Summer travel is turning out to be a bigger priority for Americans this year. Reports indicate that people are spending more money this year than last on costs to visit their favorite vacation destinations.
USA Today reports that in a survey of nearly 300 travel counselors by American Express Travel, 45% said that the booking for their travel have seen an increase from last year. This is even despite the fact that 67% of people have indicated that they have found the cost of travel to be up from last year, mostly because of higher hotel rates and more expensive airfare.
Travel counselors are not surprised, however, that the amount of people traveling, as well as the amount of money that they are willing to spend, is up from this past year. With the cold, harsh winter that the United States has just faced, many people are eager to get away, and many (more than usual, in fact) are even spending a great deal more for amenities, namely excursions. People are willing to pay premium prices this year, despite rising costs.
Since summer travel is a bigger priority for Americans this year, the amount spent on travel this summer through online travel bookings will be close to $61 billion, which is a 15% growth from last year, according to Adobe. The fastest growing bookings, however, are airline bookings, which will have a 28% growth.
On average, a summer trip by an American is 10 days long. The top favorite vacation destinations include Rome, Paris, London, Orlando, and New York. However, recently travelers have been expanding their travel destination ideas, with other cities becoming increasingly more popular as vacation hotspots. Some of these include cities in Brazil, such as Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Sao Paulo, Salvador, and Manaus. These have all seen a year-by-year increase in booking popularity. Additionally, Hilton Head, Grand Junction, Milan, S.C., Colo., and Bucharest are also becoming popular places for Americans to visit.
The top vacation destinations for this summer, according to reports, will be Orlando, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, and Hawaii. Hawaii is already trending all over social media, having had 1.1 million mentions in one month alone. However, for people who can not afford to spend a bundle on vacation, there are plenty of options with sights to see and things to do that will not break the bank. With summer travel as a bigger priority for Americans this year, it goes without saying that many are looking for affordable options, even if they are spending more than last year. Some cheaper summer options include Nashville, TN, Traverse City, MI, Mackinac Island, MI, New Orleans, LA, Boston, MA, Savannah, GA, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. Whether looking for a city with interesting shops and unique dining, looking for a unique tourist experience, or looking for a nature adventure, at least one of these places has something to offer anyone who is on a vacation budget but still needs a summer escape. Many of these cities also offer affordable deals on hotels and accessibility to historic places and special events, and are a small scale summer travel alternative to a big city vacation.
By Laura Clark