US vacations in search

Where do we really want to go?

This month, we’ve been looking into something a little different to train and bus travel within the UK and Europe. We've been researching where our pals across the pond have been keen to travel to within the US itself - and maybe a little further afield too.

Whether it's planning that trip of a lifetime to organising a long weekend with friends, most vacations start off with a simple Google search. But what do those searches tell us? To find out, we crunched the numbers on over 4.5 million Google searches from the last twelve months - looking at data from within each individual state - plus searches made for almost 300 destinations from right around the globe.

The US’s biggest staycation destinations

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our research confirmed that Hawaii was the biggest go-to destination for US holidaymakers, again offering sun and sea at a fraction of the price of intercontinental travel.

Next up came big city break destinations like New York, Las Vegas and New Orleans. Other popular destinations included famous American landmarks like Disneyland (Florida) and the Great Lakes (Michigan).

Search volume by state – domestic travel

It’s no surprise that Hawaii was the top destination overall: it topped the lists of 33 states around the US including Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming and more. Florida, Michigan, New York and Vegas were also chart-toppers, but where things get even more interesting is when we look at some of the unique destinations per state.

Hawaiians, it seems, want a break from beautiful beaches to win big in Vegas, while Floridians seem to want to venture north to visit New York.

The most searched-for vacations outside the US

We've rolled up the numbers for all US states to show where the most US-based searchers are looking to travel internationally, too. Over the last twelve months, the most searched-for international destination for US folk has been Puerto Rico, showing that holidaymakers still want those rays of sun whilst sticking close to home. Mexico and parts of South America like Costa Rica also ranked highly. Greece topped America’s list of European destinations, followed closely by Italy, whereas Japan was the most sought-after location in Asia. But what's really interesting is how the top ranked destination varies by US state...

Search volume by state – international travel

Despite not being the most searched for destination overall, Mexico actually topped the list in 16 states around the US, followed closely by Puerto Rico at 14. Check out our map below for more information.


We analysed 4.5 million keywords over the course of twelve months using Google’s Keyword Planner tool. We included a range of phrases like “trips to” and “holidays in” each destination, before cutting the search data by state. Figures are accurate as of July 2020. Some data on cities within states or countries has been combined e.g. Las Vegas and Nevada, Paris and France, Rome and Italy.

Dreaming of a trip to Europe? Travel restrictions won't last forever, so get ahead of the pack and check out our guide to trains in Europe for more information on rail travel throughout the continent. Trainline brings together routes, fares, and journey times for train and coach companies across Europe - and our handy journey planner can help you plot your next rail adventure now.

Europe’s leading train and coach app

We help customers across Europe make more than 172,000 smarter journeys every day.