Driven by Covid vaccines, flexible cancellation policies, and people yearning to break free from home, the summer travel season is already booming for some parts of the travel industry.
A survey by research company Toluna shows that Americans are becoming more confident about traveling every month. 27% are comfortable to travel in April and 42% in July.
However, a sudden surge in bookings shows that many people are setting reservations and prices before it’s too late.
US domestic flight bookings for summer travel soared earlier this month, according to research by data identity firm Adara. Domestic hotel bookings have more than tripled since February 1st.
Domestic flight and hotel bookings for travel between July 1 and August 31, 2021.
Courtesy of Adara
International flights originating in the US, although fewer, followed the same upward trend, with bookings rising in mid-February.
International flight and hotel bookings for travel between July 1 and August 31, 2021.
Courtesy of Adara
Vacation travel – especially family travel (which outperforms bookings by singles and couples) – is driving growth, according to Adara’s report. The most popular destinations for summer leisure flights are:
By comparing summer bookings this year with those in 2019, there are preferences for smaller outdoor destinations.
Best Relative Performance table for recreational flights booked between January 1 and March 14 for travel between July 1 and August 31, 2021.
Courtesy of Adara
Data from the mobile booking app funnel also shows a sharp increase in summer trip planning, with searches for midsummer trips increasing 100% in early February. The company expects domestic prices to rise from March and international prices to rise from mid-May.
As flights fill up, terminals also fill up, including private terminals like PS at LAX, which cater to the famous and affluent Los Angeles flyers.
The private terminal, which costs $ 4,500 per year for membership plus usage fees, has reached capacity several times this month and often has a waiting list.
“We are cautiously optimistic that this summer will be a journey of revenge,” said Co-CEO Josh Gausman. “Travelers will spend more on upgrades, luxury services and unique experiences.”
“We expect total travel volume will stay below 2019, but spend per trip will increase,” said PS von Gausman of LAX.
Courtesy PS at LAX
Many charter jet companies are expecting a banner summer.
“The pandemic has exposed many people to private aviation who under normal circumstances may never have considered or tried it,” said Megan Wolf, CEO of Flexjet. “This has enabled the private jet travel industry to weather the storm better.”
Sentient Jet, which sells “jet cards” for 25 hours of flight, predicts it will fly 30% -50% more volume than the pre-pandemic summer due to new customers acquired during the pandemic. Between April and September 2020, two out of three card purchases were from new customers, a ratio that was reversed before the pandemic, said CEO Andrew Collins.
“We predict this will be our highest volume summer in the company’s history,” Collins told CNBC Global Traveler.
Located in New York’s Catskill Mountains, The Roxbury at Stratton Falls Opening in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit the US
“Last year our reservations for the summer were grim at that time,” said co-owner Greg Henderson. “This year we are facing the opposite problem. The demand is so high that there is no longer any weekend availability between mid-April and October.”
His advice for weekend travelers: “Now is the time” to book.
The Roxbury at Stratton Falls features themed villas and tower cottages.
Courtesy The Roxbury at Stratton Falls
Another New York hotel The inns of Aurora, is fully booked on select weekends in July and August, said Alex Schloop, the hotel’s creative director. The hotel, made up of five boutique inns in the Finger Lakes area, doesn’t typically have that many summer bookings, he said.
“In the past, summer bookings usually increased … closer to late April or early May,” said Schloop.
Club Wyndham, the member-based vacation company, said three of its resorts in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina were almost booked out in July. The beach Wyndham SeaWatch Club is 99% full in June and 95% full in July, the company said.
The Club Wyndham Ocean Boulevard Resort was 93% booked in July, according to the company.
Courtesy Club Wyndham
Tour operators are also concerned with an increase in bookings.
“”InteleTravel The past week has seen several record days when we booked more transactions in a single day than ever before in our 30-year history, “said James Ferrara, company president.” In Mexico, we’re seeing … an emerging preference for the ‘swim-out’ suites found at some all-inclusive resorts so that travelers are less exposed during their vacation. “
Last December, Sandals opened this suite style in his South Coast Resort in Jamaica. These “suites are essentially sold out for the next 12 months,” said Adam Stewart, executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International.
The Rondoval swim-up suites on the Sandals South Coast with river pool access and butler service are sold out for next year.
Courtesy of Sandals Resorts
Three sandal resorts in Jamaica are fully booked on different dates in June and July, and all three brands Family-themed beach resorts – two in Jamaica and one in Turks and Caicos – are sold out from mid to late June.
The increase in bookings is causing some hotels to raise prices for remaining rooms.
