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Summer Travel in 2019: 9 Hot Trends

by Michael Del Gigante

Summer is the prime time for many travel and hospitality brands. To capitalize on this summer’s travel season, marketers have focused on these questions:

  • What are this year’s domestic and international travel hot spots?
  • How will this year’s travel spending compare to previous years?
  • How will travelers be getting to their vacation destinations?
  • How will digital devices and other technologies impact the travel experience?

To find the answers, MDG Advertising’s marketing team reviewed recent data to identify the key summer travel trends of 2019. Here’s what we found:

1. People Are Splurging on Summer Travel

The fact that unemployment is low and the overall economy is relatively robust means that Americans have more discretionary income. Many Americans are choosing to spend their extra cash on travel. Nearly two-thirds of leisure travelers will be traveling over the summer with the average vacation lasting a week.

2. Vacations Cost Serious Money

When you consider the cost of transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment, the cost of a summer vacation can quickly add up to thousands of dollars. The average American spends nearly $2,000 for a summer vacation; however, the cost can vary significantly in different parts of the country. West Coast travelers tend to spend the most money at just over $2,200 per trip. Midwest travelers spend the least at a little over $1,600. Overall, Americans will spend just over $100 billion on summer travel this year.

3. Travel Is Big Among Baby Boomers

With more freedom in terms of budget and work and family obligations, baby boomers are making travel a big part of their lives. Unlike younger generations, boomers are more likely to use their vacation time. In fact, 62% of boomers still in the workforce say that they intend to take all of the vacation time they’re entitled to. Boomers also tend to plan early and spend big when it comes to travel. Eighty-eight percent of boomers start planning their summer vacations while the snow is still on the ground in December, and they spend an average of $6,600 per year on travel.

4. Travel Is About Family

Summer vacations are all about building memories and reconnecting with both immediate and extended family. An estimated 100 million Americans will take a summer vacation this year with travelers from the South being the most likely to take a family trip.

5. Domestic Travelers Are Looking for Fun in the Sun

The top domestic summer travel destinations for 2019 have plenty of sunshine and entertainment options for both adults and children. The top five domestic travel destinations are:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  4. Maui, Hawaii
  5. New York City, New York

6. Foreign Travel Is About History and Culture

U.S. travelers heading abroad are looking for destinations that feature a blend of cultural attractions, history, and modern entertainment and dining options. The top foreign travel destinations for this summer are:

  • London, England
  • Rome, Italy
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Paris, France

7. Travelers Are Looking for Adventure

If online searches are any indication, a growing number of travelers are seeking out activities and destinations designed to get the adrenaline pumping. This year alone, Pinterest has seen a 693% increase in searches for adventure travel, a 260% increase in searches for swimming holes, and a 143% increase in searches for cave diving.

8. Americans Still Love a Good Road Trip

Driving is by far the most popular way for Americans to reach their vacation destinations. An estimated 64% of Americans will drive at least part of the way to their vacation destination. Just over half of travelers will forgo the family auto or rental car and fly to their destination. Approximately 12% of travelers will cruise the high seas, while 10% will take a scenic train journey.

9. Travelers Are Staying Connected

Even on summer vacation, Americans are staying connected using their phones or tablets. Thirty-eight percent of Americans will arrange for accommodations online, and 58% of travelers will use a mobile device to plan or navigate their route. Once at their destination, 41% of travelers will use a mobile device to find local activities and attractions.

The summer vacation of 2019 is a mix of the classic and the modern. The traditional family road trip is still king, but digital devices are changing the way travelers plan and book their vacations.

For more information on the hottest travel trends of 2019, take a look at MDG’s enlightening infographic, 9 Hot Summer Travel Trends for 2019.

About Michael Del Gigante, CEO of MDG Advertising

In 1999, CEO Michael Del Gigante founded MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York. With his unique insight and decades of industry experience, he turned what was once a traditional ad agency into an integrated branding firm based on an innovative 360-degree marketing philosophy that provides a full spectrum of traditional and digital advertising services.

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