SEATTLE, Nov. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- What do Lima, Osaka and Lisbon have in common? These were all trending destinations for U.S. travelers in 2019.
Fast-forward to 2020's trending list: Lincoln, New Hampshire. Lake Havasu, Arizona. The Hamptons, New York.
Whether it was by necessity or design, it's clear Americans spent 2020 exploring small towns, scenic drives, nearby lakes and beaches, or in some cases, their own backyards. Today, Expedia.com® 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.
In addition to tapping into its own massive database of search and demand data, this year Expedia partnered with the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) for a deep dive on the effect of the pandemic on air travel.
"It's no secret that air travel changed this year in ways we have never seen before, but people are still flying, and they will continue to fly. We are keeping a close eye on these changes to help travelers get the most from their journeys," says Chuck Thackston, Managing Director of Data Science and Research for ARC. "Expedia and ARC are teaming up again to get to the bottom of what's changed and equip travelers with new trip-planning insights to use when they do fly again."
Highlights from the report include:
"What we learned by looking at traveler behaviors in a year as unusual as 2020 is that travel will always be an integral part of our lives," says Christie Hudson, Senior PR Manager for Expedia brand. "Travelers responded to the uncertainty and restrictions by finding ways to safely explore closer to home, and the result is a bigger emphasis on flexibility and a list of trending destinations that are inspiring and attainable for the year ahead."
Airfare Booking Hacks for 2021
For six years running, travelers have relied on the annual Expedia ARC report, which analyzes billions of flight segments, to provide insider tips and tricks for getting the most out of air travel. Considering the atypical year, a new cheat sheet is needed now more than ever.
Based on ARC data, average ticket prices (ATPs) for domestic flights hit their lowest in late April 2020 but have since started to recover. From May to October, prices were between 25-35 percent lower year-on-year but followed the usual seasonality curve. Meanwhile, ATPs for international flights briefly spiked in April before normalizing to 2019 levels in mid-June and finally settling between 30-35 percent lower year-on-year during the fall months.
What this means for travelers is that while average ticket prices are historically low for both domestic and international flights, 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.
Traveler Priorities in 2021
2020's Trending Destinations
This year's list5 might look a bit different than last year's, with backyard beaches and outdoorsy escapes taking the place of exotic international destinations. Still, these domestic gems are proof there's plenty to explore even when travelers are staying closer to home.
The Next Big Trip: Top-searched destinations for 2021 and beyond
While nearby escapes and road trips are likely to remain popular as travelers navigate the ongoing realities of life amid a pandemic, search data6 proves that aspirations persist for grander, far-flung vacations. More specifically, it seems vacation-deprived Americans dreaming of their next trip fall into one of two categories:
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.
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.
With COVID-19, it's important to stay safe and up to date on the latest travel guidance and restrictions. Find out what to expect, how to find flexible travel and other information on the Expedia COVID-19 travel guide.
Expedia.com® is one of the world's largest full-service travel sites, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (https://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top vacation destinations, affordable airfare, hotel deals, car rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination activities, attractions, services and travel apps.
© 2020 Expedia, Inc., an Expedia Group company. All rights reserved. Expedia and the Airplane logo are trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. CST# 2029030-50.
Visit our web site https://www.expedia.com/ or use our mobile app to book cheap flights and hotels.
About Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC)
An industry leader in air travel intelligence and omnichannel retailing, ARC provides platforms, tools and insights that help the global travel community connect, grow and thrive. ARC enables the diverse retailing strategies of its customers by providing flexible settlement solutions, innovative technology and access to the world's most comprehensive air transaction dataset. In 2019, ARC managed more than $97.4 billion in transactions between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 302 million passenger trips. For more information, please visit www.arccorp.com.
1Best day of the week to book recommendation is based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through early October, for both 2019 and 2020, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database.
2Best day of the week to travel recommendation based on average round-trip ticket prices for January through early October, for both 2019 and 2020, sourced from ARC's global airline sales database. Departure date determined by the first date of travel in an itinerary.
3Based on lodging demand on Expedia.com from Jan 1, 2020 – Sept 12, 2020 compared to the same timeframe in 2019
4Based on lodging demand on Expedia.com for travel between Jan, 1, 2020 – Dec. 31, 2020.
5Trending destinations are some of the markets seeing the best growth year-over-year, based on lodging demand on Expedia.com between Jan. 1, 2020 – Sept. 14, 2020 compared to the same timeframe in 2019.
6Top searched destinations based on lodging interest on Expedia.com between Jan 1, 2020 – Sept 12, 2020 for travel in 2021.