Lonely Planet Writer

'What to pack for Cancún?' Google's top travel search of 2015

Always unsure of what to pack? You’re not alone. What to bring along on a trip to Cancún, Mexico was one of the top questions on travellers’ minds in the US this year – or at least when it came to asking Google for help.

What to pack to bring to Cancun was one of the top travel Google searches in the US in 2015.
What to pack to bring to Cancun was one of the top travel Google searches in the US in 2015. Image by dronepicr / CC BY 2.0

Google released its Year in Search data for 2015, which compiles top trending searches in certain categories from around the world. The internet search giant provided top ten lists on a variety of subjects from around the world, one of them being the top travel searches in the US and UK.

Some of this year’s US results were quite specific, as travellers looked for more information on popular destinations like Disneyland, or tried to find activities in smaller US cities like St. Louis, Missoula and Albuquerque.

What to do in Missoula, Montana was one of the top travel-related Google searches in the US last year.
What to do in Missoula, Montana was one of the top travel-related Google searches in the US last year. Image by Justin Brockie / CC BY 2.0

In 2015, these were the top-trending travel questions people were asking in the US according to Google:

  1. What to pack for Cancún?
  2. Where is Disneyland?
  3. What airport is ORD?
  4. When is whale watching season in San Diego?
  5. What is a boutique hotel?
  6. What to do in St. Louis?
  7. What to do in Missoula, MT?
  8. What to do in Louisiana?
  9. What to do in Albuquerque?
  10. Where is Yellowstone National Park?

This year’s questions are much more destination-related than in 2014, when the top trending searches in the US where about how to travel the world, how to travel on a budget and how to start a travel blog.

In the UK, Google provided a top-ten list of of the UK’s trending holiday destination searches:

  1. New York
  2. USA
  3. Australia
  4. Spain
  5. Cornwall
  6. Dubai
  7. Italy
  8. Amsterdam
  9. Greece
  10. Tenerife

The top searched news event of the year was the 13 November terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people, including some tourists. The top questions about Paris from around the globe were about what happened and why,  followed by whether it is safe to travel to Paris.