Earlier this week, we told you exactly how to make the most of your annual leave to secure the maximum number of days off work in 2020. As to how you spend those days off? Well, that’s entirely up to you.
One such suggestion is to pack your bags and head out on an overseas trip to a fabulous new city. But where? Just in time to kick your wanderlust habits into gear, Airbnb has dropped its list of the 20 best destinations for 2020.
Based on internal Airbnb data for bookings made for 2020 as of September 2019 vs. bookings made for 2019 as of September 2018, the findings show the cities around the world with the most search increase.
And to help you decide where to explore next, we’re taking a virtual tour of the top five emerging destinations.
1. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The US city topped the trending list with a whopping 729% year-on-year search increase. The city is playing host to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which Airbnb hypothesizes contributes to the surge in interest, but we can’t help but wonder if Dark Tourism plays a part here, too. Milwaukee is just over an hours’ drive from Manitowoc County, the real-life setting of Netflix’s Making a Murderer.
2. Bilbao, Spain
Up 402% from last year, the Basque city won European City of the Year in 2018 — just in time to host the continent’s cherished soccer competition, The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship. The 1997 addition of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum transformed Bilbao from lesser-explored to a must-visit spot with breathtaking architecture and a to-die-for dining scene.
3. Buriram, Thailand
The 383% increase in the popularity of Buriram could centre around the March 2020 return of MotoGP, a hugely popular sporting event held annually. The rural province is also home to some of Thailand’s most treasured ancient ruins, perhaps most notably in Phanom Rung Historical Park.
4. Sunbury, Victoria
The Australian suburb of Sunbury northwest of Melbourne, up 356% from last year, is a picturesque little spot favoured by locals for weekend city breaks for its wineries and quaint architecture. It’s the birthplace of The Ashes, and in 2020, cricket fans will return to the spot once more for the ICC T20 World Cup.
Up 298%, Romania may seem like a surprise destination coming in at number five, but the reasons why make a lot of sense. As travellers make moves to explore the world in more eco-conscious ways, they’re preferencing countries and cities that respect and cherish their environments. Romania has some of the best preserved virgin forests in all of Europe and ranks 15th globally according to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index for ecosystem vitality. Not to mention, Romania is abundant in rural villages and is ideal for anyone looking to explore a more traditional side to Europe.
The 15 remaining trending cities are as followed:
- Xi’an, China
- Eugene, Oregon
- Guadalajara, Mexico
- Cali, Colombia
- Cape Canaveral, Florida
- Aberdeen, Scotland
- Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada
- Ubatuba, Brazil
- Les Contamines-Montjoie, France
- Tokyo, Japan
- Kerala, India
- Malindi, Kenya
- Maastricht, Netherlands