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Only One U.S. City Made the Top Travel Destinations List in 2022

Travel is back after the pandemic, with some unexpected locations becoming popular

While the high cost of plane tickets has curtailed some people's plans to travel over the holidays, demand is also not going down as many finally take the trips they put off during the pandemic.

There have been studies that showed the anticipation of and planning process for a holiday can independently cause a spike in happiness levels and some may be experiencing wanderlust without actually intending on buying.

But in either case, Google  (GOOGL) - Get Free Report has released some of its most searched-for travel destinations as part of a larger Year In Search round-up that shows some of the most searched-for events, people and cultural phenomenons of the year ("Ukraine," "Queen Elizabeth passing" and "monkeypox" are all high up there.)

This Is What People Are Booking On Google Flights

When it comes to trending locales, Great Britain's London, Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City and France's Paris came out on top of what a Google representative told CNN were the cities that saw a "high spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2022 as compared to 2021." 

That does not necessarily mean that these cities were the most searched-for -- in the United States, high numbers of people were entering "Caribbean," "East Coast of the United States" and "Croatia" as a holiday destination.  

Those typing in "travel destinations" were also increasingly interested in Kansas.

In the United Kingdom, Turkey came out as a clear winner for those typing "holidays in" into the search engine while Cornwall took second place. Locations like Italy, Dubai and Spain (all popular destinations for Brits) predictably followed after.

But when looking specifically at Google Flights, Canada has also been popular. Cities like Toronto and Vancouver made the top trending list this year as the country opened up to tourism and got rid of testing requirements later than its southern neighbor.

The only American city to make the top ten list was New York and it is possible that travelers may simply have more exotic locales on their mind. New Delhi, Rome, Mumbai and Lisbon were the other cities to blow up Google Flights most in 2022.

Istanbul Lead JS 120822

Travel May Be a Hot Mess but We're Still Doing It

Travel, and flying in particular, is currently in the midst of some serious tumult. Prices on everything from the flights themselves to car rentals and hotels are up significantly but demand is still very high compared to past seasons.

During the summer, massive airport hubs like London's Heathrow and Frankfurt International Airport even instituted passenger caps amid hours-long lines and not having enough staff to connect passengers with their luggage.

The understaffing is systemic across the airline industry after the massive layoffs that took place during the pandemic. Raising prices could, some analysts argue, create different tiers of passengers -- those who will not travel at all and those who pay for it. At least for now, overall demand is not too affected by rising prices.

"We believe that through the pandemic we've created kind of a new class of customer, which is the high-end consumer that wants these products that maybe didn't have as much access to them [...]," Delta President Glen Hauenstein said during an October earnings call. “So I think the big epiphany for us was there's a much broader demand for this than just business travelers.”