After a sharp increase in summer bookings The foundry hotel In Asheville, North Carolina, Julie Bivings, the hotel’s revenue manager, decided to raise prices.
“We are confident that our tariff structure will deliver higher than usual prices on both weekdays and weekends due to this increased demand,” she said.
Airbnb is reporting Travelers want to rent homes near small beach towns as well as state and national parks this summer. Vacationers are looking for patios, backyards, and BBQ areas (for July 4th gatherings) at higher rates than before.
Vacation rentals and villas are in high demand due to social distancing concerns and the growing demand for “bubble travel,” said Ferrara of Inteletravel, who named Florida, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico and Hawaii as home hotspots.
Although travelers are expected to travel largely domestically this year, Americans are looking for summer homes in Aruba. the US Gulf Coast; Tulum, Mexico; and Reunion, Florida, according to HomeToGo’s “2021 Summer Travel Forecast”.
The travel search engine called Orlando Florida; the upper peninsula of Michigan and New York City as the most sought after “cheapest” locations. With an average nightly rental price of $ 234, the inclusion of New York City on a budget list shows the lack of travelers to the once thriving metropolitan areas of the United States.
This year, only 12% of summer travel searches are for urban destinations, according to HomeToGo.
Bookings in the luxury travel agency virtuoso are picking up speed every month, said Misty Belles, the company’s executive director for global public relations. Villas of Distinction, one of Virtuoso’s partners, adds villa rentals in the Florida Panhandle, North and South Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Arizona and Hawaii, she said.
“Hotels with villas are also doing well, especially those with strong drive-to markets like Southern California,” she said.
One place was mentioned by almost everyone speaking to CNBC for this report – Florida.
Fourteen of the 24 locations with the greatest surge in booking interest (defined as search and click) VacationRenter are in Florida, the company said. The home rental website, which consolidates home rentals from VRBO, Booking.com, and other sites, highlighted that interest in bookings in Key West and Orlando nearly tripled year over year.
Train tour operator Vacation by train expects Alaska, Colorado, and the US National Parks to be popular rail travel destinations.
“This is not uncommon for us, but the demand is huge,” said the operator’s president, Heather Leisman, who added the company. “She’s working hard to add capacity to meet overwhelming demand.”
Additional departure dates for Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park and the “Great parks of the southwest“Tour that includes the Grand Canyon.
Led tour operator Trafalgar reports a 56% increase in trips to Alaska this summer.
Dagny Willis | Moment | Getty Images
Car rental bottlenecks can be a bigger problem.
“Massive availability issues … will become apparent … as the weather warms up,” said Jonathan Weinberg, CEO of the rental car website AutoSlash. He said there was a “bleeding” of car rental companies (selling cars or postponing or canceling plans to buy new cars) last year and the difficulty and cost of buying new cars this year due to vehicle production and semiconductor shortages .
There are already bottlenecks in rental cars in the Phoenix metropolitan area, in Las Vegas, Denver, Hawaii (especially on Maui and the Big Island) and in “the entire state of Florida,” said Weinberg of AutoSlash.
RUSS ROHDE | Culture | Getty Images
Last weekend, 18 out of 20 commercial airports in Florida were unavailable, and locations outside the airport were “slammed similarly,” said Weinberg, who said those who could rent cars were paying more than $ 500 a day.
“It’s almost a certainty that it will get worse before it gets better, and it will likely be the back half of summer into fall before things really get back to normal,” he said.
Weinberg’s advice: “Book early – much earlier than you ever thought. You can make a later reservation without even having to provide your credit card.”
Part of the fun of camping is staying away from the crowds and sold out scenarios. However, that may change as outdoor travel is one of the hottest travel trends of 2021.
Reservations for the yurts – or rounded tents – at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado, opened in January and is now almost fully booked, the company said.
“The yurts are very popular with guests as a glamping option, and this year the demand outside and outside of town is even higher,” said Trueman Hoffmeister, general manager of the ranch.
At $ 104 a night, the 24 yurts at Snow Mountain Ranch are dog-friendly and popular with those who prefer to “lightly” camp, said Hoffmeister of the Snow Mountain Ranch.
Courtesy YMCA of the Rockies
Campsites have higher availability, but those near the best national parks are full according to the booking website Kampgrounds of America. The West Glacier KOA Resort near Glacier National Park is mostly full for the summer and is already taking reservations for the 2022 travel season, the company said.
Another booking website Storage place The campsites in the US states of Great Plains and Rocky Mountain book the fastest. The reservations for cabins, parking spaces for mobile homes and tents have increased compared to the previous year.