Travel | January 23, 2023 1:36 pm

Is 2023 the Year of the Valentine’s Day Trip?

Travel searches around February 14 are up nearly 50% from last year

A heart drawn in the sand on a beach with waves in the background. This might be the year of the Valentine's Day trip.
There's still time to book that romantic getaway.
Getty

Everyone loves to complain about birthdays that fall too close to Christmas, but try having one that’s 10 days after your boyfriend’s, and just four after Valentine’s Day.

A week and a half that, when single, was typically pretty quiet save for the incessant reminders to my friends that my birthday was approaching is now among the busiest of my year where celebrations are involved (my dog’s birthday falls in there, too). It’s why, a few years back, we decided that in lieu of gifts we’d commit to taking a trip somewhere between February 8 and 18, but always over Valentine’s Day. It’s generally a quiet week as travel goes anyway, and high time for a warm-weather escape. This year we’re taking our talents to Tanzania.

The problem? We’re apparently far from the only ones with plan to do so. Per a new report from Allianz Partners USA, searches for Valentine’s Day travel plans are up 45% in 2023 compared to last year.

After a review of more than 700,000 itineraries for roundtrip flights departing U.S. airports between Thursday, February 2 and Monday, February 6, with a return between Thursday, February 9 and Monday, February 13, the travel insurance company found that 71% of them are for domestic travel and 29% are for international trips.

With few exceptions, they’re all headed to warmer climates. The report revealed that the top locales for a domestic holiday vacation are Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida; Honolulu and Kahului, Hawaii; Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Denver, Colorado. On the international front, the most popular destinations include Cancun, San Jose del Cabo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Oranjestad, Aruba; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; San José and Liberia, Costa Rica; and Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

None of this should come as a surprise. Ahead of the holidays, a study from GetYourGuide showed that 77% of Americans prefer receiving experiences over physical gifts. A second study revealed that six in 10 American adults plan on taking a trip within the next six or so months. It’s easy to see how the week of Valentine’s Day would fit the bill. That said, I’m not exactly disappointed to see that Tanzania didn’t make the top destinations for 2023. It’s my birthday week after all.