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Andy Cohen gets candid about facing a ‘travel crossroads’ and life with his son Benjamin

Andy Cohen gets candid about facing a ‘travel crossroads’ and life with his son Benjamin

With 2019 pulling to a close and the holiday season in full swing, many of us are planning for the year ahead with one thing on our minds as the end-of-year stress starts to mount — vacation!

This year, travel sites Expedia and VRBO teamed up to roll out their top trends for 2020 travel, from the most sought-after destinations in the world to what exactly travelers are looking for when they get there.

The travel powerhouses recently tapped the king of Bravo himself, Andy Cohen, to delve into those trends and travel choices as his needs will be shifting and changing in the decade ahead with the addition of his son, Benjamin Allen.

Though in-demand cities and countries varied between sources, one thing was clear across all the destinations that appeared across both lists of top tourist destinations for 2020 — non-touristy, oft-the-grid locations are on the hotlist, as Christie Hudson, Head of PR for Brand Expedia North America pointed out:

“When we looked at where travelers went in 2019, we saw that the biggest growth in demand was happening for destinations that aren’t the usual tourist hotspotsFor example, instead of Venice or Rome, the top trending Italian destinations were in Sardinia and the Italian Riviera. We hope this report shines a light on new places to explore and inspires people to start planning their travel for 2020.”

Take a look at Expedia’s top 10 trending destinations for 2020:

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Expedia top 10 countries to visit 2020

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10. India

Goa (+25%), Ahmedabad (+15%), Delhi (+15%), Kolkata (+10%)

9. Brazil

Fortaleza (+35%), Iguazu Falls (+10%), Sao Paulo (+10%

8. Portugal

Porto (+55%), Faro (+35%), Lisbon (+10

7. Mexico

Campeche (+95%), Oaxaca (+60%), Puerto Escondido (+50%), Mexico City (+30%

6. Australia 

Sydney (+20%), Cairns (+20%), Adelaide (+15%), Melbourne (+10%), Gold Coast(+10%), Perth (+5%)

5. Italy

Cagliari (+40%), Genoa (+5%), Olbia (+5%), Calabria (+5%

4. Japan

Naha/Okinawa (+45%), Sapporo (+40%), Tokyo (+20%), Osaka (+20%)

3. Peru

Trujillo (+35%), Lima (+15%), Arequipa (+5%)

2. Canada

Winnipeg (+465%), Saskatoon (+425%), Regina (+400%), Halifax (+365%)

1. Spain & Canary Islands

Ibiza (+50%), Palma de Mallorca (+35%), Oviedo (+30%), Seville (+15%)




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For Cohen, however, the next few years of travel look like they might be quite the opposite of that for him and baby Benjamin — and he is quite at peace with that realization:

“Usually I’m drawn to a beach or a chill-out, somewhere where I can hunker down. I feel like with [Benjamin] it’s going to be more of Disney [World] and Universal [Studios] and I’m down for that, I signed up for it!

I used to not lean into tourist things but I think with a child, you do it with glee.”

Regardless of whether Cohen will be staying in amusement park hubs or quiet beach-y getaways, the one thing that he knows he’ll need wherever he ends up is the proper accommodation:

“I always love to travel. I’m a major traveler — it’s one of the few things that I actually spend my money on and now my travel needs have totally changed. I’ve always used Expedia, but this is my first time using VRBO and it’s perfect because I’m at a travel crossroads. I’m now not only traveling alone — I have a son, I have a baby nurse. I roll deep now and so I have deep needs. VRBO is there for all of them. I’m looking to rent spaces that aren’t hotel rooms anymore, I’m looking for unique homes. A lot of space and a kitchen and things that I need now that I never needed before.”

Here are VRBO’s top trending destinations for 2020, both in the United States and internationally:

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VRBO top destinations 2020

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5. International — Florence, Italy

4. US — Panama City Beach, Florida

3. International — London, England, UK

3. US — Miramar and Rosemary Beach, Florida

2. International — Paris, France

2. US — Gulf Shores, Alabama 

1. International — Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

1. US —  Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 




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VRBO found that many travelers within the United States are booking homes and trips right in their own backyards, with data showing that the biggest traveler origin market for major cities like Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas was travelers from those same cities.  

Cohen has also developed a recent adoration for same-city stays, perfecting the art of the ‘staycation’ by making his home a place of peace, a sanctuary where coming back and sitting for a moment with Benjamin feels like the ultimate R&R package that money can buy:

“The baby has really grounded me and I’ve spent more time at home in the last nine months than I have in the last 30 years that I’ve lived in New York. And that’s great because inside my home .. I feel like I’m on vacation there, I absolutely love it. I’m building a beach house out on Long Island so that will be a great staycation place, too.

I just find moments of peace when I can. Today’s been crazy but I fed my child this morning and then I ran out, I was home by noon. I got to feed him lunch, ran out and taped a show, came home and just sat with him for a half an hour. I’ll be home in time to put him to bed and then I’ll go tape and do my show live so actually those times with him when I’m able to just sit there with him and leave my phone in the other room, it’s really grounding and great. The truth of the matter is that there are a lot of dual home and working parents that are gone all day long and don’t get to be there at various points during the day so I’m lucky for that.”

The next place you can expect Cohen when he gets a hot minute to make an international getaway? The sunny, seaside country that more Americans have been traveling to more than anywhere in the world per VRBO’s findings  — Portugal:

“I’d love to go to Portugal. [My team has] been trying to get my shows on in Australia now and they’ve been trying to get me to go there but I’m noodling around with that — seems like a lot right now, but you never know.” 

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