Scandinavians love to travel, that’s no secret. In fact, Nordic countries occupy 4 out of the top 5 spots in a study conducted pre-covid which measured which countries travel most (with Americans coming in on 2nd place just after Finland on 1st, and before #3 Sweden, #4 Denmark and #5 Norway).
Travel habits have changed for most people during 2020 and 2021, but we can still get a decent idea of where Scandinavians like to travel by looking at data from 2019 and comparing that to more recent data, which of course will slowly return to “normal” as restrictions gradually disappear.
Where do Scandinavians travel to these days?
Scandinavians travel a lot within the region — especially so during 2020 and 2021 — but when they go outside of the Nordics they generally prefer warmer destinations in countries like Spain, Greece, Thailand, Turkey, and Italy.
Let’s take a detailed look at the top destinations in recent years for Scandinavian travelers:
Top destinations for Scandinavians traveling abroad in 2019:
9. Palma de Mallorca
10. New York
Note: No data as travel restrictions prevented travel to most destinations due to the global pandemic.
Top destinations for Scandinavians traveling abroad in 2021:
1. Rhodes, Greece
2. Cyprus, Greece
3. Crete, Greece
4. Mallorca, Spain
5. Antalya Coast, Turkey
Note: Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 still in effect for many destinations.
Scandinavian Traveller’s Dream Destinations in 2019
How about if one could go anywhere one wanted? Scandinavian Airlines asked their passengers to name their dream destination (for a chance to win a trip there), and this is how they answered in each Scandinavian country:
|1. Alanya, Turkey||1.New York, USA||1. Tokyo, Japan|
|2. Tokyo, Japan||2. Tokyo, Japan||2. New York, USA|
|3. New York, USA||3. Miami, USA||3. Miami, USA|
|4. Alicante, Spain||4. Malaga, Spain||4. Malaga, Spain|
|5. Miami, USA||5. Rome, Italy||5. Hong Kong, HK|
|6. Rome, Italy||6. Chicago, USA||6. Alicante, Spain|
|7. Athens, Greece||7. Hong Kong, HK||7. Rome, Italy|
|8. Malaga, Spain||8. Athens, Greece||8. Chicago, USA|
|9. Copenhagen, Denmark||9. Paris, France||9. London, UK|
|10. Hong Kong, HK||10. Palma de Mallorca, Spain||10. Dublin, Ireland|
Why do Scandinavians travel so much?
Scandinavians are thought to travel a lot due to a combination of three things: high average incomes, harsh winter weather conditions, and a high cost of living.
When the cold winter winds start making conditions pretty bleak in the Nordics, it’s not hard to understand why anyone would like to get away for some warmth and sunshine — even if just for a week.
Traveling is of course expensive, but when you have a good average income and life is cheaper abroad than at home, it’s even easier to see why Scandinavians travel so much.