Priceline has released its newest data to help inform about top travel trends for the spring and summer seasons.
“From increased flexibility and shorter lead-times to new health and safety measures and an increased focus on traveler wellbeing, the way people plan, book, and physically travel will never be the same,” advises Priceline CEO Brett Keller. “After a devastating pandemic kept us locked in our homes for over a year, people are making plans to travel more often than in the past. Not only are leisure travelers desperate to make up for lost travel opportunities in 2020, but the slow recovery of business travel and broad availability of deals will fuel even more leisure demand.”
According to Priceline’s round-trip flight bookings, travelers flew four billion miles fewer in 2020 than in 2019. Exploring the world by car became the preferred travel method. Seventy percent of those renting cars are road-tripping within their home states, traveling on average only 184 miles. In addition to this, people are booking hotels within their home states ten percent more.
“What we learned in the last year is that travel is such an important part of our lives that even during times of uncertainty, we will find ways to explore safely closer to home,” says Brigit Zimmerman, Priceline SVP of Flight, Hotel and Packages.
Priceline also found that interest in summer bundles and packages, like workation packages or bleisure trips, has grown by 165 percent, probably because of the high amount of hybrid or remote workers who desire a different place to work after so many months working inside of their houses.
The tendency throughout the pandemic to book trips closer to their actual departure date is still going to be a trend, though that trend is decreasing. “While the average advance booking window is gradually increasing, indicating a newfound traveler confidence, the last-minute booking behavior driven by COVID-19 is likely here to stay,” advises Zimmerman. “The traveler mindset has changed; last-minute travel paired with more flexible booking options means easier travel and peace of mind.”
In the top ten destinations Americans want to travel to within the U.S. this year, tropical and warm-weather destinations displaced larger (and colder) cities. New additions are Oahu, Hawaii; the Florida Keys; St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida; and Puerto Rico.
Priceline’s analysis looked across the country for the cities with the highest amount of hotel, flight and car rental bookings to determine the top ten; Las Vegas and Orlando still remain some of the most popular destinations in all three categories, even with restricted access to entertainment and attractions.
The top ten budget-friendly places to vacation have an average hotel stay of under $140 a night. The cities, in order from the cheapest average hotel stay, are Las Vegas, Minneapolis, the Black Hills, South Dakota, Denver, Orlando, Houston, Seattle, Dallas, Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg and Tampa.
The cities with the best average discounted rates for hotels are Myrtle Beach, the Florida Keys, Denver, Savannah, Charleston, Flagstaff/Sedona, Dominican Republic, Indianapolis, Big Island, Hawaii and Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Please click here to view Priceline’s full report.
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