Expedia 2021 Travel Trends Report

Expedia 2021 Travel Trends Report

Expedia 2021 Travel Trends Report

Americans spent 2020 exploring small towns, scenic drives, nearby lakes and beaches, or in some cases, their own backyards. Today, Expedia released its 2021 Travel Trends Report, analyzing traveler data to uncover the biggest takeaways from an unprecedented year, and what travelers can expect in the year ahead. Whether a 2021 vacation is already in the books or still just a dream, our report is packed with inspiration and practical tips to help travelers get more out of their next trip.

The analysis shows that average ticket prices (ATPs) are historically low for both domestic and international flights, but prices rise during peak travel periods such as spring break, summer and the holidays. To get the best deal, travelers need to know when to book and start their trip.

  • For the best rates, book flights on Sunday and save between 15-20 percent on domestic and international flights. The highest ATPs were found on Mondays for domestic flights and Fridays for international flights.
  • Start your trip towards the end of the week on a Thursday or Friday to save between 20-25 percent. The priciest days to depart were generally Sundays and Mondays.

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Going local and dreaming big

In 2020, backyard beaches and outdoorsy escapes dominated the fastest-growing destinations list as travelers looked for ways to explore closer to home and navigate travel restrictions and safety concerns. Among the top ten trending destinations this year were: Lake Havasu, Arizona; New Bern, North Carolina; The Hamptons, New York; Ocean City, Maryland; Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri; Panama City, Florida; South Padre Island, Texas; Lincoln, New Hampshire; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

While nearby escapes and road trips are likely to remain popular as travelers navigate the ongoing realities of life amid a pandemic, search data proves that aspirations persist for grander, far-flung vacations. More specifically, it seems Americans dreaming of their next trip fall into one of two categories listed below.

Island escapists

Looking at the top 20 destinations, half are islands and another third are popular beach resorts. After a year like 2020, it’s not hard to imagine why so many travelers want to escape to an island the next chance they get.

  • Cancun (#1)
  • Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum (#2)
  • Punta Cana (#5)
  • Oahu (#6)
  • Maui (#7)
  • Los Cabos (#9)
  • French Polynesia (#10)
  • Maldives (#11)
  • Montego Bay (#12)
  • Aruba (#13)
  • Puerto Vallarta (#14)
  • Key West (#16)
  • Nassau (#18)
  • Bali (#20)

Check out deals to these top-searched and trending destinations here.

The urban returner

Larger cities haven’t seen their usual tourist bustle over the past year, but search results make it clear that travelers are eager to return and enjoy all the culture, activities and experiences that you can only find in these iconic U.S. cities.

  • Las Vegas (#3)
  • Orlando (#4)
  • Miami (#8)
  • New York (#15)
  • Los Angeles (#17)
  • New Orleans (#19)

Check out deals to these top-searched and trending destinations here.

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