By Christie Hudson, on December 5, 2018

Expedia’s 2018 Year in Review Trends Report

Being in the business of helping people go places means that we get to see firsthand what’s trending in travel, from the year’s best hotels to up-and-coming destinations to put on your bucket list. So in the interest of sharing the wealth, we analyzed thousands of data points as part of our annual Year in Review trends report to find out what types of travel experiences people were after.

Curious which hotels offer up the best views in the world, or whether Reykjavik will continue its reign as a trending tourism magnet? Wonder no more. Check out highlights from Expedia’s 2018 Year in Review travel report below, and don’t forget to read the official press release for more insights.

Top trending destinations of 2018

Based on Expedia flight data, the following cities all saw an increase in U.S. visitors of at least 40% in 2018, compared to the year prior. Translation: If you want to visit these trending travel destinations, you should act fast, before everyone catches on.

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Victoria, B.C., Canada
  • Alexandria, Virginia, USA
  • Valencia, Spain
  • Vientiane, Laos
  • George’s, Bermuda
  • Mykonos, Greece
  • Azores, Portugal
  • Kenai, Alaska
  • Inverness, Scotland
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Seville, Spain
  • Perth, Australia
  • Marrakech, Morocco
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Rome, Italy
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Winnipeg, Canada
  • Kodiak, Alaska
  • Valetta, Malta
  • Maui, Hawaii
  • Moscow, Russia
  • New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  • Cartagena, Colombia
  • Zagreb, Croatia
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Reykjavik, Iceland

Last-minute travel

Not every trip requires months of planning and deliberation. Sometimes we just need to get away and now. When it comes to leaving on a jet plane ASAP, here’s where U.S. travelers most commonly head for a quick vacation fix*:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. New York
  3. Chicago
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Atlanta

*Based on bookings made 0-6 days in advance of the travel date

Novelty reigns supreme when it comes to accommodation type

The most popular accommodation types
Image credit: Shutterstock

We looked at accommodation types that saw increased demand this year, and the results show travelers are increasingly interested in staying somewhere novel or unique during their getaways. “Tentalows” (a cross between a tent and a bungalow, usually outfitted with plumbing and other modern-day comforts), agritourism properties (think farms, ranches, etc.), castles and chalets all saw increased demand this year.

Going social

Image credit: Getty Images

Vacation rentals are a great option for bigger groups traveling together, so it’s fitting that the top cities for this lodging type include family-friendly Orlando and the nightlife meccas of Las Vegas and Miami.

  1. Orlando
  2. Maui
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Miami
  5. London

Top rated hotels for everything that matters

We combed through thousands of comments, reviews and ratings left by Expedia travelers to determine some of the best hotels out there, for spa, pools, service and views. Here are some of the top hotels in each category. The best part? Many of these are Expedia VIP Access™ properties, which means Expedia guests can score upgrades, credits and amenities – all for free.

Best Pools

Best Spa

Best Views

Best Service


What’s on your 2019 travel to-do list?