations, top picks for U.S travelers (international) and favorite domestic spots for U.S travelers. This method helped us spot trends and preferences, providing useful insights into summer travel choices globally.

Final Thoughts: Summer Trip Ideas 

For international summer travel, London and Dubai emerged as the top spots the world wants to visit for summer vacation. Miami, Barcelona and Buenos Aires followed, revealing a unique balance between bustling and serene vacation destinations.

Americans love city escapes as much as tranquil, tropical locations, with London and Cancún tying for the top slot of where Americans want to go in the summer. Alternatively, domestic trips to Las Vegas, Boston and Chicago offer U.S. citizens affordable but equally exciting vacations.

Have you traveled to any of these summer vacation destinations before? Would you recommend or revisit any? Do you use a VPN when traveling? Let us know in the comments, and thank you for reading.

FAQ: Best Summer Destinations

  • According to our research, one of the top places to visit in summer is London. It offers rich cultural diversity and is home to interesting architecture, historical landmarks and plenty of museums. It also offers cooler temperatures, compared to other summer destinations.

  • The world wants to go to London, Dubai, Miami, Barcelona and Buenos Aires for vacation.

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