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State of Travel: Search Behavior and Booking Trends

What's new in travel this week? HomeToGo, the world’s largest vacation rental search engine, releases ongoing updates and analyses of its internal search and booking data to provide a glimpse into the emerging travel trends across the United States and Europe.

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(Last Updated: November 29th, 2021)

Trend Predictions for 2022

U.S. Reopens to Europe

Fall Travel Trends 2021

Trending Getaways for Thanksgiving

Feeling 2022: A Look at Travel Trends for the Year Ahead and Beyond

(November 29th, 2021)

What trends will shape travel in 2022? Our world has changed dramatically over the past 18 months, especially when it comes to travel. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, many people are finding more hope and confidence for the year ahead.

As we approach the start of another new year, we look ahead at the shift in travel trends for 2022 and emerging local destinations. These findings are based on HomeToGo’s 2022 Global Travel Trend Predictions, a comprehensive analysis of HomeToGo data insights and a survey of 4,000 travelers from four countries. Below are some of the key trends in the U.S. that will shape the future of travel in the coming year.

Trend #1: U.S. travelers are crossing trips off their bucket lists

With travel bans being lifted for most tested or vaccinated travelers, people are finding it easier to travel safely and farther afield. And after almost two years of watching, reading, and dreaming about traveling to far off destinations, many people are finally putting their plans in motion by planning grand adventures in 2022.

  • 84% of U.S. survey respondents are planning to travel in 2022 1
  • 62% of Americans ranked beach getaways and trips abroad as their most dreamed about vacation 1
  • Searches for international stays on HomeToGo has increased by 88%; now back on pace with search demand from 2019 2

International destinations seeing the biggest increase in search volume compared to 2019

Destination
Country
Search Trend (2022 vs. 2019)
Tuscany
Italy
+141%
Eleuthera
The Bahamas
+129%
Bora Bora
French Polynesia
+98%
Maldives
Maldives
+97%
South of France
France
+88%
Istria
Croatia
+74%
Holetown
Barbados
+55%
Saint George
Grenada
+40%

Trend #2: Travelers are choosing experience over price tags

The pandemic has also given travelers more time to think about where they want to go and why. In the year ahead, people will spend less time focusing on the price of their trips and more on the experience.

  • 46% of U.S. respondents ranked relaxation as their main motivation for traveling 1
  • Average global booking value on HomeToGo increased by 54% in 2021 compared to 2019 3

Top searched destinations on HomeToGo, summer 2019 vs. summer 2022

For the upcoming summer season, HomeToGo is seeing a large uplift in travelers booking stays in the quieter, but more luxurious destinations, including Maui, Palm Springs, and Nantucket 4

State
2019 Top Destination
Median Nightly Price
2022 Top Destination
Median Nightly Price
Hawaii
Honolulu
$326.57
Maui
$589.86
Florida
Destin
$358.07
Anna Maria Island
$453.13
Texas
Galveston
$343.52
South Padre Island
$496.07
Maine
Portland
$271.20
Old Orchard Beach
$404.54
Massachusetts
Cape Cod
$359.34
Nantucket
$891.57
California
Los Angeles
$320.92
Palm Springs
$597.77
South Carolina
Myrtle Beach
$387.59
Hilton Head Island
$701.85
New York
New York City
$268.94
Finger Lakes
$422.62

For the upcoming summer season, HomeToGo is seeing a large uplift in travelers booking stays in the quieter, but more luxurious destinations, including Maui, Palm Springs, and Nantucket.


Trend #3: People are booking vacations earlier than ever before

Popular destinations are beginning to book out faster than ever for peak travel periods. This year, HomeToGo saw a dramatic increase in the average time between booking and check-in. The current booking window for 2021 is 94 days (~13.5 weeks) compared to 71 days in 2019.5 In the year ahead, we expect this number to rise as travelers will want to reserve their favorite homes and destinations before it’s too late.

Along with this demand for longer term bookings, we are also seeing higher demand for rentals with flexible options, such as free cancellation. According to HomeToGo’s survey, 77% of travelers said that flexible options will be important for their booking decisions in the next 12 months. 1 Furthermore, HomeToGo’s Flexible Date feature saw a +570% increase in use from June - August 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. 6

Contact us for questions or information or follow HomeToGo's Travel Forecast for more updates and insights.

