Tripping.com also finds that Americans are looking to avoid beach crowds and are interested in traveling to Russia for the World Cup
San Francisco (May 15, 2018) — Tripping.com, the world’s No. 1 site for finding the lowest prices on vacation rentals, today released its Summer 2018 Vacation Report. The report’s findings, drawn from Tripping.com searches for vacation rentals between Memorial Day Weekend (May 24) and Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 4) 2018, reveal where Americans are heading this summer. Here are the key findings:
- Unsurprisingly, Americans are headed to the beach this summer: 19 of Tripping.com’s 25 Most Popular Summer Vacation Destinations are beaches.
- But they’re increasingly interested in less-touristy beaches: Tripping noticed a pattern of growth among lesser-known beaches located adjacent to or near some of America’s most iconic and ritzy summer playgrounds. While some of these alternatives offer a nice discount, others are on par with their better-known neighbors. Examples include:
- Locals’ Maui: Kihei, located on the less-windy side of Maui, is up 68 percent this year. Kihei is a locals’ town with great beaches, and is a steal at $366.96 per night compared to its more touristy and expensive neighbor Wailea, which has an average daily rate of $609.50.
- Saving cash in Cape Cod: Several low-key Cape Cod towns are enjoying double-digit year-over-year growth. Dennis is up 57 percent with an average daily rate of $493.24–a big bargain for one of America’s most expensive playgrounds. Harwich is up 65 percent with an average daily rate of $603.47 and Orleans is up 60 percent, even though the average daily rate of $932.59 is on par with pricer Cape Cod beaches. Compare these prices to better-known towns like Chatham ($654.13), Martha’s Vineyard ($854.14) and Nantucket ($1,096).
- North Carolina Beaches on the rise: Eight of the 25 fastest growing destinations for Summer 2018 are N.C. beaches, thanks to affordable rental rates, pristine beaches and an abundance of protected preserves. All three of Wilmington’s beaches are represented, including Kure Beach (up 135 percent), Carolina Beach (up 97 percent) and Wrightsville Beach (up 75 percent). Other N.C. beaches on the Top 25 include Sunset Beach (up 75 percent), Emerald Isle (up 65 percent), Oak Island (up 55 percent), Topsail (up 51 percent) and Kill Devil Hills (up 49 percent).
- 2017’s weather disasters were among the worst in U.S. history. Tripping.com pulled data for traditional summer destinations:
- HURRICANE IRMA & FLORIDA: Florida towns hit hard by Irma are feeling the impact this summer. Typically popular beaches on the decline include several beaches in the Florida Keys (Key West is down 38 percent, Perdido Key is down 32 percent and Marathon is down 11 percent) and Marco Island (down 17 percent). However, many towns are experiencing growth, especially along the Panhandle of Florida which sustained little to no hurricane damage including Port Saint Joe, up 71 percent; Pensacola Beach, up 66 percent; and Miramar Beach, up 42 percent.
- HURRICANE HARVEY & TEXAS: Hurricane Harvey did not have a dramatic effect on vacation rental interest for Summer 2018. In fact, many seaside destinations in Texas are experiencing impressive year-over-year growth, including Surfside Beach (up 115 percent) and Bolivar Peninsula Beach (up 92 percent).
- CALIFORNIA FIRES: Vacations rentals in California Wine Country are thriving this summer, with many destinations enjoying modest year-over-year growth. Santa Rosa, which received the brunt of the fire damage, is actually up 3 percent. Other wine destinations experiencing growth include Napa (up 3 percent) and Mendocino (up 29 percent). Sonoma and Healdsburg are experiencing negative growth, down 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
- SMOKY MOUNTAIN FIRES: Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have bounced back from the Great Smoky Mountain Fires of November 2016. Gatlinburg is up 53 percent and Pigeon Forge is up 40 percent. Chattanooga is benefitting from the surge in tourism as well, with 47 percent year-over-year growth.
- Las Vegas suffered the most dramatic drop in searches (down 49 percent) of the top 2,000 destinations for summer vacation season. Las Vegas tourism was impacted by October’s mass shooting that killed 58 people at a music festival.
- Americans are heading to Russia for the World Cup. Searches for Russia during World Cup (June 14-July 15) are 26 percent higher than the same time last year.
Tripping.com Recommends Best Value Destinations for Summer Vacation Season
- Avoid the Panama City crowds and prices and discover Florida’s best-kept secret: Mexico Beach. The average rate for a Panama City vacation rental is $399.12. Mexico Beach, 20 minutes away, offers the same clear blue Gulf waters and soft white sand at a fraction of the price. You’ll not only save money on your vacation rental–average daily rate is only $224.61–but also at restaurants and bars.
- California Dreaming: With 840 miles of coastline, three popular cities and majestic mountains, California offers a vacation for every type of traveler; but prices can be high, especially during the high season of summer. Here are California vacation recommendations from Tripping.com’s San Francisco based team:
- Beach Vacation: Skip La Jolla ($708/night) and go 50 miles north to San Clemente ($353/night) for half the price.
- Mountains: If you’re interested in a mountain vacation, consider Mammoth ($302.37/night) or Big Bear ($385.15/night) instead of Lake Tahoe (South Lake Tahoe is $460/night, Truckee is $411/night and Tahoe City is $464.55/night).
- Can’t choose between Asheville and Pigeon Forge? Stay in Maggie Valley and take day trips to both destinations! Less than 1,000 people make Maggie Valley their home, meaning the village has a quaint, small-town feel and plenty of space to enjoy the beautiful nature that surrounds it. Plus, Maggie Valley is a cost-effective alternative for Great Smoky Mountain vacation. At $172.25 per night, Maggie Valley is a fraction of the price of Asheville ($341.23), Gatlinburg ($290.64) and Pigeon Forge ($252.64).
- Low average daily rate and an abundance of free museums and attractions makes Washington, D.C. the most affordable city on Tripping’s list. When comparing the average rate of a one- or two-bedroom vacation rental ($228.39) or a three-bedroom ($252.37) to a cramped hotel room, the vacation rental wins with a lower price, three to four times the space, a full kitchen and separate bedrooms. Plus, Washington, D.C. is chock full of free museums and attractions.
TRIPPING SUMMER REPORT VACATION INDEX
Top 25 Most Popular Destinations on Tripping.com for Summer 2018
Top 10 Most Popular Beaches for Summer 2018
10 Most Popular Mountain/Lake Destinations for Summer 2018
Top 10 Most Popular Cities for Summer 2018
With more than 12 million properties in 150,000 destinations worldwide, Tripping.com is the world’s #1 site for finding the lowest prices on vacation rentals. Tripping.com searches dozens of trusted travel sites for real-time rates and availability and displays the best prices across the vacation rental market. One search on Tripping.com provides results from popular sites including HomeAway, VRBO and Booking.com, as well as from international and locally owned sites, so travelers can quickly and easily search, compare and find the perfect rental at the best price.