Few benchmarks tell us quite so much about our current culture or drive as many decisions as Google queries, and the Google Trends summary of 2021 reveals plenty of our fascinations during yet another unprecedented year. If you need some travel inspiration for the coming year, consider capitalizing on last year’s trends with these 5 destinations that match what we’ve all been searching anyway.
In January 2021, searchers were more curious about sea shanties than ever before. These often-whimsical little ditties date back to the British merchant ships of the early 19th century (you probably know the one about the drunken sailor) and if you want to connect with your maritime musical history, consider a visit to Liverpool, England, where Royal Albert Dock is one of the city’s top attractions, including plenty of original buildings from the period. You’ll also find the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Titanic Memorial at Pier Head and the National Waterways Museum. Complete a themed visit with a stay at 30 James Street, just across from Pier Head, with a Titanic-inspired room here, the original home of the White Star Line, and the site where the famous ship was commissioned.
San Antonio, Texas
When a brutal winter dropped crippling temperatures and snow across areas of Texas that rarely receive such meteorological messes, large swaths of the state were left helpless as communities went without power and provisions. Google searches for “how to help Texas” soared not just across America, but worldwide, during this shocking weather event. The city of San Antonio rarely receives snow, often going years between racking up even 2 inches of accumulation, but scored four separate days of snowfall in February 2021, alone. Today, during calmer and safer times, explore the home of the Alamo, where you’ll also find the popular River Walk, free historical parks and plenty of art. Check in to Hotel Havana, with plenty of colorful history of its own, for a boutique stay in a legendary setting.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pope Francis may have recently chastised pet parents worldwide, but plant parents are the new pawrents anyway and no one has yet criticized them. How popular is plant parenting among Millennials and Gen Z? In March 2021, “how to move with plants” surpassed both “how to move with kids” and “how to move with pets” in Google searches worldwide. If you want to incorporate some serious plant appreciation into your next major getaway, head to Rio de Janeiro where you’ll find the sprawling Jardim Botcânico, with more than 6,500 species and the stunning Avenue of Royal Palms. Carry the lush forest vibes all the way to your hotel with a stay at La Maison by Dussol, a chic boutique surrounded by verdant vegetation and poolside sunset views.
In May 2021, Miss Mexico won the crown at the Miss Universe pageant, prompting “miss universe mexico winners” searches to spike 3,450%. Why? This wasn’t the first time Mexico snagged the title. While the United States may still lead Venezuela as the most crowned country, Mexico does tie a few other countries for fifth place with 3 wins to date. The current reigning queen originally hails from Chihuahua, Mexico, better known for its eponymous temperamental dog breed than tourism, but there’s plenty to see in this less-visited Mexican destination. Reserve a room at the historic Central Hotel Boutique just steps from the baroque Cathedral of Chihuahua and 18th-century government palace. From here, you can also hop a spectacularly scenic train ride through the gorges of Copper Canyon.
October is Filipino Heritage Month (officially Filipino American Heritage Month) in the United States, and the month saw a surge in searches for “filipino bakery near me” across the country during in 2021. While indulging in desserts may not be the most impactful way to explore a culture, it’s certainly among the most delicious. To take this culinary adventure to its fullest, potential, head to Manila, home of some of the most beloved bakeries in the Philippines. Explore city favorites like Purple Oven and Hizon’s Cakes & Pastries with breaks between binges at the waterfront Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila overlooking the bay.