Footnotes:

  1. Research conducted by HomeToGo among a representative sample of 1,000 respondents in the United States, with a confidence level of 95%. To participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 or older. The survey was carried out online between 26th - 29th August 2021.
  2. Based on U.S. traveler searches using HomeToGo.com between January 1 - October 20, 2021 using check-in dates from January 1 - December 31, 2022. Year-on-year comparisons were performed using the same search period in 2019 and 2020 with check-in dates for the following years.
  3. Findings are based on observed global bookings made through HomeToGo with a check-in date for 2021 and compared with a check-in date for 2019. Data was collected on November 19th, 2021.
  4. Based on U.S. traveler searches using HomeToGo.com between January 1 - October 20, 2021 using check-in dates from June 21 - September 23, 2022. Year-on-year comparisons were performed using the same search period with check-in dates for the following year. Prices are based on the average nightly rate for properties available on HomeToGo for a check-in between June 21 - September 23, 2022. Data was collected on November 19th, 2021.
  5. Findings are based on observed U.S. bookings made through HomeToGo.com with a check-in date for 2021 and compared with a check-in date for 2019. Data was collected on November 19th, 2021.
  6. Based on searches using HomeToGo’s flexible dates search feature from June 1 - August 31, 2021 and compared with June 1 - August 31, 2019.



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Where are Europeans planning travel in the U.S.?

(November 8th, 2021)

The White House lifted restrictions on November 8th for vaccinated foreign travelers from many countries, including much of Europe and the UK. Following the announcements, HomeToGo saw a +91% increase in European travelers searching for U.S. stays on its platform.*

After nearly two years of waiting, international travelers are eager to return to their favorite American cities, sights, and natural areas. Below are some of the top searched travel destinations by European visitors on HomeToGo.

Top searched U.S. destinations by European travelers

Search Rank
Destination
Search Increase (vs 2020)
Average Search Duration
Average Price (USD)
1
New York, NY
163.10%
6.8 nights
$146.45/night
2
Orange County, CA
82.54%
4.7 nights
$145.50/night
3
Honolulu County, HI
67.49%
15.1 nights
$105.91/night
4
Miami-Dade County, FL
104.45%
4.4 nights
$170.99/night
5
Los Angeles, CA
92.46%
6.7 nights
$154.93/night
6
Broward County, FL
103.94%
10.1 nights
$80.12/night
7
San Diego, CA
86.15%
9.0 nights
$136.39/night
8
Summit County, CO
103.27%
17.4 nights
$185.20/night
9
Pocono Mountains, PA
210.93%
14.9 nights
$217.51/night
10
San Bernardino County, CA
190.66%
10.2 nights
$185.07/night

Methodology:

*Week-over-week increase based on HomeToGo user data observing searches for stays in the U.S by visitors with a Europe-based IP address between Sept. 13 - 19, 2021 and Sept. 20 - 26, 2021.

Top searched destinations are based on HomeToGo user data observing  searches for stays in the U.S by visitors with a Europe-based IP address between August 1st, 2021 and October 24th, 2021 and compared with the year prior. Prices are based on average nightly rate for properties available on HomeToGo for a check-in between November 8th - December 31st, 2021. Data was collected October 25th, 2021.




2021 Fall Travel Forecast

(October 7th, 2021)

With the days getting shorter, the nights colder and travel restrictions becoming a bit more flexible, consumers are breaking out their passports and suitcases, looking to experience new destinations this fall, beyond their backyards. 

To see how travelers are planning their trips for the upcoming Fall season, the world’s largest vacation rental marketplace examined its internal search data bringing you the key travel trends shaping American’s vacation plans for the next four months.

Trend 1: International Travel Makes a Comeback

More travelers appear to be ready and eager to take to the skies again, in search of warmer and sunnier destinations. HomeToGo searches for international destinations have increased by +73% compared to last year, returning to similar levels compared to 2019, before the pandemic.

Top searched destinations by U.S. travelers for this fall

Puerto Rico

1. Puerto Rico

(Photo: Rincón)

 County Wicklow Irish Countryside

2. Ireland

(Photo: County Wicklow)

Tenerife, Spain

3. Spain

(Photo: Tenerife)

Maggiore lake, Lombardy Italy

4. Italy

(Photo: Maggiore lake)

Overwater bungalow in the Maldives

5. Maldives

(Photo: Alifu Alifu Atoll)

Trend 2: Rural Destinations in High Demand

The number of people looking to escape the city to a cabin and beach house this fall continues to rise. Searches for vacation rentals in rural areas are up by +7% compared to Fall 2020, and +37% compared to Fall 2019, respectively.

