All eyes are on the upcoming holiday season as Tripadvisor’s brand-new Winter Travel Index examines the places U.S. travelers are heading to for the holiday season. The last edition of the Tripadvisor Travel Index for 2021, built on first-party data from sites and consumer sentiment data, shows that more than fifty percent (55 percent) of U.S. travelers report that they’re planning to travel this winter. This is an increase from the 50 percent who took a trip in 2020. However, it is in comparison to the 63 percent of travelers who traveled in the year 2019.
Notably, 24 percent of U.S. travelers are still undecided about winter vacations. A little less than one-third (30 percent) have scheduled their trip; however, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of people who haven’t booked yet will wait until either November or even December to book their trip. The travel industry could see more people traveling as the coldest winter season gets closer.
Though the majority (94 percent) of travelers will stay in the United States, U.S. travelers are trying to expand their horizons and discover something new this winter since more than a third (37 percent) are planning to go to a place they’ve never been before. More than three-quarters (42 percent) are planning to book a trip or other activity.
New York City is at the top of the list and one of the most sought-after destinations as a most-booked trip this winter. The top 10 Winter destinations of U.S. travelers include:
- New York City, New York
- Orlando, Florida
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Key West, Florida
- Miami Beach, Florida
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Chicago, Illinois
- Anaheim, California
- Los Angeles, California
- Savannah, Georgia
Seaside resorts that are trending according to Tripadvisor’s Fall Travel Index (Myrtle Beach, Ocean City, Honolulu, Virginia Beach) are less sought-after, as the urban areas (Los Angeles and Savannah) were popular and again, along with Anaheim, which is home to Disneyland growing in popularity.
Seventy-seven percent of U.S. travelers say they are saving money for travel plans for the holidays. The most significant factor in selecting a destination for this winter is the cost (39 percent). Thirty-two percent of respondents will be spending more than they did last year, and 58 percent will pay about the same. Gift cards to retail stores or dining establishments are among the most requested gifts respondents would like to gift this year. However, nearly one-fifth (17 percent) would like to give tickets for trips.
Tourists are embracing trips to museums and cultural sites this winter. They are looking at 4WD tours, ATV, and off-road excursions along with museum passes and tickets since they are among the top three kinds of activities U.S. travelers are booking this winter. In terms of a blend of adventure and culture, this season’s most booked experiences include an ATV waterfall tour through Hawaii to classic historical experiences like the Grand Ole Opry in Tennesee and the 9/11 Memorial at New York.