With more than 100,000 properties in 19,000 cities and 192 countries worldwide, Airbnb is one of the largest websites pairing travelers with empty rooms. The site has the inside track on spring destinations trending around the world and they shared their data exclusively with ABCNews.com.
Some unexpected destinations showed the largest spike in bookings compared to the same time last year, with six international spots topping the list. Vivek Wagle, senior marketing manager of Airbnb, shared his insights on why these places are trending now. Click through to find out what spots are heating up and get there soon before the word gets out.
"As Japan continues to rebuild its tourism prowess post-earthquake, getting there is more affordable than ever. The spring is a great time to go to Tokyo. Once cherry blossoms, or "sakura" bloom, locals gather in Ueno Park, Inokashira Park, and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, for picnics under the cherry trees. It's a great time to experience the "real" Tokyo," said Wagle.
Spring is the perfect time to visit Siena, Wagle said. Before the annual Palio horse races in July and August draw summer tourists in droves, "fewer tourists and lower prices during the spring season mean travelers have more elbow room to meander through the museums and historic sites of this medieval town."
|Crete & Thira (Santorini), Greece|
"Island hopping in Greece during the spring has long been popular among savvy traveling Europhiles," said Wagle. "Crete offers a more relaxing, but equally culture-rich, escape than party-central Mykonos. Also, Thira or "Santorini" will really get you off the grid into a world of tranquility." He does add, however, that given reports of civil unrest in parts of Greece, travelers should "exercise common sense. Check out U.S. government travel warnings, be aware of where your local embassy is, and learn the cultural norms so you can be a courteous traveler."
|Mallorca de Palma, Spain|
"Travelers of all interests and backgrounds flock to Palma de Mallorca for a warm-weather city escape during the spring," Wagle said. "Here, every type of traveler finds what they need – from family-friendly beaches and hillside spa retreats to unique food culture and vibrant nightlife."
"While the summer -- particularly August -- can get overbearingly hot in Valencia, mid-to-late spring is just right - still warm enough for fun on the beach," said Wagle. "In early spring, families will love the spectacle of the annual "Fallas de San José" festival during which the city fills with gigantic cardboard monuments, called ninots, along with fireworks and other stunning sights."
"April is the perfect time to visit the south of France as it is just the right temperature (67 degrees on average) to walk around and discover all of the historical landmarks, including the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Doms Avignon and The Palais des Papas Avignon," said Wagle. For oenophiles, Avignon acts as a convenient hub for enjoying the Southern Rhone wine region."