Trending rural areas for this fall

Destination
State
Average Nightly Price (USD)
Search Demand vs 2020 (Growth)
Brown County
Indiana
$152.00
598.87%
The Hamptons
New York
$473.00
418.14%
Hocking Hills
Ohio
$138.00
345.76%
Lake Lanier
Georgia
$221.00
263.01%
Deep Creek Lake
Maryland
$229.00
232.06%
Fall Colors in Brown County Indiana
Brown County, Indiana

Trend 3: City Trips Get A Much Needed Boost

Searches for vacation rentals in urban areas are up by +29% compared to fall 2020. These numbers signal a promising comeback for big metros, like New York and San Francisco, although the number of searches is still below pre-pandemic levels (-26% vs. Fall 2019), as many travelers opt for rural getaways.

Most searched cities for a fall getaway

Destination
State
Average Nightly Price (USD)
Search Demand vs 2020 (Growth)
Nashville
Tennessee
$430
133%
Orlando
Florida
$304
80%
Miami
Florida
$194
82%
San Diego
California
$387
78%
Las Vegas
Nevada
$129
61%
Nashville city lights
Nashville, Tennessee

Trend 4: Last-Minute Travel Gets Left Behind

With many popular destinations booked out months in advance this Summer, travelers have started planning farther in advance for their Fall trips. The average time between booking and check-in for this Fall is currently four months (119 days to check-in). This number is significantly higher compared to the same period last year (89 days) and nearly equal to the levels before the pandemic in 2019 (122 days).

Trend 5: Travelers are Venturing Further from Home

The average search distance for domestic trips this fall is 576 miles (+41% vs. Fall 2020), signalling travelers are gaining comfort in traveling further from home. This average is also nearly on par with levels seen before the pandemic in 2019 (531 miles).

White Mountains, New Hampshire

Trending International Escapes for Thanksgiving

Spain, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and many other far away escapes are seeing a big boost in travel searches. This year, there's been a 61% year-over-year increase in searches for international stays over Thanksgiving.

Country
Destination
Region
Median Price / Night
Median Price Per Person / Night
Trending Rank vs. 2020
Spain
Tenerife
Canary Islands
$93.79
$20.34
1
U.S. Virgin Islands
St. John
St. John
$463.30
$71.19
2
Mexico
Cabo San Lucas
Baja California Sur
$376.29
$63.28
3
Switzerland
Switzerland
$203.40
$57.63
4
Spain
Canary Islands
Canary Islands
$119.78
$28.25
5
Mexico
Puerto Vallarta
Jalisco
$183.06
$24.86
6
France
Paris
Île-De-France
$175.15
$38.42
7
Denmark
Denmark
$106.22
$18.08
8
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
$187.58
$16.95
9
Turkey
Istanbul
Istanbul
$57.63
$6.78
10

Top Searched Destinations in the U.S. for Thanksgiving 2021

Thanksgiving travelers are heading for the hills this year; mountain getaways and rural destinations continue to be among the most sought after destinations on HomeToGo for Thanksgiving weekend.

Methodology:

Thanksgiving trends are based on U.S. travelers using HomeToGo.com between January 1 - November 23rd, 2021 using check-in dates from November 24 - November 30, 2021. Year-on-year comparisons were performed using the same search period and check-in dates.

Average nightly prices are based on properties available on HomeToGo.com with check-in dates between November 24 - November 30, 2021. Prices shown are in USD and subject to change.

Country
Destination
State
Median Price / Night
Median Price Per Person / Night
Search Rank 2021
United States
Gatlinburg
Tennessee
$427.14
$133.15
1
United States
Pigeon Forge
Tennessee
$393.24
$124.30
2
United States
Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
$285.89
$104.34
3
United States
Pocono Mountains
Pennsylvania
$428.27
$172.33
4
United States
Smoky Mountains
North Carolina
$401.15
$125.43
5
United States
Big Bear Lake
California
$618.11
$266.68
6
United States
Miami
Florida
$273.46
$52.88
7
United States
Lake Tahoe
California
$549.18
$184.94
8
United States
Kissimmee
Florida
$216.96
$39.55
9
United States
Los Angeles
California
$235.43
$76.84
10
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