Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida.
Pola Damonte via Getty Images | Moment | Getty Images
Americans want to finally get out and about this summer, and interest in popular and emerging vacation spots is rising with temperatures, according to tour operators.
According to Tripadvisor, an online travel advice platform, 67% of Americans plan to travel June through August. This corresponds to an increase of 17% compared to spring (March to May). Most of them (43%) plan to drive, although 19% are ready to fly, and Beach destinations – especially in Florida and Mexico – are high on travelers’ wish lists.
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Why the beach “This summer, travelers will continue to prefer outdoor locations such as beaches or national parks, places where social distancing can still be practiced,” said Brian Hoyt, spokesman for Tripadvisor.
People are only willing to leave the house, he added. “With the vaccine rollout far exceeding the Biden government’s promised goal of 1 million doses a day, Americans are saying strongly that they are ready to go back, travel, and see the world all over again to make up for lost time. “
Despite Tripadvisor’s interest in Mexico, the site found that 74% of Americans plan to travel domestically this summer – and that means more competition for accommodations across the country. Hotel search on Tripadvisor has increased by 65%.
As popular vacation destinations fill up, more Americans are looking for lesser-known vacation spots, especially sun and fun. VacationRenter.com vacation rental search aggregator saw more than 100% growth in bookings in 11 emerging summer destinations, eight of which are beach areas in Florida alone.
“Because of last year, there has been a pent-up demand this summer for travel that makes it more competitive to book typical vacation spots,” said Zander Buteux, director of organic growth at VacationRenter.com. “Smaller cities and areas that traditionally do not have summer tourism are growing in response to other locations booking faster than before.”
Because these emerging destinations are smaller, they don’t have the same hotel inventory as the major vacation spots, but in the age of Airbnb and other home rental websites and apps, that’s not necessarily a disadvantage. And vacation rentals have added perks like isolation and more space, Buteux said.
“They give you the flexibility to travel safely and give tenants more control,” he noted. “For example, you and your pod can order groceries and cook at the rental property instead of eating out to reduce contact with others.”
“People missed seeing their friends and family last year. When everyone stays in a rental property, it is much easier to coordinate plans and have a good time together,” added Buteux.