The 5 Most Popular International Summer Travel Destinations in 2024

The 5 most popular international summer travel destinations in 2024.

Summer is the most popular time of year for Americans to travel, and despite concerns about inflation, 2024 could be a bustling year for summer vacations. An Economist/YouGov survey found that 38% of Americans plan to travel this summer. Among those with a household income of $100,000 or more, 63% of respondents said they plan to take a summer holiday.

Family is a big component of summer plans. Four out of 5 surveyed are either planning to vacation with family or visit family this summer. With children out of school during the summer months, this is the time of year that families tend to take their longest venture away from home—and for many, that means an international trip.

Others want to get away from home to immerse themselves in a bucket list-worthy adventure. A trend report by American Express found that 65% of people looking to travel this year plan to splurge on a major trip, from off-the-beaten-path journeys to vacations through multiple European countries.

Whether travelers intend to make memories with family and friends or take the trip of a lifetime, many will look to international destinations for their summer vacations. To find out which global cities will be at the top of the list, we compiled a ranking of the five most popular international summer travel destinations, according to Google Flights search data collected between January 2024 and March 2024.

Read on to see if your dream travel destination made the list.

Aerial view of Cancún resorts and beach.
SVongpra // Shutterstock

#5. Cancún

Cancún has long been a favorite resort destination and in 2022 alone, 9.5 million international passengers arrived by plane, which made the city México’s most popular flight destination. Its close proximity to the United States and abundant direct flights help boost its rankings among American travelers. Perhaps the biggest draws for tourists are the white sand beaches and the temperate Caribbean Sea.

Travelers can choose from more than 35,000 rooms at different price points across dozens of Cancún resorts and hotels. Once visitors have had their fill of the Yucatán peninsula's beautiful beaches, many enjoy visiting nearby historic ruins, including Chichén Itzá and Tulum.

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Elevated view of the Colosseum with blue sky.
Nicola Forenza // Shutterstock

#4. Rome

History buffs love Rome for its ancient architecture, which still stands among more modern parts of the city. The best-known tourist site is likely the Colosseum, the massive amphitheater that has hosted gladiator fights, animal hunting, and other public spectacles beginning in the first century. Visitors walking around the Eternal City may also see other landmarks of its long, storied history, including ancient aqueducts, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon. Food lovers can get a taste of authentic local cuisine, such as its celebrated carbonara, cacio e pepe, and suppli.

Nearby is Vatican City, the Roman Catholic Church's headquarters and the site of masterpieces, including Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and Raphael’s The School of Athens.

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Shibuya Crossing on a sunny day.
Takashi Images // Shutterstock

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#3. Tokyo

Japan welcomed a record-setting 3.1 million international visitors in March 2024, many of whom came to the nation's capital city, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. Travelers enjoy visiting the busy Sensō-ji temple, Tokyo's oldest temple, which features a golden icon of the Buddhist goddess of mercy. If you want a unique taste of the city, head to Harmonica Yokocho to find delectable dishes from tiny, unassuming restaurants.

Before tourists leave, many make a stop at Shibuya Crossing. Surrounded by stores and restaurants, the world's busiest intersection is flooded by seas of strangers crossing under the bright lights of nearby advertisements.

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Aerial view of Eiffel Tower and surrounding neighborhoods.
saiko3p // Shutterstock

#2. Paris

Paris remains one of the busiest tourist cities in the world, and it's gearing up for an even bigger summer this year as the host of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Many tourists beeline to the Eiffel Tower to snap a picture of the most visited monument in the world, but most don't know about the gardens below the tower, which are free to access and a great place for a picnic.

Another iconic stop in Paris is the world's largest museum, the Louvre. Of course, you can find art all over the City of Love—near the Pont de Grenelle bridge, for example, is a roughly 38-foot-tall replica of New York City's Statue of Liberty. Of course, no trip to Paris would be complete without sampling the city's many breads, cheeses, and pastries.

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Big Ben with bridge over Thames and flag of England against blue sky.
Tomas Marek // Shutterstock

#1. London

Packed with plenty of things to see and do, the capital city of the United Kingdom is this summer's most popular international destination for U.S. travelers. One of London's top sites is also one of its oldest: once a royal palace, the Tower of London was built in 1066 by William the Conqueror and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Buckingham Palace, another former residence of the British monarchy, is also a favorite tourist attraction today.

Westminster Abbey is another must-see. Buried or commemorated here are 3,300 notable individuals, including William Shakespeare, Sir Isaac Newton, and Queen Elizabeth I. When you're ready to move on from historic sightseeing, check out the London Eye, where glass capsules offer a 360-degree view of the city.

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Story editing by Cu Fleshman. Additional editing by Kelly Glass. Copy editing by Paris Close.

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