ESL Podcast Home ESL Podcast Store
HOME > BLOG > Americans’ Top 15 Dream Vacation Destinations

Americans’ Top 15 Dream Vacation Destinations

800px-waikiki_beach_at_sunset.jpgThis is the time of year when many Americans go on vacation. In 2008, a poll was conducted asking 2,500 American adults the following question:

“If you could spend a vacation in any country in the world, outside the United States, and you would not have to worry about the cost, what one country would you choose?”

Here are the top 15 destinations (places to go):

1. Italy
2. Australia
3. Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales)
4. France
5. Ireland
6. Greece
7. Japan
8. Germany
9. Canada
10. Spain
11. New Zealand
12. Switzerland
13. Mexico
14. Bahamas
15. Jamaica

(*Harris Poll conducted June 9 and 16, 2008)

I have been to only five of these destinations, but I’d like to visit them all, plus many more not on this list.

How about you?  Which country, on or off this list, have you never been to, but would like to visit?

~ Lucy

48 Responses to “Americans’ Top 15 Dream Vacation Destinations”

  1. emiliano Says:

    I only have been in France, Italy, and Germany. Where I would like to go?. All of the rest for sure.
    Having to choose some of them, I would like to go United States, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Ireland, Mexico and so on.

    The first of all New Zealand, Australia and Canada by this order, why?
    Because they are so significant to me and specially New Zealand by the film “The Lord of the Rings” as it was made in this country and I love all about this story, the books, all the legens, the movies and of course New Zealand where the shire and Mordor it is.
    If I would go over there it should be possible to see some Hobits, Gandalf, and the Elfos.

    Australia and Canada were the lands where I wanted to go when I was a boy, a lot of years ago.
    So now I would like to visit them and imagine what my life would be if I went to one of these two marvellous lands.

  2. Andrew Says:

    Hi everyone!

    Last time I worked for government (military forces) and had no permission to go abroad (They even did not give me a foreign passpot just in case), but now all obligations of mine are in the past and I am free. Honestly speaking due to economic crisis it is not so easy to visit foreign countries often, but It’s appeared good stimulus to work hard to get opportunity to travel.
    Have a nice trip
    Andrew from Russia

  3. Pedro Bazan Says:

    Hello Jeff and Lucy

    This is my first comment with you, congratulation for your job. With you, my ipod has become a tool for learn english. I’m from Veracruz, Mexico, i invite you to come, it’s a places very nice.

    I will keep listening, I wish you good luck.

  4. Hichem Says:

    Hey there

    Unfortunately, I have never been abroad but I will travel someday for sure inshallah.

    Hichem, Algeria

  5. gregorex Says:

    I was listening today a similar topic on BBC Radio 4. It was about Britons not going for holidays abroad because of the recession. As it turns out it is actually cheaper for Britons to go abroad and they can get better value for money. Apparently hotels in UK are overpriced and dirty. But I must say that it’s very beautiful country and there are many “of the world’s most famous structures”, especially in London and Cambridge, witch I live nearby.

    Come and visit me ;)

  6. elcomandant Says:

    My wife and I like a lot to travel like most of people. In fact we don’t have traveled to many countries but when I’ll be retired we want to travel so much as we can.
    If we would have to choose a country where we would go, we would choose some warm weather country. Probably they would be caribbean countries.

    Normally we traveled to a warm weather country when where we are living is coldest. We have been in Dominican Republic, where the beaches are wonderful but it is a country dangerous due to political situation. We have been in Miami too, in the Virgin Islands, and Canary Islands belonging to Spain, where there is an nearly tropical weather.

    Also there is another continent that we would like to visit. This is Africa. For sure that we had gone many time ago if the security was good.

    We always have had the idea to go to live to a warmer country when I’m retired, but nowadays, when I’m approaching to retirement age, they have appeared two problems that are making we change our mind. This problems are called Daniela and Nicolás. They are our grandchildren and for sure there will be early more of this kind of problems, thank God.

    We will wait to go another warm weather country when the kids have already grown up.

