The 8 things you need to know about summer travel

Last summer, the focus was on the “revenge” trip, but this year, things have taken a different turn. Travel costs are generally higher than they were last year, but on a positive note, Americans are taking more PTO, resulting in longer vacations than in 2019.

In an effort to equip you for your upcoming summer travels, Kayak has compiled a list of 8 essential things to know that will aid in planning a better trip.

1. Tis the season to use your passport

You know what’s hot right now? International travel. Do you know what’s not? Staying in the good ol’ US of A. International flight searches are up a whopping 42%, while domestic travel has decreased 2%. And it’s not just flights, both hotel searches (+36%) and car searches (+35%) are up for international destinations, compared to last summer. So hop on the trend.

2. Renting a car is probably the only thing you won’t have to splurge on

Trips are an investment – and like the price of eggs, they feel a bit pricier this year. But one bright spot is for rental cars: overall, daily rental rates are down 13% compared to last year. So you can expect to pay less for your ride. To compare, flights and hotels have seen a 35% and 5% increase in cost, respectively.

3. You’re gonna pay a bit more, and you’re gonna be ok with it

That doesn’t mean you can’t use KAYAK to hack your way to a great deal. But if we’re looking just at the data, we don’t see any domestic OR international summer flight destinations that have seen a significant drop in airfare when compared to last summer.* So across the board, expect to pay a bit more. (But it’s worth it, promise.)

4. If you’re traveling for a holiday, travel during the week

Put in your PTO. The week of Memorial Day is (one of) the cheapest weeks of the summer to travel domestically. Similarly, the week of Labor Day is one of the cheapest to stay in a hotel in the US OR rent a car internationally.* So when everyone is back to the office on Tuesday, use that as your opportunity to be OOO.

summer travel

5. If you’re here to impress, go to Asia

That’s where the cool kids are going. Five of the top 10 trending international summer destinations are located in Asia. Additionally, flight searches to Asia are up 56% compared to last summer.* Meaning it’s the new-ish hotspot for travelers staying on-trend.

6. Follow the flock

Europe and the South Pacific are also trending for summer. Flight searches to these regions are up 55% and 56% respectively compared to last year.* This surge in interest could potentially lead to more routes opening, as well as more opportunities for these destinations to cater to their influx of visitors.

7. This summer, go all-in…clusive summer travel

All-inclusive resorts are having a moment. Travelers have decided life is too short to stock a vacation rental kitchen. Our data shows that our “all-inclusive stays” filter has seen a 31% increase in usage since last year and a *checks notes* 166% increase since 2019.** Meaning more people are opting for an all-you-can-piña colada package than before.

8. Share your car summer travel

Car sharing if the thing you didn’t know your trip needed. What’s “car sharing” you may ask? It’s the concept that you can rent a car from a person vs. a corporation. Kinda like how a certain home renting site works. The thing is, you can search for these options on KAYAK – and since last year we’ve seen a 94% increase in travelers using our car-sharing filter.*** Get in on the trend.

Wherever you’re headed this summer, when it’s time to head off on that PTO Kayak’s OOO Generator will serve up an away message that fits your vacation vibe. From “per my last email” to “kind regards” we’ll help you let your colleagues know you are not available.

Methodology:
*KAYAK considered round trip, economy flight, standard, double-occupancy hotel searches, and standard, four-door rental car searches between 1/1/2023-3/31/2023 for travel dates 5/26/2023 – 9/5/2023. For YoY comparison, the same search and travel dates were used in 2022. For Yo4Y comparison, the same search and travel dates were used in 2019. Prices are on average and are subject to change. Destinations were removed based on certain search thresholds and travel advisories in place.
** KAYAK considered hotel searches that used the all-inclusive filter for searches between 1/1/2023-3/31/2023 for travel dates 5/26/2023 – 9/5/2023. For YoY comparison, the same search and travel dates were used in 2022. For Yo4Y comparison, the same search and travel dates were used in 2019.
***KAYAK considered rental car searches that used the “car sharing” filter for searches between 1/1/2023-3/31/2023 for travel dates 5/26/2023 – 9/5/2023. For YoY comparison, the same search and travel dates were used in 2022.

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