Summer travel is returning: Here’s who’s booking and where they’re going

With vaccines rolling out across across the world, travelers want to reclaim something most gave up during the lockdown era: the summer vacation.

Travel searches are surging, and bookings aren’t far behind. But it isn’t happening uniformly across continents.

Here’s who is booking, where people are traveling, and what’s beckoning travelers from their homes again.

Europe on the move

Small town America

“High-end travelers who might normally head to more exotic locations, like Africa, are opting for the outdoorsy, adventure playground and big game viewing of Alaska,” she said. “With no cruise ships coming into Alaska’s ports this season, people are exploring by land and discovering more of the interior terrain.”

California is drawing people to perennial favorites like Napa Valley, while travelers on the East Coast are booking trips to Nantucket and Cape Cod, said Belles, adding that summer availability in these areas is already scarce.  

Places with less name recognition are drawing travelers too. Nearly 70% of Airbnb searches for the U.S. Memorial Day weekend are for off-the-beaten-path locations that are 50-300 miles from travelers’ homes. The site’s top trending rural locations for the holiday weekend starting May 29 — which is considered by some to be the unofficial start of summer in the United States — are:

Compared to Memorial Day travel trends from two years ago, Airbnb data shows triple-digit search increases for tents (260%), houseboats (142%), farm stays (119%) and treehouses (111%) as some travelers ditch hotels for quirkier, remote accommodations.

While flight bookings have increased, road trips still reign — at least on social media. Since April 29, of more than 1.6 million travel-related conversations on Twitter, road trips were mentioned more than 32,000 times and flights 22,000 times, according to the Chicago-based social media analytics company Sprout Social.

Americans look to Europe

Asia at a standstill



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