The Most Popular Travel Destinations This Winter, Based on New Data

The most in-demand holiday travel season spots will include beach getaways and some newcomers.

Winter holidays are approaching faster than most of us are probably ready for. It feels like May was only yesterday, but somehow it's already time to start thinking about Christmas presents. This year, the data is suggesting that most people aren’t looking for physical gifts—most people are looking to receive experiences like trips and concert tickets.

Whether you're looking for ideas to gift a travel experience or for your own escape, new data shared with Thrillist from Chase Travel provided fresh insights on some of the most popular destinations for the 2023 holiday travel season. Check out these international destinations below with the highest year-over-year growth in holiday travel demand for 2023, for your own travel inspiration.

  • Christchurch, New Zealand (+224%)
  • El Calafate, Argentina (+132%)
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand (+104%)
  • Vienna, Austria (+72%)
  • Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (+63%)

Additionally, a few cities in China and Japan have both been marked as top winter destinations, especially after being closed to travelers in recent years. Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai are the most popular cities in China, and Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo are the most popular cities in Japan.

Beyond international cities, another type of travel has emerged as a top trend for winter 2023. To no one's surprise, travelers are trying to escape cold weather in exchange for warm and sunny beach destinations. The following are the most popular beach getaways based on year-over-year growth in demand for the upcoming winter season, according to Chase:

  • Noord, Aruba (+105%)
  • Miami Beach, Florida (+80%)
  • Roatan, Honduras (+76%)
  • West Palm Beach, Florida (+57%)
  • Playa Del Carmen, México (+53%)

Looking for more travel inspo?

If you're ready for an adventure but not sure where you'd like to go or what to do, we're on it. The best new hotels opening up around the world. The most exciting places to travel without a passport. The world's best beaches, as ranked by travel influencers. It's all here along with all the travel news you need to stay informed and inspired.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Journalism from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She's worked in digital media for seven years, and before working at Thrillist, she wrote for Mic, The Cut, The Fader, Vice, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.