Whether you are going solo, with friends, or with family, here are the fastest-growing 37 places to travel last-minute in 2020.
We took a scientific approach by crunching the numbers on over 150,000 last-minute flight searches to determine the best places for last-minute travel in the year 2020. We looked at the flight search share of destinations searched on GoLastMinute in the first week of 2019 and compared it to the first week of 2020. This indicates what destinations are more popular this year versus last year. This analysis resulted in a list of 37 destinations that grew their search share year-over-year and is a good prediction of future popularity in the coming year.
What is most surprising is that the fastest-growing destinations were not the usual big hitters like Las Vegas, New York, or Los Angeles. The fastest-growing destination turned out to be Mexico City, an international destination. In the domestic USA, Florida claimed 2 of the top 3 with Sarasota coming in number 1 and Key West number 3. Oklahoma City took number 2 domestically and Myrtle Beach, a perennial favorite, took number 4. California represented with Sacramento coming in number 5 and Oakland at number 7. The Midwest showed a strong turnout with Minneapolis-St. Paul taking number 6, St. Louis taking number 8, and Indianapolis taking the number 10 spot. Austin took number 9 representing the only Southwest U.S. state in the top 10.
Internationally, along with number 1 overall Mexico City, we have Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in the number 2 spot. That means Mexico took the top 2 slots in the international category. Coming in at number 3 is the ever-popular London, United Kingdom with 19% growth year-over-year.
Top 10 Domestic Destinations
|2||Oklahoma City, OK||40%|
|3||Key West, FL||39%|
|4||Myrtle Beach, SC||31%|
|6||Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN||28%|
|8||St Louis, MO||22%|
Top 3 International Destinations
|1||Mexico City, Mexico||69%|
|2||Puerto Vallarta, Mexico||22%|
|3||London, United Kingdom||19%|
Top 37 Destinations Overall
|1||Mexico City, Mexico||69%|
|3||Oklahoma City, OK||40%|
|4||Key West, FL||39%|
|5||Myrtle Beach, SC||31%|
|7||Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN||28%|
|8||Puerto Vallarta, Mexico||22%|
|10||St Louis, MO||22%|
|13||Santa Ana, CA||21%|
|14||London, United Kingdom||19%|
|16||San Diego, CA||19%|
|18||Palm Springs, CA||18%|
|22||San Antonio, TX||13%|
|26||Montreal, ON, Canada||10%|
|34||Savannah-Hilton Head, GA||3%|
|35||Fort Myers, FL||2%|
|37||West Palm Beach, FL||2%|
Despite travel warnings due to violence in Mexico, the capital city showed strong growth from last-minute travelers in early 2020, a good sign for the destination and Mexico overall. The destination proved especially popular for GoLastMinute searchers from Toronto, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles who drove the 69% search share growth.
Sarasota, Florida came out on top as the fastest-growing domestic last-minute destination. In addition to the sunset bathed coastline beaches, Sarasota also boasts cultural favorites such as the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The 43% search share growth for this destination was influenced largely by GoLastMinute searchers from Boston, Cleveland, Toronto, and Pittsburgh.
Oklahoma City satisfies the craving for city life while exploring Wild West cultural sites such as the National Cowboy Museum. Local cuisine favors that of the cattle variety, with plump steaks and thick grilled hamburgers topping the menus at popular restaurants. GoLastMinute searchers from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Minneapolis-St. Paul drove the 40% search share growth for this destination.
Key West, Florida is a famous destination, though not as popular as the much larger cities like Orlando, Miami, and Tampa. Due to a runway refurbishment project at Key West International Airport (EYW), more flights started operating from 2018, supporting massive growth in air travel. GoLastMinute searchers from Philadelphia, Tampa, Indianapolis, and Boston fueled the 39% growth in search share for this destination.
The boardwalk at Myrtle Beach is over a mile long and cost over $6 million to build. The effects of hurricane Dorian in 2019 didn't dampen enthusiasm as the Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) recorded over 1.3 million arrivals in 2019, representing over 4% growth from the previous year. GoLastMinute searchers from Columbus, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Detroit helped drive the 31% growth in search share for this destination.
Passenger traffic to Sacramento International Airport (SMF) has been increasing every year since 2013, according to The Sacramento Bee. On GoLastMinute that trend showed itself in 29% search share growth and indicates 2020 will be the biggest year ever for the airport. GoLastMinute searchers from Washington D.C., Milwaukee, Ontario California, and Phoenix were the drivers of the growth for this destination.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) has been growing its passenger traffic and it seems this growth will continue. The airport had a record number of travelers in 2018 with over 38 million total visitors (including connecting passengers). Delta Airlines operates a hub at the airport and represented over 70% of that number. GoLastMinute searchers from Phoenix, Fort Myers Florida, Tucson, and New York City drove the 28% growth in search share for this destination.
The second Mexican city to make the top 10 list, Puerto Vallarta is a beach paradise. The Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) has seen continued growth in passenger traffic to an estimated 5 million in 2019. The airport has embarked on an aggressive expansion plan to increase capacity by 50% by 2024. GoLastMinute searchers from Phoenix, Toronto, Winnipeg, and San Francisco drove the 22% growth in search share for this destination.
Oakland is the second busiest airport in the San Francisco Bay area and often considered an alternate airport to SFO and San Jose International. GoLastMinute searchers from Santa Ana (south of Los Angeles), Portland, Phoenix , and San Diego drove the 22% growth in search volume.
The St. Louis International Airport (STL) experienced traffic growth in both 2018 and 2019, with 46 straight calendar months of passenger growth. That trend explains why we see that St. Louis makes the top 10 of the fastest-growing destinations by search share on GoLastMinute. Our searchers from Toronto, Fort Myers Florida, Columbus, and Orlando were the primary drivers of the growth.