Top 5 Trending Vacation Destinations For Americans During December 2019

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In August, Google released a Google Flights feature called travel trends, which allows users to easily search for the best travel deals and trends during a number of holidays, based off of their selected location. (I.e.: If they want to see where the most popular destinations people in the U.S. are traveling to during a specific holiday all they have to do is select those parameters in the tool.) Since the December holidays are coming up, it's worth checking out the top five trending vacation destinations for people Americans during December 2019, according to this Google tool.

While you might think that the most popular destinations during the holidays are the kinds of places where you can ski and build a snowman and get into the holiday cheer, you might be surprised to learn that, at least for people from the U.S. who are booking travel for the December holidays, hot spots are actually quite exotic and summer-y.

For the top trending December vacation locations, you'll need a bathing suit in lieu of a wool scarf. As it turns out, it's not a winter wonderland that this year's holiday travelers are after, it's a tan and a cocktail that comes with a giant piece of fruit wedged on the glass. After all, there's January, February, and sometimes even March for snowball fights, hot drinks, and winter sports. And with early October already feeling wool-worthy cold, it's no wonder holiday travelers are looking for a place that doesn't remind them of home. Brace yourself, these are the top five places your friends will be posting from on Instagram during the holidays this year:

1. Pape'ete

Pape'ete might require a long and expensive travel itinerary, but it's the top trend for winter holiday travel. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Pape'ete, on the island of Tahiti, is the capital of French Polynesia. Read: Pape'ete is an exotic wonderland in close proximity to historic attractions, parks and endless markets. Despite how far away it is from the U.S., it's the number one trending winter vacation destination, proving Americans are willing to endure grueling flight times when the landscape is worth it. If you were to fly to Pape'ete from New York City on Monday, Dec. 23 to Saturday, Dec. 28 via American Air, it would cost you $1687 and it would take nearly 17 hours to get there complete with a layover. Surprised so many people are booking this trip? Same.

2. Grand Cayman Island

Grand Cayman Island is the second most popular winter hotspot, with perfect weather all December long. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Coming in second is the largest island in the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman is a British territory that looks like the kind of place you'd imagine Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed. The waters are turquoise, the beaches are varied — natural or smooth —, and a day spent snorkeling will easily yield a dolphin or shipwreck sighting. In December, the temperatures stay above the mid 70s and the rainy season is over, so beach days are aplenty. A flight from Tuesday, Dec. 24 to Sunday, Dec. 28 from Chicago via American will run a little over six hours (including a stop) and get you to the island for $596, round trip.

3. Aruba

Arubas calm waters feel like bathwater in December. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Aruba is one happy island. Literally, that's their motto, and it's true. This friendly island has waters so warm, they're bath-tub like. The Dutch island hosts visitors from around the world, and this year many of them will likely be American, is it's number three on the list of trendy hotspots. A three-hour nonstop flight departing from Miami on Wednesday, Dec 12, and returning on Sunday, Dec. 15 will cost you only $308.

4. Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia's beaches are incredibly diverse, but all warm and inviting in the month of December. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Saint Lucia is one of the most geologically diverse locations on the list of trending holiday season hotspots. The Caribbean island has both jagged and green mountains. Both craggy volcanic beaches and silky white sands. It's popular year-round, but in December, the climate is most ideal. An American Airlines flight leaving from Tampa, Florida from Monday, Dec. 23, to Sunday, Dec. 29 will cost you $905. This flight (like most flights to Saint Lucia) will require a stop, making your total travel time over 16 hours.

5. Belize City

Belize City is one of the top five winter vacation locations according to Google. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Belize City is a port city in Belize (which is in Central America). Though its name might imply tall buildings and cement, this harbor side city is quaint and humble with low rising markets and shops instead. During the month of December the temperatures are in the low 80s and the rainy season begins to tapers off. A flight on United Airlines from Houston, Texas to Belize City on Tuesday, Dec. 24 to Sunday, Dec. 29 will cost you $645. The flight is nonstop and will clock in at about two and a half hours.