May 19, 2022

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Travelling Tomorrow

4X as Many Spring Breakers Hitting the Roads and Skies in 2022 vs. 2021 — TripIt Blog


This year’s spring break could be quite the travel event! With Omicron cases dropping and temperatures rising, our data shows that many will be memorializing the two-year anniversary of the pandemic with a spring break vacation. 

TripIt analyzed U.S. origin flight reservations made by our TripIt users for spring break and compared the findings to equivalent booking periods in 2021. 

We found that travel volumes will significantly surpass last year’s volumes, and big cities that slipped from the top 25 lists are back again, replacing the off-the-beaten-path destinations that held temporary reign in 2021. 

Current Percentage of Reservations Compared to Prior Year 

2022 Flights (all) 2022 Flights (Domestic) 2022 Flights (Int’l) 2022 Car Rentals 2022 Lodging 2022 Vacation Rentals
Compared to 2021 383% 354% 507% 404% 351% 215%

Big cities spring ahead 

As we heard in our recent survey, 54% of U.S.-based travelers plan to take a flight within the U.S. by March—and from the looks of our booking data, many travelers will be headed out for spring break. With flight volumes at nearly 4x what they were for the same period last year, it’s going to be a very busy few weeks at the airports.  

The busiest airports during the nearly three-week period we analyzed will be: 

As for the busiest departure days, Friday, March 11, will be the busiest, followed by Saturday, March 12, Thursday, March 17, and Friday, March 18. 

Consistent with recent booking data, Orlando, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Denver will be the most popular destinations for travelers during spring break, as well.  

Indeed, big cities are making their way back to the top 25. New York City (#7), San Francisco (#12), Chicago (#13), Boston (#24), and Washington, D.C. (#25) will all reemerge after a year of absence. 

Top 25 Flight Destinations
*Not included in comparison year list

2022 Rank 2021
Orlando, FL 1 Orlando, FL
Las Vegas, NV 2 Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ 3 Las Vegas, NV
Denver, CO 4 Denver, CO
Cancun 5 Fort Myers, FL
Los Angeles, CA 6 Cancun
*New York, NY 7 Tampa, FL
Miami, FL 8 Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fort Lauderdale, FL 9 Kahului, HI
Salt Lake City, UT 10 Honolulu, HI
San Diego, CA 11 Miami, FL
*San Francisco, CA 12 Salt Lake City, UT
*Chicago, IL 13 Los Angeles, CA
*London 14 *Kailua-kona, HI
Tampa, FL 15 *San Jose Cabo
For Myers, FL 16 Dallas, TX
Honolulu, HI 17 San Diego, CA
Kahului, HI 18 New Orleans, LA
Dallas, TX 19 *Tokyo
New Orleans, LA 20 Seattle, WA
Austin, TX 21 *Palm Springs, CA
Seattle, WA 22 Austin, TX
Atlanta, GA 23 *Nashville, TN
*Boston, MA 24 Atlanta, GA
*Washington, DC 25 *Houston, TX

The trend that just keeps riding 

While the pandemic looks to be heading into a new phase, it seems the rental car trend will hang around at least a little while longer. We expect 4x the number of rentals we saw last spring break. While the top five destinations look very similar to the top flight destinations, Kahului, HI is one notable addition. 

Top 25 Car Rental Pickup Locations 
*Not included in comparison year list 

2022 Rank 2021
Orlando, FL 1 Orlando, FL
Phoenix, AZ 2 Phoenix, AZ
Kahului, HI 3 Denver, CO
Denver, CO 4 Kahului, HI
Las Vegas, NV 5 Fort Myers, FL
Honolulu, HI 6 Fort Lauderdale, FL
Tampa, FL 7 Las Vegas, NV
Salt Lake City, UT 8 Tampa, FL
Los Angeles, CA 9 Honolulu, HI
Fort Myers, FL 10 Miami, FL
Fort Lauderdale, FL 11 Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA 12 Kailua-kona, HI
Kailua-kona, HI 13 Austin, TX
San Diego, CA 14 Dallas, TX
Lihue, HI 15 San Diego, CA
Miami, FL 16 *College Park, GA
*Palm Springs, CA 17 *Jacksonville, FL
Dallas, TX 18 *Belgrade, MT
Austin, TX 19 Chicago, IL
*Seattle, WA 20 Los Angeles, CA
Houston, TX 21 Lihue, HI
Chicago, IL 22 Houston, TX
*Boston, MA 23 *Reno, NV
*Nashville, TN 24 *Charlotte, NC
*West Palm Beach, FL 25 San Francisco, CA

The trend that’s stalled 

Lodging and vacation rentals see the most significant shake up in their respective top 25 lists. The more remote, more outdoorsy, and less cosmopolitan destinations that reigned supreme last year—Sedona, Grand Canyon, and Moab, for example—are replaced by their inverse this year—New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston. 

