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Travel is Heating Up as Majority of Americans Say They are Planning a Summer Vacation

A new summer travel index reveals trending destinations and experiences

With summer right around the corner, travel plans are heating up, according to Tripadvisor’s 2021 Summer Travel Index. Nearly half of Americans (43 percent) in a recent Tripadvisor survey revealed their expectation that travel activity will rebound within three months. As Americans may no longer be settling for the perennial staycation and occasional local trip, it appears that actual vacations will come back with force.

Over two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) are planning to travel this summer (June 1 – August 31), which is a 17 percent increase from those who traveled this spring (March 1- May 31). Millennials are the most excited to get back out there with the vast majority (72 percent) of the generation planning trips. Although many still plan to drive to their destination (43 percent), 19 percent plan to fly, up 4 percent from this spring.

Meanwhile, compared to the first week of January, hotel searches are up 65 percent, searches for experiences (attractions and tours) increased by 78 percent, and restaurant searches are up 53 percent.

So, what’s hot this summer?

• Of those planning to travel, 74 percent of Americans will take a domestic trip and 13 percent will travel internationally.

• Americans ready for longer R&R, with 29 percent taking a weeklong trip and 28 percent vacationing for 10 days.

• Most popular travel weeks begin June 21 and June 28, timed around Independence Day.

• Summer splurge: Over half (53 percent) of Americans plan to spend more on trips this year vs. last summer, rising to 66 percent for millennials. Globally, Americans are the biggest summer spenders, planning to shell out 9 percent more than the average traveler around the world.

• Hottest amenities: Clean hotels, free cancelations, hotels with restaurants.

• Beach destinations continue to shine this summer, with travelers most interested in sunny Florida and Mexico. Their choice of where to stay reiterates that desire: the most popular accommodation types for 2021 summer trips are all-inclusives and beach resorts.

Popular Destinations and Experiences

Top 10 destinations

this summer

Highly-rated hotel

that’s still available

Most booked




1. Cancun, Mexico Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun Best ATV Tour, Five Ziplines and Cenote Swim with Lunch and Transport Included El Timón de Cancún
2. Orlando, Fla. The Delaney Hotel SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium La Luce
3. Myrtle Beach, S.C. Ocean 22 by Hilton Grand Vacations Polynesian Fire Luau and Dinner Show Ticket in Myrtle Beach 42nd Street Bar And Grill
4. Key West, Fla. Havana Cabana at Key West Key West Sunset Sail with Full Bar, Live Music & Hors D’oeuvres Seaside Cafe at the Mansion 
5. Miami Beach, Fla. The Standard, Miami City Half Day Tour of Miami by Bus with Sightseeing Cruise il Pastaiolo
6. Las Vegas, Nev. Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas Las Vegas Helicopter Night Flight Edge Steakhouse
7. Playa del Carmen, Mexico Banyan Tree Mayakoba Buggy Tour in Playa del Carmen with Cenote Swim and Mayan Village Visit Nørdic
8. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences Cabo San Lucas – Beach and Desert 4×4 ATV Tour Panache Restaurant
9. Tulum, Mexico Ahau Tulum Selva Maya Eco Adventure Park: Ziplining, Hanging Bridges, Rappelling and Cenote Loco Tulum
10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana 5 tours in 1 – Horseback Riding / City Tour / Cacao Farm / Zipline / Dune Buggy Montserrat Manor Restaurant

Globally, nearly half (48 percent) of travelers are planning summer trips, with more than a third (38 percent) staying domestic and fewer than one in ten (9 percent) venturing internationally. Luxurious destinations like Bora Bora and Dubai top the list of most searched international destinations this April, while Greece and Iceland gained the most momentum in the last several months.

The Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Survey is based on data drawn from an online survey of over 2,500 consumers, in partnership with Qualtrics, conducted between April 1 through April 8, 2021 across six countries – U.S., UK, Australia, Italy, Singapore and Japan