U.S. cities are still experiencing winter weather, so for many Americans spring, let alone spring break, can’t come soon enough! It’s the chance to disconnect from the everyday hustle, get out of the house and get some sun. Expedia recently asked 2,000 Americans about their spring break plans, and most only want to spend between $1,000 and $5,000 on a trip this year – that includes flights, hotels, food and entertainment. To help make this quest for sunshine easier, Expedia® today released new data insights that gives budget-focused travelers a handy guide on when to book and where to go.
“There are a number of factors that determine where people travel for spring break including weather, being with friends and family or having plenty of things to do, you name it. But there’s one thing we do know and it’s that cost is often the most important factor,” explains Nisreene Atassi, PR Director for Brand Expedia. “Spring is a busy travel season and vacations during peak times can be expensive. That’s why it’s crucial for travelers to know when they can book the most affordable rates and how to get the best spring break deals on Expedia.”
Best time to book
- Booking flights 21-30 days in advance. Last year, the average ticket price during spring break was about $482, and travelers who booked their flights at least three weeks in advance saved 10 percent. Thinking you might make a last-minute decision? Booking 14-20 days in advance could still net roughly 5 percent in savings.
- Getting a cheap room is more of a waiting game — booking six days or less before a trip could bring down room costs by more than 15 percent. Average daily hotel rates were around $160 in March and April last year, so there’s potential for significant savings if you’re willing to wait. Furthermore, according to Expedia’s 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook the best hotel deals are snapped up on Fridays.
- Travelers who can’t afford to fly or live really close to their vacation spot may opt for road trips. Reserving rental cars just six days or less in advance could save travelers around 20 percent.
Based on these insights, there is a clear formula to keep costs down for spring break travel: book flights early and then wait to get a hotel or rental car. It’s easy to do — especially if travelers add their hotel to an existing flight reservation any time before the day of their trip. By doing this, travelers can save up to 43 percent on hotel costs on Expedia. Savvy travelers also know that simultaneously booking a flight and hotel or rental car and hotel as part of a vacation package can net substantial savings.
Budget-friendly spring break destinations
Reminder: a great spring break trip doesn’t need to break the bank! Keeping the budget range in mind most travelers are willing to spend on their spring break trips, we asked Expedia data gurus to pull together 20 amazing destinations where it only costs $500 or less for round-trip airfare.
- New York
- Puerto Rico Island
- Santa Barbara
- Long Beach
Popular and trending destinations
Being in the business of helping people go places means Expedia gets to see firsthand what’s trending in travel, from the year’s best hotels to up-and-coming destinations to put on your bucket list. We also know the most popular places travelers will flock to as the temperatures rise, and what’s motivating people to plan a spring vacation.
- Nearly 30 percent of Americans want to hit the beach for spring break, which makes destinations like Mexico, Miami, Tampa, Fort Meyers and Fort Lauderdale really popular. Florida has over 800 miles of pristine coastline and is home to some of the best beaches in the world.
- As much as U.S. travelers are looking forward to warm vacations, nearly 15 percent seem to want to get in one last ski trip before the slopes close for the season. Case in point: Denver is one of the most popular destinations this spring, meaning travelers are ready to hit the slopes at Vail, Breckenridge and other ski areas within a few hours of the great city.
- Surprisingly, 14 percent of Americans want to travel internationally for spring break. Destinations like Amsterdam, Dublin, Barcelona, Rome, London, Bangkok and Tokyo are major tourist spots, and we’re noticing increased demand for these cities during spring.
- Next to cost, having a good time and plenty of things to do is also one of the most important factors travelers consider when deciding where to go for spring break. So it’s no surprise Los Angeles, Phoenix, Orlando, Paris, Las Vegas and New York are in high demand. From theme parks, attractions, and live concerts, the entertainment options in these cities are endless.
Warm weather, beaches and coastal cities are also top of mind for people still deciding on where to go for spring break. If you’re in the same boat, here are 10 trending spring vacation destinations to consider:
- New Orleans
- Florida Keys
- Orange County
- San Diego
- Montego Bay
- Puerto Rico Island
- St. Petersburg-Clearwater