Ko'Olina Beach Hawaii
Tourists and locals play on Ko'Olina beach on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Bing said Hawaii was the most-searched travel destination for Americans in 2013. Reuters

What was popular in 2013? That’s the question at the heart of a series of lists released by search engines like Bing and Yahoo and blogging sites like Tumblr this past week. While each includes a predictable coterie of celebrities (Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus) and tech toys (iPhone, Xbox, Kindle), a quick comparison of the most-searched travel destinations reveals a startling trend: Not one list is alike.

In fact, there is not a single destination that appears on every list (from Bing, Yahoo and Tumblr) this year. Have a look below:


No. 1 Hawaii

No. 2 The Bahamas

No. 3 London

No. 4 Istanbul

No. 5 Puerto Rico

No. 6 Costa Rica

No. 7 Rome

No. 8 Jamaica

No. 9 Seychelles

No. 10 Bali

Hawaii easily stole the spotlight from mainland America to become Bing’s most-searched place this year, while London maintained its post-Olympics buzz and title as the most-searched destination in Europe for a second year in a row. Elsewhere in the world, Bali proved the most popular destination in Asia, Sydney topped Australia/New Zealand, Johannesburg topped Africa, Istanbul topped the Middle East, Bahamas topped the Caribbean and Salvador (Brazil) topped South America.

Judging by Yahoo’s list, however, Americans weren’t interested in traveling overseas at all:


No. 1 Las Vegas

No. 2 Myrtle Beach

No. 3 New Orleans

No. 4 Key West

No. 5 Atlantic City

No. 6 Virginia Beach

No. 7 Gatlinburg

No. 8 San Diego

No. 9 San Francisco

No. 10 Santa Barbara

Party-friendly domestic hubs (many with casinos nearby) topped Yahoo’s list of most-searched travel destinations in 2013. Yahoo said it was somewhat surprised that “a certain up-and-coming town called New York City” did not make the list, while others like Gatlinburg, Tenn., did. With Chicago and Los Angeles also missing, the Yahoo team surmised that many Americans are likely saving money and vacationing more locally than before.

Then again, Tumblr’s list would seem to disprove that theory:


No. 1 Japan

No. 2 California

No. 3 New York City

No. 4 Paris

No. 5 London

No. 6 Australia

No. 7 England

No. 8 Disneyland

No. 9 Minneapolis

No. 10 France

This is the first time Tumblr created a year in review list and it did so by analyzing the total volume of reblogs per topic. Rounding out the top 20 were Canada, Europe, Italy, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Florida, Chicago, Russia, Brazil and Texas.

So what can we make of all of this information? Not a whole lot. For one, Tumblr and Bing include states and entire countries, while Yahoo only looks at cities. Moreover, Bing and Yahoo look at search engine queries, while Tumblr eyes reblogs.

Perhaps each list says more about the type of American traveler that uses each platform to search for destinations than what was actually hot in 2013. A typical Yahoo user, for example, may lean more toward sunny and coastal domestic destinations known for their nightlife, while Bing users might search more for the exotic. Tumbler bloggers, meanwhile, may prefer to reblog and seek out the tried and true.