Tripadvisor’s 2021 Summer Travel Index Predicts a Travel Comeback

Travel Planning

NEEDHAM, Massachusetts — 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 U.S. travelers (43 percent) in a recent Tripadvisor survey believe travel activity will rebound within three months. With U.S. travelers no longer settling for staycations and local trips, it appears true vacation getaways are coming back.

According to first-party traffic to Tripadvisor, over two-thirds of U.S. travelers (67 percent) are planning to travel this summer (June 1 through August 31), which is a 17 percent increase from those who traveled this spring (March 1 through May 31). Millennials are the most excited to travel, with the vast majority (72 percent) of the generation planning trips. Although many still plan to drive to their destination (43 percent), 19 percent plan to fly, up 4 percent from this spring.

U.S. travelers are done with staycations and staying at home; they’re excited to get out. Compared to the first week of January, hotel searches are up 65 percent, searches for experiences (attractions and tours) increased by 78 percent, and restaurant searches are up 53 percent.

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Of those planning to travel, 74 percent of U.S. travelers will take a domestic trip and 13 percent will travel internationally. U.S. travelers ready for longer rest and relaxation, with 29 percent taking a weeklong trip and 28 percent vacationing for 10 days.

The most popular travel weeks begin June 21 and June 28, timed around Independence Day. Over half (53 percent) of U.S. travelers plan to spend more on trips this year versus last summer, rising to 66 percent for Millennials. Globally, U.S. travelers are the biggest summer spenders, planning to shell out 9 percent more than the average traveler around the world.

Clean hotels, free cancelations, and hotels with restaurants are the most important amenities to travelers. Beach destinations will 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-inclusive and beach resorts.

The most popular destinations for U.S. travelers this summer include:

    1. Cancun, Mexico
    2. Orlando, Florida
    3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
    4. Key West, Florida
    5. Miami Beach, Florida
    6. Las Vegas, Nevada
    7. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
    8. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
    9. Tulum, Mexico
    10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Globally, nearly half (48 percent) of travelers are planning summer trips, with more than a third (38 percent) staying domestic and less than one in ten (9 percent) venturing internationally. Luxurious 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.

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