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Vacation spots to avoid if you want to dodge crowds this summer

July 11 2022
5 min read
crowded beach
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Are you looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city this summer? Do you want to soak up the sun without the crowds? If so, there are a few places you might want to avoid in the coming months.

Booking website Expedia — which witnessed a 65% increase in searches over 12 months — revealed the most-searched summer destinations among United Kingdom residents this year, and we expect these locations to be very busy.

“The pent-up demand for foreign travel is being released after two years of uncertainty, with U.S. travelers searching in their droves for overseas city breaks and seaside holidays in hotels, vacation rental properties or on cruises,” Irene Roberts, Expedia Group's director of market management in the U.K., said.

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Topping the list of most-searched destinations is Mallorca, Spain. This Balearic island is more popular among tourists — especially those from the U.K. — than any other foreign destination on earth; it doubled in search volume among Expedia users compared to 2021.

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Why wouldn’t Mallorca be in first place? The hot spot gets more beautiful by the day, and its resorts always provide excellent service. However, because of its immense popularity, expect crammed beaches and increased hotel demand during the coming weeks.

(Photo courtesy of The St. Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort)

If you’ve already booked a trip to the region, don't fret. TPG created a guide to eight of the most underrated destinations in the Balearics, including Mallorca’s colorful seaside village of Portocolom on its southeastern coast, which will provide you with some much-needed sanctuary.

Paris comes in at second place on the hot spot list. Despite this destination's lack of beaches, the city saw a whopping 465% increase in search volume compared with last year. Perhaps less surprisingly, the Instagram-hunter’s paradise of Santorini, Greece, came in third. This island doubled in popularity over the past 12 months.

Related: 6 tips for keeping your cool this summer as air travel melts down

Thanks to urban adventurers, New York City has also seen increased demand, and this popular American destination earned the fourth slot on the summer list. Although this could well be due to the fact that restriction-free travel to the U.S. recently opened up again, Expedia searches for the Big Apple increased by 345%.

(Photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images)

Portugal’s buzzy Algarve region, which was bound to be bursting with tourists this summer, finds itself in fifth place. Barcelona was deemed the sixth most popular summer destination for British travelers. The Catalan city’s 325% surge in traffic serves as a warning that Las Ramblas and its nearby beaches are primed to be even more heaving than usual.

Orlando hovers in seventh place — further down the list than you might expect. The Disney-lovers destination saw a 180% increase in search traffic.

Related: How to spend a day in the Azores’ capital of Ponta Delgada

Istanbul (which saw a 330% boost in search activity), Dubai and Rome round out the list's top 10 spots.

(Photo by DOZIER Marc/Getty Images)

Here is the official ranking list:

RankingMost searched overseas location% change from 2021
1Mallorca, Spain.+255%.
2Paris.+465%.
3Santorini, Greece.+105%.
4New York City.+345%.
5The Algarve, Portugal.+50%.
6Barcelona.+325%.
7Orlando.+180%.
8Istanbul.+330%.
9Dubai.+145%.
10Rome.+440%.

Those who don't want to fight off swarms of tourists this summer should consider branching out from these famous destinations. If you're looking for a continental city break with lush shorelines to match the dreamy architecture, why not try Korcula in Croatia? Or, try one of these socially distanced destinations.

If you’re looking for more of a city break, here’s our guide to some of our favorite European cities to visit right now.

Bottom line

Sometimes booking the perfect summer holiday requires knowledge of where not to go. This helps ensure you can get off the beaten track or, at the very least, avoid overly high hotel prices and lines at popular landmarks.

Even if you are planning to visit one of the spots on this list, you can still have a good time on your summer vacation — you'll just have to plan for busier locations and prepare accordingly. This may involve booking restaurants and excursions well in advance, or polishing those elbows while you have the chance.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
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  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
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