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How Americans Plan To Travel This Summer

Key Takeaways

  • For summer 2023, Las Vegas is the top domestic destination and Paris is the top international destination.
  • 1 in 10 travelers are considering taking on debt to finance their summer travel.
  • 55% of travelers are eating out less to afford their summer vacation, and 1 in 10 are going on fewer dates.

Summer Travel Status

Summer is almost here, which means summer vacation planning is in full swing. As the days tick by, hopeful travelers are feeling the pressure to pick the best destinations and most exciting activities while staying within their budgets. How are vacationers spending their money on travel this year, and what are their best tips for saving up for summer fun?

We analyzed Google search volumes to find out where summer adventurers are heading and surveyed 1,000 people about their travel plans, budgets, and savings hacks. In this article, we’ll explore our findings and share the ultimate summer travel trips to help you make the most of your summer vacation.

Top Destinations

From road trips to beach trips to continental escapes, there is no end to the variety of trips available for eager summer voyagers. Let’s look at the places people are planning to visit, as well as how they plan to prepare.

trending travel tips

According to our survey, vacationers planned to take an average of two trips this summer—though the word “planned” is used loosely, as 51% of respondents hadn’t made any reservations. Concrete plans on the books or not, 15% of people planned to travel solo, with 45% of those being women solo travelers. Gen Z was the most likely to wander on their own, with nearly 1 in 5 planning to do so.

Alone or with friends, the majority of travelers hoped to stay close to home, as 75% of respondents were only taking domestic trips. The top domestic destinations based on Google search volume were Las Vegas, New York City, and Miami. For those planning to roam a bit farther, the leading international destinations were Paris, London, and Cancun.

Domestic travel plans seemed based on proximity more than anything; search trends showed destinations grouped geographically. States bordering Nevada searched most for Las Vegas vacations, states bordering Illinois searched for Chicago, and states bordering Massachusetts searched for Boston.

The only notable exceptions were New York, New Jersey, and Florida, where residents might consider home-swapping: Floridians were most interested in heading up to the Big Apple and New Yorkers and New Jersians were looking to shimmy down to Miami. But considering the mass exodus of New Yorkers to the Sunshine state in recent years, many of these travelers might be looking to visit their friends and family back home.

Though the percentage of international travelers was small, their destinations covered the globe and included cities on every continent except Antarctica. Some popular destinations were Cancun, Mexico; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

For a more detailed look at where Americans hoped to head this summer, flip through or search our interactive table. It lists the most searched domestic and international destinations for the 100 biggest cities in the United States.

Traveler Preferences

In addition to choosing a destination, travelers must decide how to get there, how to get around, and where to stay. Let’s see what those preferences looked like by U.S. state.

As for how to reach their initial destination, the majority of travelers preferred flying, but vacationers in the central East Coast area preferred driving. Among frequent flyers, Southwest Airlines was the favorite in 15 states and Delta Air Lines was the top choice among 14 states.

Once in their chosen vacation spot, travelers have a few options for how to get around the area. Americans on the East Coast favored personal vehicles, which makes perfect sense since most of them also preferred to drive to their destination. Meanwhile, the rest of the country preferred public transportation, with five states opting for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

As for preferred accommodations, the vast majority of travelers preferred to stay in vacation rentals like Airbnb or Vrbo over hotels. Those who opted for hotels heavily favored Hyatt; only 13 states chose Hilton or Marriott as their preferred hotel chain.

Summer Savings

No matter where you’re going, how you’re getting there, or where you’re staying, vacations cost money. With rising inflation and a slew of airline fiascos, travel costs seem higher than ever. How much money are vacationers planning to spend this summer, and what are they doing to afford it?

budgeting and saving for travel

Americans planned to spend an average of $1,660 per trip on summer travel this year, an average increase of $750 from last year. Accommodations and transportation were the highest budget allocations, both receiving $455; 36% of people said accommodations were the most important aspect of a trip.

The increase in vacation costs is taking its toll on travelers, and 11% of respondents admitted they might have to go into debt to afford their trips. However, many people said they’re cutting back on expenses to save for vacations. Over half (55%) ate out less, and 10% cut back on dating. Trimming expenses was especially important for younger generations; nearly 70% of Gen Zers cut spending to fund their trips, but only 51% of baby boomers said they needed to do so.

Reasons for Roaming

Vacations are definitely an investment, but most travelers agree that the cost is well worth it. But with so many travel options, how do people choose where to take their next adventure? We asked summer vacationers where they get their travel inspiration.

travel motivation

Family and friends were the main travel inspirations, but many people were also vacationing for someone else: themselves. Many people hoped to take advantage of summer travel to escape routines and responsibilities, with almost 2 in 5 having said they were traveling to improve their mental health.

Baby boomers, however, were less concerned about themselves during vacations and more concerned about family. Half of baby boomer travelers said they’re hitting the road to visit family, and another 51% were taking family with them on their adventures.

Reservations Required

Summer is just around the corner, and people are busy planning trips to Las Vegas, Paris, and beyond. With a plethora of travel options, hopeful explorers are trimming expenses to save up for some well-deserved time off. Whether you’re striking out alone or tagging along with friends, start booking your reservations now so you don’t miss out on your favorite travel modes and accommodations. And wherever you go, remember to enjoy every moment.


We surveyed 1,000 people about their travel plans for summer 2023. Additionally, we looked at Google search volume from November 2022 through April 2023 to see which destinations, brands, and travel habits people searched for most.

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