Industry NewsTripadvisor: Travelers Are Placing High Priority on Summer Vacations

Tripadvisor: Travelers Are Placing High Priority on Summer Vacations

NEEDHAM, Massachusetts—Travelers around the world continue to place a high priority on summer vacations, according to the annual Summer Travel Index released by Tripadvisor. Ninety-five percent of respondents are planning to travel as much (51 percent) or more (44 percent) than last summer, despite some concern about economic headwinds. Over a quarter (26 percent) of U.S. travelers are planning to spend $5,000 or more on their getaways.

Tripadvisor’s Summer Travel Index also highlights the top summer destinations for 2024, with Las Vegas claiming the top spot for U.S. domestic travelers and Cancun leading the way for U.S. consumers traveling internationally.

U.S. Spending

U.S. travelers surveyed said they are prepared to open their wallets, prioritizing adventure over other expenditures. Nearly all (92 percent) U.S. respondents plan to spend at least the same amount on travel as last summer, while more than half expect to spend even more than in 2023. Of those, many plan to level up their travel by taking more trips (44 percent), traveling for longer (55 percent), and venturing farther from home, with 44 percent of respondents planning to travel more than seven hours to their destination.

“As travel continues to defy expectations, we’re seeing an uptick in travel intent, with consumers channeling discretionary spending toward vacations and experiences, despite increasingly squeezed household budgets for many,” says Alice Jong, senior research analyst at Tripadvisor. “Travel consumers want to see new places and engage in new experiences, exemplified by the one-third of travelers planning to explore a destination for the first time.”

Good News

As expected, cost and unpredictable weather top the list of reasons U.S. respondents are hesitant to travel, yet despite that, this year’s Summer Travel Index revealed that consumers have overwhelmingly positive feelings about their upcoming travel plans, outnumbering those reporting negative ones by a significant margin (86 percent). About 4 in 5 U.S. respondents said they are comfortable traveling this summer, reporting feelings of “excitement” (67 percent), “happiness” (65 percent), and “optimism” (37 percent) about their summer escapes, which they are planning in order to “make memories” (50 percent), “let loose” (41 percent) and “have an adventure” (36 percent).

Summer Travel Index: 2024 Top Summer Travel Destinations

From Cancun to Las Vegas, U.S. travelers are seeking entertainment, sporting events, and adventure in the summer of 2024.

Top global summer travel destinations for US citizens include:

  1. Cancun, Yucatan Peninsula
  2. London, England
  3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Top domestic summer travel destinations for U.S. citizens include:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada
  2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  3. Orlando, Florida

In looking at markets around the globe, the top three summer 2024 destinations of choice for British travelers are Antalya, Turkey; Barcelona, Spain; and Benidorm, Spain. For Japanese travelers, the top three summer travel destinations are Seoul, South Korea; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Bangkok, Thailand.

Popular international destinations for U.S. travelers are:

  1. Cancun, Mexico
  2. London, England
  3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  4. Paris, France
  5. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  6. Rome, Italy
  7. Bavaro, Dominican Republic
  8. Palm – Eagle, Aruba
  9. Barcelona, Spain
  10. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Popular domestic destinations for U.S. travelers are:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada
  2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  3. Orlando, Florida
  4. Honolulu, Hawaii
  5. New York City, New York
  6. Chicago, Illinois
  7. Key West, Florida
  8. Ocean City, Maryland
  9. San Diego, California
  10. Boston, Massachusetts

The fastest-growing international destinations for U.S. travelers are:

  1. Maunabo, Puerto Rico
  2. Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria
  3. Playa Avellana, Costa Rica
  4. Cusco, Peru
  5. Iru-fushi, Maldives
  6. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
  7. Aguas Calientes, Peru
  8. Male, Maldives
  9. Fasmendhoo, Maldives
  10. Andros, Bahamas

The fastest-growing domestic destinations for U.S. travelers are:

  1. Yosemite National Park, California
  2. College Station, Texas
  3. Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
  4. Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania
  5. Waimea, Hawaii
  6. Fort Byers Beach, Florida
  7. Tavernier, Florida
  8. Sandusky, Ohio
  9. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  10. Mackinac Island, Michigan
Things to Do: Top Vacation Experiences for Summer 2024

Just as travel frequency is up in comparison to last summer, spending during vacation is also trending upwards. Eighty-five percent (85 percent) of U.S. travelers agree that tours and experiences are an important part of their travel budget, with museums and art galleries (33 percent), food and wine tours (33 percent), and amusements and water parks (32 percent) topping their lists. And, while some of their activities are pre-planned, most travelers value spontaneity, with over half of U.S. travelers (56 percent) determining at least part of their itineraries “in the moment” based on real-time feelings.