  7. emiliano Says:

    Being now a little more serious what I like most to see or visit is just Europe, USA, and Rusia. When my wife was my girl friend we both used to think in going by car to Moscow from Madrid.
    At that time it was impossible to visit Moscow as Rusia was forbidden to us spaniards. We were living under a political regime in Spain that was against communism and our passports said that we don’t can visit Rusia, Albania, Mongolia and may be another communism countries.

    So going to Moscu by car and seeing San Petesburg and other Rusian cities was impossible then and it has been like a dream to us, my wife and me, the idea of doing that trip.

    Along the years if I wanted to go to London or England always something has happened at the last moment and it has been impossible too.
    The last thing was that my wife fall ill and we have to cancelate the travel to England.
    So London is another failed subject, what a pity.

    Finally New York is my big failed subject too as that city is my second love after Madrid where I was born. In fact I feel myself as a citizen of N.Y. The Big Apple, and if I could travel (what now it is very difficult) I would like to go to N.Y. first of all.

    Yes, I am very ambitious about traveling but actually with the mind only instead of physically.

  8. JY KIM Says:

    Hi, Everyone.

    Firstly, please let me introduce myself.
    Name is Jin Young, from Korea. I’m one of the people who learn English from ESL Podcast.
    And I really love trips.

    I lived in Melbourn in Australia for 1 year, and visited Phuket in Thailand for few days.
    in American TV drama “LOST” (I believe many people know this), Sydney is one of the scenery in this drama. I absolutely can say it’s really awesome place. (Oh! I just realize that i’m writing something isn’t related this topic!. sorry about that)
    anyway, Australia is really much impressed me, and actually it was my first oversea aboard.

    Going back to the topic, i would like to go to Egypt, Turkey, Italy, France, Czech republic and some other countries in the world.
    It’s really hard to decide. I know travell give us precious memories, experiences, and also give us time to think about our own life.
    one more thing is travell has been already started since we decided to go on a trip.

    Enjoy your vacaition.

    and Thanks a lot LUCY & JEFF for sharing nice topic with us.

    Best regards,
    JY

  9. imstevenlee Says:

    What’s the meaning of the sentence “Harris Poll conducted June 9 and 16, 2008″?
    Does it mean the Harris is a company or sth alike made the Poll?
    And what’s the meaning of “June 9 and 16, 2008″?On June 9 and June 16,two days,or,from June 9 to June 16?

  10. khaleel Says:

    well i’ve never been to any of these countries in fact i dont even have passport and i really would like to vist american and live my rest of my life in there after makin a passport

  11. Mesut Unal Says:

    Hi everyone!

    I have been in USA for 5 years, and this country is first country where I visited. I lived in Pennsylvania and now Illinois. In fact, this is big and beautiful country. I want to visit all this country of states in the future. They say here about 200 or 300 years buildings those are historical places.It’s correct for here.
    I’m originally from Turkey. There are a lot of ancient ruins places in my country,and they are more than 500-1000-2000- 3000 years and over. Many civilization lived over there.Such as Hitits, Asurs, Urartus, Greeks, Romans, Bizantiums, Selchuks, Ottomans. Also, Jesus’ mother’s home (Mary’s home) is in Efes (Ephesus) on western area,Turkey. Many tourist visit it from Europe,and become pilgrim. I recomend you to visit my country that everywhere are historical places. Istanbul is the most important and historical a big city. I’m sure you like and enjoy Turkey, also beaches,sun and hospitality. Who knows, you go there someday. I hope, you enjoy your trips.
    Thank you Jeff, for as these topics. I’m listening your website podcast when I’m available. Thanks.

    Best Regards,
    Mesut

  12. mohammad yazdanpanah Says:

    i am mohammad yazdanpanah from iran and im one of your listeners.

    unfortunatly i havr never been abroad,but i love to travel to turkey and us. i think in this list you should add some other countries such as greece , turkey and spain.

    thanks alot from LUCY & JEFF for providing this debate among the people around the world.

