‘Family fun’ and some surprising cities top list of summer travel trends

Credit: Jaclyn Brandt

Summer is here, and that means people are thinking about family vacations and other summer travel. Marriott conducted a study of what people are looking for this summer, and it turns out there are some pretty specific trends.

“This summer, travelers are looking beyond typical beach-centric destinations and considering places like Orlando, New York, Chicago and New Orleans to explore with their families and friends,” said Brian King with Marriott International. “They’re also more eager this year than last year to bring their pets, stay a little longer and seek out good value.”

For Marriott’s study, they looked at 2 million searches and bookings on Marriott.com that happened in April and May 2017 – for people traveling between Memorial Day and Labor Day holiday weekends. They also surveyed more than 2,000 people.

Top Cities

Travelers were specifically looking for “family fun” or city escapes. The Top 5 most-searched destinations for Memorial Day are:

Orlando
New York
Washington D.C.
Chicago
San Diego

The top picks for 4th of July weekend are:

New Orleans
New York
Orlando
Chicago
San Diego

International Travel for Holiday Weekends

Surprisingly, a lot of travelers were also looking to leave the country for Memorial Day and 4th of July weekend. Those searchers were looking for warmer climates, including the Caribbean and Latin America, Aruba, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

They also found that many people are planning a five-day weekend for the 4th of July weekend (Saturday through Wednesday), likely because the 4th falls on a Tuesday this year.

“More than a third of customers are booking three-to-five day stays for the Memorial Day and July 4 holidays,” Marriott said. “This represents an approximately 70 percent increase in longer-than-average stays compared to non-holiday summer weekends.”

Vacation Packages

Marriott also found that many travelers were looking for packaged deals, wiith guests booking package rates about 7 percent more often for their holiday weekend vacations than their non-holiday trips.

“We’re seeing packages grow because people are opting for once-and-done vacations, where they can get on with enjoying rather than budgeting,” King said. “Who doesn’t like a little extra value for their summer holidays? For some families, that can mean having the freedom to buy more frozen custard, roller-coaster rides and mini-golf games.”

Credit: Marriott