It is the great American divide, an almost exact east to west split of where U.S. travellers are most likely to take their holidays. For most of the western half of the country, the top travel destination is Mexico with its famous beach resorts in the likes of Cancún and Acapulco.
Across the eastern states, however, the preference is for the Caribbean with Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, St Lucia and Antigua proving particularly popular. The research by online travel insurance firm Insuremytrip broke down all fifty states (and Washington D.C.) according to where their residents were most likely to travel.
Nationwide, the Caribbean came out on top with 26 different states – including Pennsylvania, Florida, and Georgia – choosing holidays there most often. Mexico was by far the next most popular choice with sixteen of the U.S. states picking their near neighbour as the destination of choice.
There were some outliers, however, and in Hawaii for instance, the most popular travel spot was Japan, 6600 kilometres to the west. Four states in the northeast of the US had Italy as their favoured destination, with travellers from Connecticut, Maine, New York and Vermont all most likely to choose the Belpaese for their next holiday.
The United Kingdom was the top choice for residents of both the District of Columbia and – perhaps more surprisingly – Alaska (which is almost 4500 miles away). It was also the most popular choice for people from Montana and Massachusetts.
Insuremytrip said while the Caribbean and Mexico dominated, other destinations were starting to grow in popularity with Thailand and Israel, in particular, growing in popularity.
Other countries that regularly featured in the top five choices for each state included perennial favourites Spain and France, along with next-door neighbour Canada. The findings were based on every travel insurance purchase for the entirety of 2017 for travel outside of the United States.