There’s no better time to start planning your 2020 travels than right now. Lucky for us, Airbnb released their list of the top destinations to hit in 2020 based on their year-over-year popularity growth with bookings. Some cities saw massive amounts of growth, like a whopping 729 percent for Milwaukee, WI. And while there’s a place for every type of explorer on this list (you’ll also find bustling cities like Tokyo, Japan, and chill beach towns like Malindi, Kenya), one common thread throughout is they all have an eco-conscious mindset. Keep reading to see them all now, and get ready to pack your bags.
1 Milwaukee, WI
This may come as a surprise, but Milwaukee has topped the list by a landslide with a 729-percent YoY increase in popularity. It’s culturally and historically relevant, playing host to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and rich with American history. And it’s a great weekend escape with over 105 miles of scenic bike routes and a booming bar and restaurant scene.
2 Bilbao, Spain
Bilbao’s spot on this list, which saw a 402-percent YoY increase, should come as no surprise after it was named European City of the Year in 2018. This cultural gem gained momentum back in 1997 after the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum opened. Tourists can explore the lively dining scene, unique architecture, and unforgettable cityscape.
The 383-percent YoY increase for Buriram is credited to the old and new that this province has to offer. It’s home to Thailand’s most treasured Khmer relics and the incredible Phanon Rung Historical Park. For sports fans, Buriram hosted the inaugural MotoGP motor racing event in 2018 and will again in March 2020, and also has the Buriram Marathon every year.
Sunbury, Victoria, Australia
If you want to avoid tourists and feel like a local, check out Sunbury. Only a short drive northwest of Melbourne, visitors will enjoy its wildlife, wineries, and Victorian-era architecture. With a 356-percent YoY increase, many cricket fans will come to watch the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup.
This is a destination that’s definitely on the road less traveled. With a 298-percent YoY increase, the entire country of Romania has people buzzing. The natural landscapes are jaw-dropping, from its pristine hills to ancient rural villages.
Xi’an, known as one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization, embodies history and modern culture. It’s the home of the terra cotta warriors, which are a collection of prehistoric clay soldiers discovered by local farmers in 1974. In 2020, the city is offering a new tourism program that will incorporate 30 new nighttime tour routes, including nighttime markets and performances.
Known as the culinary hub of Oregon, Eugene has a 213-percent YoY increase in popularity. The city has become a hub for the organic food industry with many eco-conscious residents. The medium-size city will host the 2020 national qualifying trials for track and field, so there’s definitely a little something for everyone here.
Literally perched on a clifftop, this European country was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. With a 167-percent YoY increase, visitors will find themselves immersed in forested hills, medieval castles, vineyards, and quaint villages. What more could you want?
Often the underdog, Mexico’s second city is gaining more recognition with a 158-percent YoY increase in popularity. It’s not as fast-paced as Mexico City, but it still has plenty to offer including the hipster Chapultepec neighborhood. Guadalajara is also going green by encouraging cyclists to reclaim public spaces normally trafficked by cars, so it’s somewhere you definitely need to check out.
This beautiful archipelago that’s 2,000 miles east of Australia is home to rugged islands, deserted beaches, and Pacific wildlife. With a 140-percent YoY increase in bookings, Vanuatu is comprised of over 80 islands that offer activities like hiking up volcanoes and scuba diving.
With a 137-percent YoY increase in bookings, Cali lives up to its “world’s salsa capital” reputation with everything from local music and dance to its rich Afro-Colombian culture. Sitting at around 1,000 meters above sea level, it has a tropical party vibe for locals and visitors alike.
Cape Canaveral, FL
With 72 miles of stunning beachfront, Cape Canaveral saw a 136-percent YoY increase in popularity. It’s most famous for the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and three protected areas: Canaveral National Seashore, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Sebastian Inlet State Park. The Kennedy Space Center is also a short drive away.
13 Aberdeen, Scotland
Aberdeen has sustainability plans to drastically reduce carbon emissions, making those green countryside views that much more enjoyable. It saw a-119 percent YoY increase in bookings because it has so much to offer, from fine dining to galleries and museums. Visitors can also venture out of the city to find romantic ruins in the countryside.
14 Courtenay, BC, Canada
Located on Vancouver Island, this place is a dream for outdoor adventurers. Immersed in rolling mountains, alpine meadows, and bohemian villages while also being eco-conscious, there’s no question why this charming city saw a 114-percent YoY increase in popularity.
15 Ubatuba, Brazil
Hang 10 in the surfing capital of Sao Paulo state, which saw a 108-percent YoY increase, that has over 100 beaches and is home to various surf championships throughout the year. Visitors will find themselves exploring the coastline and hiking trails through the Atlantic rainforest.
Les Contamines-Montjoie, France
Nestled between the well-known resorts of Chamonix and Megève, Les Contamines-Montjoie is the perfect spot for mountain climbing during the Summer or skiing in the Winter. Since visitors can get their perfect shot in front of numerous old, picturesque farm buildings that have been restored in the local Savoy architectural style, it’s no wonder this place saw a 108-percent YoY growth.
Seemingly the most popular city on the list (and rightfully so) is Tokyo. The 103-percent YoY increase in popularity is mostly due to the upcoming Summer Olympics taking place here in July and August 2020, which is Japan’s fourth time hosting the games.
Kerala is known as South India’s most enchanting state, which is why it saw a 95-percent increase in bookings last year. An oasis of calm in a fast-paced environment, visitors will find themselves on the palm-lined coast, exploring coffee plantations and in awe of the Arabian Sea views.
Surrounded by natural beauty, Malindi is a melting pot of African, Arab, and European residents. With diverse aquatic wildlife in Malindi Marine National Park, many visitors come to dive in this perfect spot. Swahili architecture and fresh-caught seafood also contributed to the 88-percent YoY increase of this stunning beach town.
Perfect for the history buffs, this Dutch city is filled with historic buildings and an abundance of museums. At a 55-percent YoY increase, Maastricht will host one of the worlds largest art fairs, Tefaf Maastricht, in 2020.