12 of the trendiest international destinations you should really visit in 2020
Trendy destinations may vary from year to year or season to season, but often the biggest hot spots remain the same.
Or do they?
Recent data suggests people are beginning to explore other parts of popular regions.
Companies including Expedia, Vrbo, Scott's Cheap Flights, Lonely Planet, Contiki and others have all released travel trends for 2020. And some reports showed an uptick in travelers' willingness to take trips to different areas of popular countries, though European countries tended to dominate.
"When we looked at where travelers went in 2019, we saw that the biggest growth in demand was happening for destinations that aren’t the usual tourist hot spots," Christie Hudson, head of PR for Brand Expedia North America, said in a release.
It may seem obvious to highlight Italy as a trending travel destination given cities like Venice, Rome and Florence are often on travelers' European itineraries. But according to Expedia analysts as a part of the booking site's 2020 Travel Trends report, Sardinia and the Italian Riviera were the top trending destinations in the country. In Sardinia, explore coves across the coastline. As for the Italian Riviera: You'll catch your breath admiring the the beautiful villages in Cinque Terre, not to mention surrounding beach towns. The data came from flight demand.
Italy also popped up as a must-see destination on other lists as well, including social travel company Contiki's top Insta-worthy destinations for 2020 as well as Lonely Planet's best regions to visit (Le Marche).
In the wake of the Notre Dame fire earlier this year, it's a perfect time to visit Paris and other locations in the country to appreciate the culture, history and more. Travelers can enjoy everything from medieval castles to wineries to a host of museums.
Scott's Cheap Flights includes France as one of the cheapest places to visit next year, thanks to new flight routes amid increased competition, if that piques your interest.
The country has been buzzing with anticipation ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – but that's hardly the only thing to do in the largest megacity in the world, let alone the country.
If you're in Tokyo: Visit busy sidewalk Shibuya Crossing (approximately 3,000 people cross at once); nearby Mount Fuji (Japan's tallest mountain); and world-renowned animal cafes.
Outside of Tokyo, there's Kyoto, which has nearly 2,000 temples and shrines and shopping district Kamakura. Expedia named Tokyo a trending city in the country, though Naha/Okinawa, Sapporo and Osaka have also gained in popularity according to flight demand data. Speaking of flights: Scott's Cheap Flights lists the country as one of the cheapest places to travel to next year, so get to booking.
The "destination of your Instagram dreams," Portugal has consistently been ranked a hot place to go. Three of the country's beaches snagged slots on Vrbo's list of hottest international beaches for American travelers. Additionally, the country is cheap and quickly growing its tourist offerings.
One of the top things to do in Lisbon is to peruse the miradouros – or lookout points. The city rests on hills and is made up of endless small, winding streets that lead to staircases and force you to hike up to see the area from various views.
The brightly painted buildings and nearby Tagus River make for picture-perfect Instagram photos, which makes the best miradouros crowded spots at sunset with hordes of people trying to get the best shot.
Cheerio! There's always some inherent fascination to visiting a country steeped with rich royal history, but no time like the present to see for yourself. Flights to London should be cheaper in 2020, according to Scott's Cheap Flights, thanks to many airlines flying between London and the U.S. (American, Delta, United, British Airways, Virgin, Norwegian and Icelandair, to name a few).
London may be the most famous city in the country, but don't discount the White Cliffs of Dover or a beach day in Brighton, which are a train ride away.
One of the destinations on Scott's Cheap Flights' destinations list is the country where beer is cheaper than water: the Czech Republic.
While the country itself is inexpensive compared to its Western European counterparts, flights have traditionally been rather pricey. However, according to Scott's, because of varying factors, deals on flights to Central Europe are going to become more frequent.
While a few days in Prague are certainly in order on any trip to the Czech Republic, the country has a lot more to offer in addition. Just a bus ride away from the capital, Český Krumlov, makes for a great day trip, as does Kutná Hora, which lies to the east of Prague – both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kutná Hora features the Sedlec Ossuary chapel, called the Bone Church, is filled and decorated with the bones of 40,000 people.
With popular destination cities including Madrid and Barcelona, Spain is a hot spot on many travelers' bucket lists.
A few days spent strolling Park Güell and La Rambla in Barcelona before visiting the Royal Palace and Gardens and checking out art museums such as Museo Sorolla in Madrid sounds like the perfect getaway from the daily grind.
But those aren't the only attractive destinations in the country. Travel to other parts of the European nation situated the Iberian Peninsula, has increased, too, according to Expedia, which included Spain and the Canary Islands as the No. 1 destination on its 2020 trending list. Expedia noted that travel to Ibiza (where the Jonas brothers celebrated for Joe's bachelor party), Palma de Mallorca, Oviedo and Seville was on the rise in 2019.
A plus for the thrifty traveler, a trip to Spain can be fairly inexpensive. Scott's Cheap Flights includes the country on its list of the places to travel on cheap flights in 2020.
No boys allowed: Women-only hotel opens in Spain on dreamy island of Mallorca
A vacation down under may be just the thing to add to your 2020 calendar.
Expedia noticed an uptick in travel to six cities in Australia, landing the country a spot on its 2020 trends list that highlighted countries with cities that saw an increase in travel including: Sydney, Cairns, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide and Gold Coast.
Between exploring wildlife, hitting the Sydney Opera House for a show and checking out natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, Australia has it all.
The Great White North landed a spot on Expedia's predicted trends list for the new year.
There are plenty of great cities and natural landmarks to visit in Canada – a destination for every kind of traveler.
From Toronto's CN Tower to Montreal's subterranean world and its spread of cuisine, including poutine, Canadian cities are chock-full of things to do on any visit, even when it's bitterly cold outside. And for those who enjoy more outdoorsy adventures, its natural attractions, including Niagara Falls, which sits on the U.S.-Canada border, certainly do the trick.
Expedia based its prediction on an increase in travel to Canadian destinations, including Winnipeg, Halifax and Saskatoon in 2019.
The popular television series "Game of Thrones" may have wrapped up earlier this year, but the eight-season show has delivered lasting attention to one of its filming locations: Croatia.
Croatia also landed on Scott's list for cheap destinations in 2020.
Hot spot cities in Croatia include Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Split, on the Adriatic Sea.
Croatia was one of USA TODAY's trendiest destinations in 2019, as well.
Croatia: You've seen these spots on 'Game of Thrones'; now see them for yourself
With popular destinations like Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, it's not surprising that Brazil ended up on more than one destination list for 2020: Expedia listed Brazil as one of its top trending destinations, and Scott's Cheap Flights also listed Brazil, specifically São Paulo, as a cheap place to travel in 2020 – that sounds like a win-win for booking purposes.
But Brazil has more to offer than just its big cities. Another hot spot to check out is Trancoso. Located in the state of Bahia, this former fishing village tempts vacationers with its golden shores, swaying coconut palms and Bohemian vibe.
Tanzania appeared on top destination lists from Virtuoso and Scott's. Reservations.com also recommends traveling to Tanzania in June, specifically, which is a great month to see the Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest move en masse from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in neighboring Kenya.
With plenty of opportunities to spend time in nature, travelers to Tanzania may even have the chance to see the "Big 5": Elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and Cape buffalo or see the famous Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzania is also a good place to visit if you're looking to travel solo and meet fellow wildlife lovers.
Contributing: Leora Arnowitz, Lindsay Cohn
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Italy, Canada, Australia: 12 of the trendiest destinations of 2020