  13. Peter Says:

    Let your net be always cast in the pool you least expected you will find a fish.,and I found it here in the blog.

    Very interesting findings,

    Dear Lucy, As far as the English Language goes ,you are the gifted one.

    It is so true that the vacation season is fast approaching and Canadians ,as always, pack their gears ,and the distention is” Cuba. ”

    I don’t know about the US ,But here in Canada,people tend to travel mostly to Can Coon(a major tourist attraction in Mexico) and Cuba. Particularly,in winter time,When the temperature in this Beautiful,subarctic country drops way bellow.

  14. Peter Says:

    Is packing their gears ( Their gears or their gear ???? that I don’t know)

  15. Nina Says:

    I don’t like traveling at all but unfortunately I have to go far for my work. However I am dreaming to go to the USA to improve my English and to Canada and maybe London for the same reason. I’m sure that’s the only way to learn quickly.

  16. Jose Maria, San Sebastian Says:

    Buenos días, everyone !
    Some years ago I am retired and for business and in holydays I now many countries trough Europa, Asia and Amerida (N + S), but one of the best think I have done is to know well my Country: Spain.
    It is so different and so beautiful !
    And the best way for to know it : Walk ¡
    I have walked “El Camino de Santiago” 10 times (more than 9.500 kilometers, always with my rucksack).
    I think I know enough well all kind of spanish people. Maravilloso!
    I invite you to do the same (not necesary 10 times). For example: Sevilla – Santiago, in October. Not to much heat. Every morning, during aprox. 400 kilometers, fresh white grapes. After: chestnuts, apples, mushrooms, etc. Perhaps Lucy and Jeff ???
    If you need, I can send you complet information, in spanish of course.
    Best regards.
    José María, San Sebastián, Spain

  17. emiliano Says:

    Dear Mesut, your are right as Turkey is one of the nicest countries to visit. I have been in it by the year 1993 and have the opportunity of seeing Estambul and traveled along Asia till Ankara and Capadocia.
    If I could I would like to go again and feel the scents of The Gran Bazar in Estambul, one of the most amazing things
    that I have lived traveling.
    The same as being in Santa Sophia, Topkapi and the two great mosques Süleymaniye Camii and Sultanahmed Camii, how
    wonderful places to admire.
    And Capadocia such as an astonishing land to visit to all historians lovers. Yes I had splendid days going through Capadocia
    and the old lands of this big country.
    There in Capadocia, near Kayseri, I went to see a subterranean city Kaymakli ó Ozkonak, where near three thousand people
    may live when their land were invaded and under the ground they have everything to survive for months or years till the
    invaders where out again. I have never seen nothing similar to all this cities or mountains as in Anatolia.

    My daughter Fatima went to Turkey last year I think, and she likes the country till she said she wanted to live there if she
    could, but returned at the end of her hollidays.

    In fact Turkey beside Italy is one of the favourite places to go for the majority of spaniards that go outside in hollidays and
    I think they choose quite well.

    Sorry, I think I have written too much but I am enthusiastic about my travel to Turkey that was one of the best I have done
    in my life.

  18. emiliano Says:

    Reading what Jose Maria said I have to ask him for something.
    Please, Jose Maria if you do another pilgrimage to Santiago I would like to ask you to pray to the Apostol for my wife Cuca who needs a miracle
    from Him about her health.
    I can’t do this pilgrimage as I have to look after her but sure that she needs all possible help from the Saint.
    Thank you and best regards. emiliano

  19. elcomandant Says:

    I agree with José María (from San Sebastian, Spain, i guess), hello José María. In my previous comment I didn’t mention that my country, Spain, is beautiful and it has many different landscapes in spite of being a small country. In addition there are many many many different kinds of food and all of them is tasty.

    A few days ago, a friend of mine said to me:
    – In Galicia they have a dishes splendid, as you know.
    – Why not the cooking of Andalucía?, or Cataluña, or Vascongadas, or Castilla,or Valencia where besides they cook rice all of form posible and magnificently, or, or, or…
    – Yes, you are right – told me – That is true.

