The world is huge

Don't miss any of it

Travel news, itineraries, and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


The Hottest Holiday Destinations for 2015/2016

As the holidays quickly approach, travel anxiety peaks—crowded terminals, delayed flights, and congested highways are all part of the holiday routine.

But some routes will be more challenging than others this holiday season. Sojern has analyzed trends from recent searches to determine the most popular trips during the holidays. And Kayak has also released a similar trend report analyzing search data for holiday travel.

RELATED: The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Travel Deals

Using these two reports, we’ve come up with the top destinations for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s—so if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em … or avoid these destinations altogether for some peace and quiet.


According to Q3 stats, travelers were two-and-a-half times more likely to travel on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and three times more likely to travel on the Wednesday before the holiday as opposed to Thursday (Thanksgiving Day). Trip searches yielded an average trip length of four to five days.

Top 5 Searched Destinations for 2015:

  • New York City
  • Chicago
  • Miami
  • Dallas
  • Los Angeles

Top 5 Origins for 2015:

  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Washington D.C.
  • Miami

Top 5 Most Expensive Airports to Fly From for 2015:

  • JFK, New York
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • LAX, Los Angeles
  • Philadelphia International Airport
  • Logan Airport, Boston

Kayak recommends departing on Thursday and returning on Friday for lowest fares in North America, and booking at least two weeks in advance.

Holiday Season (December 15-January 1)

Again looking at Q3 stats, travelers are looking to take slightly longer vacations (eight days or more) this year compared to last year. The most popular departure dates are December 23, 19, 18, 22, and 24 (in order of demand) for North American travelers. Check out some other statistics for travel during this period.

RELATED: The Secret Way to Book a Cheap Holiday Flight

Top 5 Destinations Booked in Q3: (from North America)

  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • London
  • Miami
  • Dallas

Top 5 Holiday Escapes: (based on growth comparison from 2014)

  • Hong Kong
  • Taipei
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Chicago
  • Tokyo

Kayak recommends departing on a Thursday and returning on a Saturday for holiday travel in North America and booking one to three weeks in advance.

More from SmarterTravel:

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @ashley_stravel for more advice on travel hacks and destination ideas.

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Top Fares From