Where to go in 2014 - Airbnb travel trends infographic

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Where to go in 2014

Toward the beginning of every year, travelers survey the year ahead. Of the many items on your travel to-do list, what gets checked off this year? For those with an empty list but a full tank of wanderlust, travel editors around the world will gladly step up to tell you where they think you should be going this year in the annual ritual of best destination lists.

We have a different take here at Airbnb. We think it’s more useful to let the travelers decide what’s interesting. Airbnb travelers are out in the world voting with their feet every day—and these are some interesting voters. Airbnb travelers are curious, adventurous, and open to new experiences—they don’t follow the masses, they set out on their own in search of the next great travel find.

So where are Airbnb travelers going more now than ever before? What we found is that many of the fastest growing destinations are the next-door alternatives to popular destinations (Andorra instead of Spain or France, Nicaragua or Guatemala instead of Costa Rica, Malaysia instead of Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina instead of Croatia), many have a pure under-the-radar appeal, and some, like the Bahamas, are travelers finding new ways to enjoy already popular destinations by staying in a home.

Top 10 trending destinations on Airbnb

  1. Andorra: +312%
  2. Barbados: +184%
  3. Nicaragua: +180%
  4. Bosnia and Herzegovina: +172%
  5. Bahamas: +167%
  6. Malta: +165%
  7. South Africa: +159%
  8. Morocco: +158%
  9. Malaysia: +155%
  10. Guatemala: +148%

[Year-on-year growth in reservations per listing for destinations with at least 100 listings and 10 bookings per month in 2012–2013.]

Regionally, some interesting stories emerged over the past year. The Florida Panhandle had the highest growth in bookings year-on-year, which is a positive sign after tourism slumped dramatically following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf. Around the Mediterranean, travelers are sun-hunting—and very likely deal-hunting—in coastal and island vacation spots in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece.

If you ask a random traveler to envision an earthly paradise, most will cast their mind’s eye to balmy tropical locales with palm-fringed shores lapped by translucent waters. In fact, looking at all reviews from the past year that included the words paradise, bliss, heaven, eden, or utopia, nine of the top 10 were tropical destinations—all 10 are on the ocean. For the Florida Keys, a full 34% of reviews included one or more of the paradise terms. Hawaii snagged two spots on the top 10 list with the lush island of Kauai and the dramatic and volcanic Big Island. Costa Rica and Australia also claimed two spots, while the island of Lombok beat out neighbor—and likely paradise suspect—Bali. Mendocino, on California’s rugged north coast rightly famed for its beauty, takes the honor of being the lone temperate paradise.

Top 10 “Paradise” destinations

  1. Florida Keys
  2. Kauai, Hawaii
  3. Lombok, Indonesia
  4. Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
  5. Rincón, Puerto Rico
  6. Mendocino Coast, California
  7. Gold Coast, Australia
  8. The Big Island, Hawaii
  9. Cairns, Australia
  10. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

[Ranked based on percentage of guest reviews in 2013 containing the words paradise, bliss, heaven, eden, or utopia.]

Staying in a house or apartment is wonderful, but perhaps you’re in the mood to try something different this year? Treehouses are always a fanciful favorite, but this year the honor goes to the yurt—easy to build, pleasant to stay in, and affordable for travelers. Not convinced? Take a look at some of the many fabulous yurts on Airbnb.

Wherever you go this year, whether you stay in or yurt or a house, whether you follow in the footsteps of other travelers or find your own path, we wish you a year full of new connections, local experiences, and feeling at home anywhere in the world.