Americans love to travel. But as it turns out, many of them like to travel to the same places when they go abroad. According to a recent study by Skift, nearly 20% of Americans book their international trips to the exact same place, and a full 66% of American travelers book international trips to the same 10 destinations. What are the top five? Let’s dig in.
1. Cancun, Mexico
A full 17.5% of international bookings from the USA in 2023 were to Cancun. It’s easy to see why. Mexico is an easy flight from the US mainland, with numerous carriers offering nonstop service from a variety of different airports. Of course, the white sand beaches, endless resorts, parties, and free-flowing alcohol help as well. Cancun has long been the top international destination for American travelers. And the numbers seem to indicate that its popularity is only growing.
2. London, UK
8.5% of American international travelers headed to the UK’s capital city of London in 2023. With no language barrier for Americans and world-famous sites like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower of London, London is an ideal international destination that’s still relatively easy and affordable to reach. Though its popularity with American travelers has dropped slightly in the past four years, it still remains a top pick, and the #1 non-beach destination for Americans.
3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Americans love sun, sand, and posh resorts, so it’s no surprise to see Punta Cana slot in at #3 on this list. It’s a short flight from many major American airports, and it has all the features you’d expect from a Caribbean getaway: beautiful beaches, romantic resorts, family-friendly activities, and luxurious hotels. 8.1% of Americans booked their international trips to Punta Cana in 2023, up significantly from the 5.9% that did the same in 2019.
4. Montego Bay, Jamaica
Montego Bay is one of Jamaica’s major cruise ship ports, so it’s only natural that 5.8% of Americans traveling internationally in 2023 found their way here. Jamaica as a whole has long been a top getaway for Americans, especially for honeymoons. The countless resorts, palm-lined beaches, hiking trails, and rainforests make for a tropical paradise that beckons to sun-starved northerners.
5. San Juan, Puerto Rico
As an American territory, Puerto Rico is extremely easy for Americans to travel to. And its capital city of San Juan is the destination where most of them arrive. Puerto Rico is a surfing haven, it’s full of historic buildings, and protected reserves like Caja de Muerto make in unrivaled when it comes to pure natural beauty. 5.6% of American travelers made their way here in 2023, and that number is poised to continue to grow.
Other Popular International Destinations for Americans
Although most international bookings from the US were to one of the five cities above, there are some other extremely popular destinations for Americans. Here at the sixth through tenth most popular international destinations for Americans in 2023, along with the percentage of bookings they shared.
6. San Jose del Cabo, Mexico – 4.5%
7. Manila, Philippines – 4.3%
8. Tel Aviv, Israel – 4.1%
9. Paris, France – 3.9%
10. Tokyo, Japan – 3.7%
Travel Insured Wherever You Go
Traveling internationally comes with risks. From broken bones and severe sunburn to traveler’s diarrhea, any number of things could leave you seeking out a doctor or hospital in a foreign country.
But how will you pay for the resulting bill? Your domestic health insurance is unlikely to be accepted abroad, so you may be responsible for paying for treatment out of your own pocket. Maybe you can handle doing that for something minor, but what if you need emergency surgery or emergency medical evacuation? That could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.