Arts & Culture Cities Holiday Travel

The 10 Most Popular Holiday Destinations to Get You in the Festive Spirit

According to American Express Travel, these 10 destinations have seen the most increase in flight bookings for Q4. So pack your bags to one of these popular holiday destinations this season; you’ll see other tourists, but you’re still ahead of the major boom.

Top 10 Holiday Destinations for 2017

Celebrate the holidays at one of these popular holiday destinations for 2017.


While the rest of the Caribbean saw an ugly hurricane season, Aruba’s beaches remained unscathed.

Percentage Increase: +31 percent

Don’t Miss: Arikok National Park

[st_related]10 Best Things to Do in Aruba[/st_related]

Buenos Aires, Argentina

European Christmas markets meet South American flair in the “Paris of South America.”

Percentage Increase: +28 percent

Don’t Miss: Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) fireworks

Reno-Tahoe, Nevada

Thanks to its location close to the Sierra Mountains, Reno brings city feels with gastropubs and cafes as well as access to outdoor adventure in nearby Lake Tahoe.

Percentage Increase: +78 percent

Don’t Miss: Skiing at Mt. Rose, Homewood, Diamond Peak, or Squaw Valley

[st_related]Watch: The Discovery Museum in Reno[/st_related]

Geneva, Switzerland

Located near the Switzerland-France border, Geneva is a popular holiday destination for its markets, access to mountains, and lake.

Percentage Increase: +60 percent

Don’t Miss: Swiss fondue

Incheon, South Korea

South Korea is a buzzing destination next year thanks to the Olympics, and Incheon, located about 45 minutes from Seoul via train, is gaining popularity with tourists.

Percentage Increase: +87 percent 

Don’t Miss: Incheon Complex Fish Market

[st_related]8 Reasons to Celebrate a Layover at South Korea’s Incheon Airport[/st_related]

Malaga, Spain

This Southern Spanish gem is one of the most festive holiday destinations in Europe. Enjoy temperate weather and Christmas traditions across this port city.

Percentage Increase: +164 percent

Don’t Miss: Light displays on Calle Larios

Lima, Peru

Whether it’s a city escape you’re looking for or you’re on your way to Machu Picchu or Choquequirao for a bucket-list vacation, it’s worth spending a few nights in this popular holiday destination.

Percentage Increase: +23 percent

Don’t Miss: Peruvian foods like lechon and paneton

[st_related]Sacred Valley, Peru: How to Plan the Perfect Trip[/st_related]

Montreal, Canada

If you’re looking for snow, skiing, and an urban center this Christmas, Montreal is it. This popular holiday destination goes all out for the season and boasts European charm, without the transatlantic flight.

Percentage Increase: +59 percent

Don’t Miss: Christmas in the Park, at Parc Emilie Gamelin

Frankfurt, Germany

Take in Gothic architecture, authentic German beer, and museums in this 2,000-year old city.

Percentage Increase: +47 percent

Don’t Miss: The Frankfurt Christmas Market, one of the largest in Germany

[st_related]What It’s Really Like to Visit a German Christmas Market[/st_related]

Portland, Oregon

Head to the outdoorsy Pacific Northwest for a relaxed holiday destination found in trendy Portland.

Percentage Increase: +31 percent

Don’t Miss: The city’s Holiday Express Train

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By Ashley Rossi

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

After interning at SmarterTravel, Ashley joined the team full time in 2015. She's lived on three continents, but still never knows where her next adventure will take her. She's always searching for upcoming destination hotspots, secluded retreats, and hidden gems to share with the world.

Ashley's stories have been featured online on USA Today, Business Insider, TripAdvisor, Huffington Post, Jetsetter, and Yahoo! Travel, as well as other publications.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A reusable filtered water bottle—it saves you money, keeps you hydrated, and eliminates waste—win-win."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "A week in a bamboo beach hut on India's Andaman Islands."

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