Top trending holiday travel destinations for Calgarians

Where are Canadians going for holiday travel? The results will shock you!
How would you like to toast the holidays atop Tokyo Tower?

For me, Christmas is a time to hunker down. I love hibernating at home so much, I legit shoot down any suggestions The Huz offers up for a holiday getaway. I realize not being into holiday travel puts me in the minority. Most sane people would jump at the chance to jet away from our frigid climates. I know this because for work (and being the keener that I am), I just read KAYAK’s 2018 Holiday Travel Trend Forecast, which reveals where Canadians are jonesing to go during the holidays. And get this – it wasn’t a snoozer. That’s because the results are cray!

Holiday travel

Canada-wide Dublin, Ireland ranks #1 as the top trending holiday destination we’re searching for on KAYAK, the world’s leading travel search engine. I’ve never been, so I don’t totally get it, but I have noticed WestJet’s new direct flights to the Emerald Isle, so it makes sense. Edmonton on the other hand, was the only Canadian city to make the list. Let me repeat: Canadians are searching for flights to Edmonton like mad.

Top trending holiday travel destinations for Calgarians
If there’s a better bakery in Canada, please let me know what it is! (Photo credit: Duchess Bake Shop)

I mean, I’d make the trip for Duchess Bake Shop, and their dining scene is certainly going off the rails, but, well, wow. Could it be everyone is so jazzed about the opening of the Royal Alberta Museum? Maybe. But more likely it’s because flight prices to Edmonton are 25% cheaper then they were last year. And Edmonton has direct flights to Iceland, whereas Calgary doesn’t.

Where Calgarians travel to for the holidays

As a Calgarian, I can’t worry too much about Edmonton, though. You understand that, right? And besides, what really knocked my sox off was that the biggest increase in searches on KAYAK was found in places like Tokyo, Phuket and Hong Kong. Weird! Why people aren’t searching for Phoenix and Maui is beyond me. (OK, they are, but there’s not as dramatic a search increase as there is for these Asian hot spots.)

Whyte Avenue Edmonton alberta
Edmonton’s Whyte Ave is cool and the city has a crazy number of festivals. (Photo credit: Tourism Edmonton)

Then I thought about it. If you’re gonna go to Asia, travelling in winter makes sense. Having spent five years in Asia, I can attest, summer is not the best time to visit. It’s so humid everyone has perma pit stains and there’s no point in bringing your hair straightener. Tokyo and Hong Kong are major cities, so it’s hard to get a respite from the heat. Phuket in summer I get, as it’s a luxe island in Thailand surround by the warm waters of the Andaman Sea. Still, summer is their rainy season, so not the most ideal time.

hotel resort pool
I wouldn’t say no to lounging poolside in Thailand, would you?

Winter on the other hand, is the bees knees. It’s cooler over there at this time of year (compared to their summers), but it’s still plenty hot for us. And you’ve got enough time to visit. April and October would be my top times to travel, but over the holidays, you get more bang for your buck with stat holidays.

Hong Kong harbour boat
Hong Kong is one of the few spots in Asia I haven’t yet visited. Sniff.

After all the excitement over Tokyo, Phuket and Hong Kong, the next two trending destinations are San Jose del Cabo (everybody wave to my friend Susan who travels there every Xmas) and Las Vegas. Hitting these destinations over the holidays makes more sense to me. Not that I would go. I’m a homebody over the holidays, remember?

Shinjuku tokyo street crossing
If you do make it to Tokyo, you must visit Tokyu Hands, the world’s most interesting department store.

What’s up with these results?

So why are Calgarians so hot for Asia right now? Well, there’s a lot of new low cost carriers. And when you get more flight options, prices drop. Also, when new routes open up, it spikes interest. Or maybe everyone just wants to recreate the awesome winter holiday I had back in the 90s when I hit both Tokyo and the islands off the west coast of Thailand? What do you think?

This post is sponsored by KAYAK. As always, all opinions are my own.

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