    In fact, Spain is a very good place to visit. If you come to Spain and you decide to visit Valencia, you will find several big beaches and you will have the possibility to taste a very good “Paella Valenciana”, typical Spain’s dish in one of the many restaurants at the beach, however, you should be careful where you decide eat it. Mainly you shouldn’t order one already precooked.

    Any way, wherever you visit in Spain, you can be sure that you will enjoy your vacacion.

    Welcome.

  20. emiliano Says:

    As spaniard like elcomandant and Jose Maria to me Spain is the best country to visit, in fact I have been nearly in all cities and regions of my loved country.
    But I think is a little conceited to say what we spaniards are talking as all people round the world think their country is the best in so many ways.

    Honestly I love Madrid, I was born here, but what can I say about Paris? or Praga? or Viena? or Florencia? or Rome? or Budapest? Estambul? and so on.
    I like all of these cities and very much, they are such marvellous cities and of course I can’t compare them with my Madrid because here is my heart.
    Just the same happens with my country, to me the best because my heart and my mind is here and I see Spain with the eyes of a lover.

    So no body could be impartial about the nation or city where he or she was born, always would be the best of all despite we
    like the one we go or live or work. That’s my opinion, I’m sorry.

  21. Cynthia Says:

    None of the above! Crying…………….

  22. Akira Says:

    Hi, everyone. I’m akira, from Japan.
    The country where I’d like to visit is U.S.A.
    Because I like baseball very much, so my dream is to watch MLB games!!

  23. Loreto Says:

    I completely agree with you Emiliano. I was born in Extremadura and lived my first five years in Portugal, but I have been living in Madrid the rest of my life, and it’s the city where I grown up. I love Madrid, and is in my heart too.

    I have been in many cities and different regions in Spain and I think, Spain is so beautiful and many people would have to know it.

    I also identify with Jose María, I have walked “El Camino de Santiago” (I have not been able to finish it by lack of time, but I hope will make it in next future), and without a doubt is the best way for to know it, walking. You feel the world in a different way, more human, direct, nearby……Roberto, my husband has finished once time, and he has already begun to repeat it. “Once the poison itch to you, it was really hard take out”

    I love travel, and I visited a lot of countries around the world, and enjoy a lot these experiences. I visited Japan, Thailand, Egypt, Morocco, Cuba, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, and many countries in Europe. And in all I have enjoyed with his peculiarities.

    But now, living out of my country, It is a complete different experience that I think all the people would have to try,…Remember, many Spaniards comment in different moments saying ” As in Spain, is impossible to live in nowhere”

    And I’m sorry, but I’m disagree with that ……Spain has very good things ….but others don’t….Like all the places in the world, of course

    But people would have to travel more, to know other cultures, other people, other ways of life, before making these affirmations and not feel like the center of the world. (O como diríamos en España, “No creerse el ombligo del mundo”)

    Sorry for being emphatic, for the record, I wish to live my life in Spain, but sometimes bothers me, when many people, talk without previous knowledge.

    I encourage Jeff and Lucy come to Spain soon to visit us (If is possible when I go back)

    Best

  24. Bakhtair Says:

    I would like to revisit the UK again after four years of visiting for the first time in my life, it was great experience,absolutely, also i have been in Jordan twice for career purpose, however the only place that i am interesting to go for leisure and studying is United States of America. hopefully i will go, out of blue

  25. Jose Maria, San Sebastian Says:

    Hi, Emiliano,
    Of course that I am, since this moment, praying my “Friend Santiago”, for your wife Cuca´s health.
    All the best, specially for Cuca.

  26. Peter Says:

    Man ,the Blog truly lightening the mood ,It is one of the things, I like about it.

    Any how,it is not Rally the point. The point is I forgot to mention Florida,Miami, which comes first on the Canadians’ getaway list, particularly during the Canada’s notorious harsh winter.

    When it is freezing cold here, the Well-off take shelter down there to soak up every ounce of sunbeam in the beach resorts that cater for them.

