With summer right around the corner, it’s not just the weather that’s heating up. Tripadvisor’s 2021 Summer Travel Index reveals that—with every passing day—travel is making a big comeback. Nearly half of Americans (43%) in a recent Tripadvisor survey believe travel activity will rebound within three months. With Americans no longer settling for staycations and local trips, it appears true vacation getaways are coming back en vogue.
More than two-thirds of Americans (67%) are planning to travel this summer (June 1-Aug. 31), which is a 17% increase from those who traveled this spring (March 1-May 31). Millennials are the most excited to get back out there with the vast majority (72%) of the generation planning trips. Although many still plan to drive to their destination (43%), 19% plan to fly, up 4% from this spring.
Americans are done with quiet staycations and hanging out idly in their homes; they’re excited to get out and about. Compared to the first week of January, hotel searches are up 65%, searches for experiences (attractions and tours) increased by 78% and restaurant searches are up 53%.
What’s hot this summer?
- Of those planning to travel, 74% of Americans will take a domestic trip and 13% will travel internationally.
- Americans are ready for longer R&R, with 29% taking a weeklong trip and 28% vacationing for 10 days.
- Most popular travel weeks begin June 21 and June 28, timed around Independence Day.
- More than half (53%) of Americans plan to spend more on trips this year vs. last summer, rising to 66% for millennials. Globally, Americans are the biggest summer spenders, planning to shell out 9% more than the average traveler around the world.
- The most important amenities for American travelers are clean hotels, free cancelations and hotels with restaurants.
- Beach destinations continue to shine this summer, with travelers most interested in Florida and Mexico. Their choice of where to stay reiterates that desire: the most popular accommodation types for 2021 summer trips are all-inclusives and beach resorts.
The most popular destinations (and their most booked hotel) for Americans this summer are:
- Cancun, Mexico (Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun)
- Orlando, FL (The Delaney Hotel)
- Myrtle Beach, SC (Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations)
- Key West, FL (Havana Cabana at Key West)
- Miami Beach (The Standard, Miami)
- Las Vegas (Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas)
- Playa del Carmen, Mexico (Banyan Tree Mayakoba)
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences)
- Tulum, Mexico (Ahau Tulum)
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana)
Globally, nearly half (48%) of travelers are planning summer trips, with more than a third (38%) staying domestic and less than one in 10 (9%) venturing internationally. Destinations like Bora Bora and Dubai top the list of most searched international destinations this April, while Greece and Iceland gained the most momentum in the last several months.
Tripadvisor used two sources for this data: 1) a Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Survey, based on data drawn from an online survey of over 2,500 consumers, in partnership with Qualtrics, conducted between April 1 and April 8 across six countries, the U.S., U.K., Australia, Italy, Singapore and Japan. Generations cited are broken down by the following age ranges: 57-75 (Baby boomer), 41-56 (Generation X), 25 – 40 (millennials) and 18-24 (Generation Z); and 2) site behavioral data sourced from first-party traffic data on the Tripadvisor platform, gathered during the week commencing March 22, for searches made by U.S. travelers from Jan. 1 through March 26 for travel from June 1 through Aug. 31.