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Europe’s best spring break destinations are eclipsing American beaches as travelers flock abroad

Spring outings are often defined by parties and trips to beaches in California, Florida, and Hawaii—however, new data shows a growing interest in international travel among Americans.

Less traditional destinations, particularly in Europe, have replaced old favorites like Orlando, Phoenix, and Maui at the top of many Americans’ travel itineraries.

Many reported lower prices, nice weather, and commuting COVID-19 restrictions around the world as driving factors in their shift towards cities such as London, Rome and British Columbia.

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What is driving this change?

The long-awaited return to international destinations

After years of Visit national parkswide-open natural retreats and local getaways to tropical islands during a pandemic, Americans are showing renewed interest in travel this spring.

“Interest in international travel is growing due to the favorable exchange rate for Americans,” Philip Ballard, chief communications officer for Florida-based HotelPlanner, told the Associated Press.

Rome is one of the many outdoor spring travel destinations that Americans are flocking to, leaving behind their crowded beaches, according to reports. (Photo by Fox News/Joshua Cummins)

“For example, we are seeing a 20% increase in UK-bound bookings because the US dollar has not been this strong against the British pound since the early 1980s.”

John Jesselman, president of Expedia Brands, also weighed in.

“When we look at Expedia, and Vrbo data together, we’re seeing trips to cultural capitals rise,” Jesselmann, who is based in San Francisco, told the AP.

“the people abandon nature To go to the largest cultural capitals of the world.

Where are Americans heading this spring?

World Nomads reports that more than half of Americans’ top destinations in 2023 are European cities, and they’re no longer waiting to go.

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Travelers are showing increasing interest in traveling to the city for the spring, according to Airbnb. Couples in particular are spreading across the Atlantic Ocean and immersing themselves in rich cultures Famous European cities.

The most popular international destinations for Airbnb customers in the US include:

  • Rome, Italy
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • London, UK
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Barcelona, ​​Spain
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Whistler, Canada
  • Madrid Spain
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Paris France

Why do travelers choose international cities for spring?

From perfect weather to fewer crowds and lower prices, spring can be the perfect time to explore cosmopolitan cities while others enjoy sea and sand getaways.

As vulgar as it sounds, Paris in the spring Carey Plant, founder of Our Woven Journey, told the Associated Press.

“We were there in April when the air was fresh, and the flowers were just beginning to bloom, which only added to the romantic atmosphere in the city. There was something surreal about walking around the gardens at Versailles, and watching the same trees bloom that had been there for so many years.”

Dublin is another emerging favorite for spring breakers who travel abroad.

Dublin is another emerging favorite for spring breakers who travel abroad. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

“Spring is the perfect time to explore trendy Dublin before all the tourists converge on early summer,” said Cassandra, a frequent international traveler (she didn’t give her last name). “The weather is warm enough to wear just a light jacket, and you can easily visit many attractions such as the famous Temple Bar and St. Stephen’s Green – and get the classic Instagram shot on Ha’penny Bridge.”

Tampa, Florida, is experiencing an increase in tourism, residents, and development

“My family and I love to travel in the off-season because we get great deals,” said Alicia Richards, founder of Travels With The Crew. “we visited Rome Went for spring break a few years ago and loved being able to see all the sites without waiting in massive lines. Plus, the weather was great – not too hot but plenty of sunshine.”

While traveling around the world is a dream for many, more than half of all nights booked on Airbnb for the spring are in US cities.

Karen Kelly, founder of Seasonal Cravings, said: “My husband and I went to London in the early spring to enjoy the cool weather and avoid the summer crowds. Being in Piccadilly Circus allowed us to see the sites while being so close to Trafalgar Square and the National Portrait Gallery. Plus, we loved relaxing in the The Queen’s Head pub with a great selection of ales, lagers, stout and ciders.”

Springtime travelers in the US stick to sunshine and sports

While traveling around the world is a dream for many, more than half of all nights booked on Airbnb for the spring are in US cities.

Top US destinations include places that host major sporting events such as Indianapolis (Final Four college basketball championship game) and Augusta, Georgia (Home to The Masters Tournament of Golf and America’s most-trended city for spring trips).

Tampa, Florida, is among the most popular new destinations for Americans looking to travel within the country.

Tampa, Florida, is among the most popular new destinations for Americans looking to travel within the country. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, file)

Other popular destinations in the US include vibrant jazz destination Kansas City and several coastal beach towns popular for relaxing in fair weather:

  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Tampa, Florida
  • St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Port Aransas, Texas
  • North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

“Spring is the perfect time to visit Tampa,” said Laura Olds, co-founder of A Piece of Travel.

“The weather is warm enough for travelers from northern destinations to catch some sun before the excessive summer temperatures and humidity set in.”

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“It’s also a great base for day trips to nearby beach towns once you fill up on the Tampa Riverwalk, explore the downtown museums and gaze at the flowerbed-lined mansions of Bayshore Street,” she added.

Despite the increased interest in springtime travel and surprising pricing, travel deals are still available.

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Flight fares are about 20% cheaper when departing on a Tuesday versus a Saturday, according to Expedia.

Avoiding the peak spring travel days of March 10-11, March 25 and April 1 will also enable travelers to score cheaper flights.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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