  27. Peter Says:

    Really the point

    Being entirely honest with oneself is a worthwhile exercise (obscure writer) and honestly, My keyboarding needs plenty of exercise.

    It never faills ( writer lucy)

  28. Sergio Pinheiro Rodrigues Says:

    It is unbeliaveble that Brazil is not among the top 10 places to visit, since Rio de Janeiro with its wonderfull beaches and breathtaking views – like Sugar Loaf, for axample.is really a must go. So, dont forget to put it in your list of visits.

  29. Peter Says:

    My Friend Emiliano,

    I do agree with your comment about the country of sunshine Spain. I have been in Madrid once for two weeks .
    The city itself is amazing with all the ancient ,and historic monuments. Literally, everywhere in the city,no matter where you go, you can find some mind-boggling history marks,not to mention The Warm welcoming crowd with a friendly smile.

    My Friend Emiliano,There is a big park right in the centre of the city with an eye-pleasing pound right in the middle of it; what is the name of it?

  30. Peter Says:

    Friendly smiles, sorry for the typo( misspelling)

  31. André Bittencourt Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I live in Brazil but I lived in USA for 3 months a year ago. The Rockford city in ILLINOIS is really beautiful. But in my opnion Brazil should be in this list. Yes, I know some will say that this is a violent or dangerous country but there some places that you can have a good vacation. On my vacation I went to “Porto de Galinhas”. This is the most beautiful place I´ve ever seen in the world.
    Thanks ESLPOD for the great work!!!!!

  32. emiliano Says:

    Thank you very much Jose Maria, Cuca has more faith than me and she knows what I asked you for. Both she and me were in Santiago on the year
    1991 and she likes it all so much, like me. I have been there several years before, when I was a single, the 25 of July and it was incredible.

    Thank you Peter, your are really nice, and the name you asked me for is “Retiro Park” (Parque del Retiro) what it is one of my favorite places to go and walk.
    Just these days there are hundred of stands along the Park with thousand of books till next 14 of june, where you can buy the book you wanted and some time there are also the writers to sign them with a little dedication.

  33. Mesut Says:

    Dear Emiliano,

    Thank you very much that you told good impression about my country,Turkey.In fact, you were effected by your vacation to Turkey where you traveled from Istanbul to Capadokia. Futhermore, you have to see Pamukkale (it’s unique place in the world) and Marmaris.Bodrum, and Antalya. Anyway… I’d like to visit to Spain, too. Because of my curiosity such as Al-Hamra palace, also Strait of Gibralter (We say in Turkish Language that is “Cebeli Tarik Bogazi”) I love history and I want to see Endulus-Emevi empire’s ruins in Spain. I visit it some day if God (Allah) willing me.
    Take care.

  34. bern Says:

    Nobody visited my country, Argentina????Why???? and Brazil????

  35. Peter Says:

    Thanks my friend Emiliano,

    Thanks for the response. I took away lots of good memories from my two week stay in your beautiful country.I was lucky my friend because at the time I was there ,there was a festival going on right in Downtown at a square-like area surrounded with old buildings where hundreds of people had gotten together to watch a variety of performances ranging from dancing to acrobats on the stage put up in there.Plus,there were a bunch of artist drew your portrait. There were some life-still paintings( painting of objects like fruit) for sale as well.

  36. Peter Says:

    There was a bunch(a lot) of artists drawing your portrait, sorry for the rookie mistake(silly,childish).I always put down my thoughts careless and fast.

  37. emiliano Says:

    Well, nobody may have any doubt that Brazil and Argentina are wonderful and fascinating countries to visit always. In fact I know
    some friends that have been in Argentina and Brazil spending their hollidays.
    To us the problem is that there is a long distance to them and it is quite expensive to fly to both of them. Beside they are so large that sometimes is difficult to decide what to see once in the country.
    I think it is the same with Venezuela, Colombia, Chile or Peru (and all the latinoamerica countries). It is sure that all these are marvellous countries to go but so far too.

