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Top 10 trending holiday destinations for Canadians, according to KAYAK

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is a top trending destination for holiday travel for Canadians this year.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is a top trending destination for holiday travel for Canadians this year. Andr Babiak / Getty Images

Canadians are planning their winter holidays and while destinations like Fort Lauderdale and Cancun remain the top popular choices for many, others, however, are deviating from the norm and choosing try somewhere new.

And among those new choices are destinations that offer plenty of sun and culture, travel website Kayak.com reveals in their Top Trending Holiday Destinations for Canadians report.

READ MORE: Here’s the best time to book your holiday travel

“A trending destination is one that has seen a large increase in searches this year compared to the same time last year,” David Solomito, vice-president of brand marketing North America, says. “One thing that has remained consistent with Canadian travel over the holidays is that people have warm weather on their mind.”

(A popular destination refers to cities that see the most total searches and tend to stay fairly consistent.)

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So to see which destinations are seeing a spike, Kayak gathered internal data on searches conducted between Jan.1, 2017 and Sept. 18, 2017, for travel from Canada happening between Dec. 1, 2017 and Jan. 15, 2018. Kayak then looked at the same search and travel dates for the previous year.

These are the top trending destinations they found based on their data. Included are the best times to book for that destination, the median affair you can expect to pay to get there and how much the search has spiked on the Kayak website.

Montego Bay, Jamaica takes the number one spot for Canadians this holiday travel season.

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“Jamaica made it through hurricanes and tropical storms relatively unscathed so it’s a great option for anyone faced with decisions about where to travel in the Caribbean,” Solomito says. “With an average temperature in December hovering between 26 to 29 degrees, it’s the perfect getaway for cold weather-averse Canadians.”

Coming in second is Kauai, which is the oldest island of the Hawaiian Islands, according to the island’s tourism website. It is known as one of the best places to relax, Frommer’s says, as well as for its golden beaches, rainforests and majestic cliffs.

At number three is São Paulo, Brazil. Lonely Planet describes the destination as enormous and says it can even be an intimidating location to visit. The city of São Paulo is filled with museums, parks and beautiful buildings. It is not immediately close to the ocean, however, so you may have to drive a bit to find a beach.

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In fourth place is Cancun, which also made it onto Kayak’s list of most popular destinations for Canadians in second place. Cancun is divided into two parts: hotel party zones filled with beaches and a bustling party scene, and the actual city which is full of culture, Lonely Planet says.

Singapore, which takes the number five spot, is one that caught the attention of Solomito.

“Singapore was a bit surprising to see on the list,” Solomito says. “Singapore is a gateway to the rest of Asia, and over the last two years we’ve seen a major increase in the number of airlines flying direct from Canada to Asia.”

READ MORE: Travel Tuesday: The nine items you need for your next big trip

Travellers looking for rich culture will find it in Singapore, Frommer’s says.

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Another Jamaican makes it onto the list, this time Kingston, which sits at number six.

It is the capital city of Jamaica and sits on the southeast coast of the island. This busy city is home to the seventh largest harbour and is named a Creative City of Music by UNESCO in 2015, Lonely Planet reports.

The resort town Puerto Vallarta, which sits on the west coast of Mexico, snags the number seven spot on the trending list.

Frommer’s names the town its favourite part of the country, which is full of natural beauty and art.

Next up is Las Vegas.

Despite recent tragedy, Canadians do not seem deterred from visiting Sin City. It’s an exciting place to be and it’s full of entertainment and dazzle, Lonely Planet says. Catch performances by top artists like Britney Spears, Elton John and more, as well as plenty of illusion and other types of acts.

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At number nine is Lima, Peru.

It is the second-driest world capital (Cairo is number one). It has a long coastline and beautiful cliffs, and is described by Lonely Planet as “one part southern [California] doused with a heavy dose of America Latina.”

And finally, at number 10, Barcelona.

This Spanish city on the Mediterranean Sea is described by Frommer’s as “quirky, cosmopolitan and effortlessly cool.” There’s also an active party scene, as well as plenty of food to try.

– Graphics by Deepak Sharma

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