Last year, we also saw a shift toward longer hotel stays, with 45% of reservations booked for 5-7 days stays and just over 2% for 8+ day stays. We attributed that trend to the ability to work and school from anywhere. This year, however, we see a shift back toward slightly shorter stays, with just over 14% staying 5+ days and the majority (74%) staying 3-4 days.  

Top 25 Lodging Locations 
*Not included in comparison year list 

2022 Rank 2021
Las Vegas, NV 1 Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL 2 Las Vegas, NV
*New York, NY 3 Lahaina, HI
San Diego, CA 4 Honolulu, HI
*Chicago, IL 5 Scottsdale, AZ
New Orleans, LA 6 New Orleans, LA
Honolulu, HI 7 Phoenix, AZ
*Los Angeles, CA 8 *Key West, FL
*Washington, DC 9 *Park City, UT
*Miami, FL 10 *Sedona, AZ
*San Francisco, CA 11 *Lake Buena Vista, FL
Scottsdale, AZ 12 Miami Beach, FL
Phoenix, AZ 13 Fort Lauderdale, FL
Austin, TX 14 San Antonio, TX
Nashville, TN 15 *Vail, CO
*Anaheim, CA 16 *Grand Canyon, AZ
*Atlanta, GA 17 Nashville, TN
Lahaina, HI 18 Denver, CO
*Boston, MA 19 Kissimmee, FL
*Houston, TX 20 Austin, TX
Denver, CO 21 *Kihei, HI
San Antonio, TX 22 San Diego, CA
Fort Lauderdale, FL 23 *Palm Desert, CA
Miami Beach, FL 24 *Hilton Head Island, SC
Kissimmee, FL 25 *Moab, UT

Percentage of Lodging Reservations by Length of Stay 

1-2 Days 3-4 Days 5-7 Days 8+ Days
2022 12% 74% 14% 0.6%
2021 15% 38% 45% 2.2%

We see similar trends for vacation rentals as well, with destinations like Big Sky, MT, Hilton Head, SC, and Flagstaff, AZ being swapped for Austin, TX, Nashville, TN, and Tucson, AZ. However, we don’t see as strong a shift away from longer stays. While the percentage of stays for 8+ days in a vacation rental did decrease from 15% last year to 8% this year, we’re seeing stays for 5-7 days increase from 49% to 58%. 

Top 25 Vacation Rental Locations 
*Not included in comparison year list 

2022 Rank 2021
San Diego, CA 1 Sedona, AZ
New Orleans, LA 2 Park City, UT
Palm Springs, CA 3 Kissimmee, FL
Scottsdale, AZ 4 Breckenridge, CO
*Austin, TX 5 Palm Springs, CA
Park City, UT 6 *Moab, UT
Miami, FL 7 Honolulu, HI
Breckenridge, CO 8 *Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Kissimmee, FL 9 *Panama City, FL
Kihei, HI 10 Scottsdale, AZ
*Nashville, TN 11 *Vail, CO
*Tucson, AZ 12 New Orleans, LA
*Phoenix, AZ 13 *Lahaina, HI
Savannah, GA 14 Savannah, GA
Sedona, AZ 15 *Fredericksburg, TX
*Chicago, IL 16 Kihei, HI
*Kailua-kona, HI 17 *Cape Coral, FL
*Los Angeles, CA 18 San Diego, CA
*Miami Beach, FL 19 *St. Augustine, FL
*Washington, DC 20 *Big Sky, MT
*Steamboat Springs, CO 21 *Charleston, SC
Honolulu, HI 22 Miami, FL
*Orlando, FL 23 *Hilton Head Island, SC
*San Francisco, CA 24 *Flagstaff, AZ
*Princeville, HI 25 *Destin, FL

Percentage of Vacation Rental Reservations by Length of Stay 

1-2 Days 3-4 Days 5-7 Days 8+ Days
2022 7% 30% 58% 6%
2021 9% 27% 49% 15%

Methodology: TripIt looked at U.S. origin round-trip flight reservations made between February 7, 2021, and February 7, 2022, for travel during Spring Break (Friday March 11 – Sunday, March 27, 2022), and equivalent booking periods in 2021 and 2020. Reservation data in TripIt is provided by users and is booking provider agnostic.

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