    The best: to have enough money, plenty of time to travel, good health, good company and no fear to go everywhere, melting with the people of
    the cities and the lands, having their food and knowing their customs.
    I think that nearly all countries have their beautiful places to see and their nice people to know and all what we need is eyes to see them, mind to asimilate, a lot of time, some money and English to talk everywhere.
    If we have two lifes to live I would like to spend one of them traveling every place of the whole world.

  38. Mesut Says:

    Hi Bern,

    I’ve been living in US for 5 years. If I have enough money, I will visit all Latin America countries, also Arjantin and Brasil. Because there is a proverb in Turkish language that is “It doesn’t know who read a lot, but It knows who see a lot.” To see is different than to read it. Don’t worry, there are a lot people to see your country, I’m one of them, too.The tango,samba, rainforests and much more!
    Take care.

  39. Ibrahim Hudhaif Says:

    Jeff + Lucy,

    I am one of your listeners from Saudi Arabia. I really enjoy your Podcasts where I try to keep up with your episodes to maintain a fair level of my English language. Please keep up the good work and I will continue to enjoy your excellent Podcasts.

    Good luck!
    Ibrahim

  40. Ping Says:

    I have been to most of the European countries and Japan, never been to North America, i’m hoping to go there in the near future.

    Welcome you all to China, although it’s not in the top list~

    Ping from Beijing, China

  41. emiliano Says:

    Are there any friends of the Blog from The Republic of Iceland ?

    I would like to know if are there as my little girl is going to Iceland and as much information she gets the better for her travel, and for me.
    So please tell me and I´ll be grateful to have some clues about your country and the things she may do for her hollidays.

    Thank you in advance. emiliano

  42. phuong huynh Says:

    hi everyone ,
    My name Phuong . Now I live in VIET NAM .I like ESL podcast very much . Especially , this topic . Why ? Because i love to travel .
    I didn’t go to travel a lot but i went to Hong Kong and Thailand several time for business travel not traveling .If i have change I want to go to a lot of country on over the world .Firstly , I would like to go to Italy , France , Spain , U.S and Egyt .And now , I’m going to Hong Kong in next week . This time I hope I will finish work soon so that I can travel some places for shopping and eating . Hong Kong is wonderful place for shopping .I hope to see everyone soon when we travel .

    Thanks Jeff and Lucy for nice topic .

  43. bar jazzy Says:

    hi, it is the first time for me to give a comment. in my opinion those are really an exciting places to visit. however, the first place i wanna visit is Greece because of the old civilization. i tend to think that it will be great to be there. beside, it is close to Italy, great Britain, France, etc. therefore i can visit those countries if i have enough budget.

  44. bar jazzy Says:

    in my previous comment, i forgot to say something: visit BALI ISLAND AND LOMBOK ISLAND INDONESIA. will see you next time.

  45. Norma Reyes Says:

    Good afternoon Jeff, Lucy and friends

    I have a dream since I was a children!!!

    just one…. and this dream it’s go to Egypt

    thank you for your great work!

    I’m back again!!!!!

  46. Bruce Lee Says:

    Apart from countries that were listed in above table, there are some good places to go on vacation in Summer.
    First of all, I’d like to recommend you to go to Thailand where is located in South east Asia.
    I went there two times in 2004 with my colloegue & in 2007 with my wife for honey-moon.

    There are some beautiful beaches to enjoy sea bathing & para-sailing which people are flying with parachute that a boat is pulling.

    How about going to Thailand for next year’s summer?

  47. Leehg Says:

    Given such a choice, I’d choose to go to Japan with my best friend. When I was small, I was deeply influenced by a Japanese movie about a girl learning to make Japanese traditional cakes. She lived in a small town in the countryside i think. I hope that someday I can go there with my best friend. I love the peacefulness of the field and the small path.
    How many days more will I have to wait for my dream to come true???

  48. Valerie Says:

    I’d like to visit the US, Canada, Australia, Italy, Spain, France, Montenegro(Chernogoria), Switzerland and also many other countries. I like traveling, but money…:(