After being stuck at home for over a year, Americans are taking to the roads and skies in droves. Revenge travel is a dominant factor as many households make summer plans to visit family and play tourist. Here are some of the places Americans are heading to this summer and how they are on the journey of revenge.
What is the revenge journey?
This may be the first time you’ve heard the term revenge trip. This travel mindset means people are more eager to travel and less willing to cancel vacation plans this year after coronavirus closures. Many people are tired of being home, are fully immunized, and have saved money and travel miles for their first post-pandemic trip.
As a result, avenging travelers may be more likely to try a more exotic location, spend more money on travel, or a combination of the two.
Domestic travel is popular
As international travel destinations reopen, most travel stays in the United States. Many may be returning to their favorite vacation spots, but some domestic travel trends are changing.
Increase in bookings in small towns
A AirDNA study finds that demand for Airbnb and VRBO bookings in small towns and rural areas has increased by 62% compared to summer 2019.
Other types of destinations are experiencing an increase:
- Mountain and lake destinations and resorts (44% increase)
- Coastal destinations and seaside resorts (42% increase)
- Medium-sized cities (24% increase)
Overall, the demand for short-term vacation rentals in the United States is up 24% since 2019. A slowdown in international travel and reduced demand for hotel stays are two contributing factors.
Demand from urban cities is declining
While demand is on the rise for most travel destinations in the United States, are there some places Americans are not traveling to? AirDNA reports that vacation demand is down 46% in major urban areas.
Some of the factors contributing to this sharp decline may be that it is more difficult to distance oneself socially in urban areas. Big cities have also been slower to reopen their tourist attractions and ease capacity restrictions.
Also, many people who live in dense cities see their revenge trip as a complete change of scenery.
In this case, it means relaxing and exploring the beaches and the mountains.
Rising travel prices play a role
Small towns and alternative travel destinations are seeing increasing demand due to rising prices for travel to popular vacation spots like Hawaii and Cancun.
Revenge trips don’t have to be expensive or happen in well-known destinations. Instead of going to Hawaii, travelers could go to a beach in Florida. It’s not quite the same experience, but you get to enjoy a tropical beach.
Popular travel destinations in the United States
As people choose to drive to many different destinations, air traffic volumes are also at their highest post-pandemic level. About 2 million people currently travel every day compared to 2.7 million people on the same travel days in June 2019. Here are some of the most popular travel destinations in the United States this summer.
Several Florida cities are top travel destinations in 2021. Granted, the state was also a popular destination before the pandemic. the Price line booking site reports these Florida cities as being in the top 10 for Memorial Day 2021 flight bookings:
- Orlando (# 1)
- Miami (# 3)
- Fort Lauderdale (# 5)
- Tampa (# 9)
The Orlando area is popular because of its many theme parks. Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios are open to visitors.
The number of daily air passengers in Hawaii are about 20% lower than in June 2019. About 30,000 people fly over the Hawaiian skies daily (compared to 36,000 in 2019). Visitors and returning residents must test negative before arrival or prove they are fully vaccinated to waive the 14-day quarantine. Despite these hurdles, Hawaii tops many travel wish lists of places to go first when the travel industry reopens.
Priceline reports that Las Vegas had the most hotel bookings for Memorial Day weekend 2021. The city is one of the most popular places to travel in the western United States for recreation.
International journey of revenge
There are several international destinations open to American tourists.
Mexico was one of the first countries to reopen to American tourists. The country is also easily accessible and has lenient entry conditions, making it a popular destination as well.
Cancun is one of the most popular places in the country because it offers plenty of places to enjoy the beach and explore the attractions from the interior. This city was the only international destination to experience Priceline’s most popular destinations for Memorial Day 2021 hotel reservations. It ranked # 4 on the list, behind Las Vegas, Orlando and Miami.
Beach resorts in the Caribbean are also popular as travelers can enjoy the beach in luxury and privacy. Travelers may be able to find competitive rates to pay in cash or redeem points for resorts. Even if you have to pay those pesky resort fees, the convenience and amenities can be worth the extra cost.
Hyatt, for example, has adult-only Zilara resorts and family-friendly Ziva resorts in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Hilton, IHG (Holiday Inn), and Iberostar also have resorts you might want to consider.
Some islands are more receptive to post-pandemic travel than others. Consider these Caribbean destinations for tourism first:
- Dominican Republic
- Porto Rico
- US Virgin Islands
Belize and Costa Rica are two mainland Central American cities welcoming tourists. You can compare the prices of flights and hotels to these destinations with those of an island resort.
Much to the enthusiasm of many, continental Europe is gradually reopening to American visitors. Italy is currently one of the best places to go in Europe. Travelers can book a “COVID tested” flight to forgo mandatory quarantine. Iceland, Greece and Spain are also receptive to American travelers who can meet the country’s entry requirements.
Travel within the Schengen area of the European Union will most likely resume on July 1, 2021. Tourists will need to download the EU digital COVID certificate and be fully vaccinated to visit EU bloc countries with minimum travel restrictions.
Americans are exploring their favorite places and also trying new places as travel trends adjust to a post-pandemic world. As 2021 could be known as “The Year of Revenge Travel”, it’s time to research travel deals, pack your bags and relax in a new place.