Memorial Day and Summer Travel 2013: Americans Follow the Music and Sun This Year

By Andrea Charriez

Before you book any trips for this Memorial Day weekend and summer, we at KAYAK wanted to share some tips based on searches performed on KAYAK so far this year.

It’s worth noting that New Jersey’s Atlantic City (our top destination for Memorial Day travel last year) saw the biggest year-over-year drop in hotel searches for both Memorial Day (down 50%) and summer travel (down 43%). To settle any doubts about construction post-Sandy, we can confirm that AC is up and running, so get your fist-pumping moves and slot coins ready.

Now, our top findings for 2013 summer travel, based on searches conducted January 1 through March 24:

Memorial Day
Nashville a rising star: Searches for flights to the “music city” are up 42% from last year with average airfares only increasing 3.75%.
Top music attractions: Joliet, IL, will host the Electronic Daisy Carnival this Memorial Day weekend and is the top trending destinations for hotel searches with a year-over-year increase of 5,590%. Our #3 trending hotel destination, Saratoga Springs, NY, saw an 804% year-over-year increase in searches, perhaps due to the Saratoga 150, a five-month long celebration of the 150 years of horse racing at Saratoga Race Course and Dave Matthews Band’s regular summer show at SPAC.
Trending destinations: Nashville, TN, Denver, CO, Austin, TX and Washington DC saw some of the biggest year-over-year increases in flight searches – between 20 – 28%.

Summer Travel
– Warmer destinations win:
Despite the summer heat, Las Vegas, NV, Orlando, FL and Honolulu, HI are the top 3 summer destinations. Airfares to Vegas and Honolulu decreased year-over-year (down 3% and 7%, respectively) and Orlando fares only increased 1%.
Cheapest beach destinations: Myrtle Beach, SC, San Jose del Cabo, MX, Kauai Island, HI and Honolulu, HI all saw some of the biggest airfare decreases since last year. Daytona Beach, FL, St Thomas, BVI, and Miami, FL saw the biggest decreases in hotel rates.
Canada still offers great value as popular destinations: Not only did Vancouver secure the #1 trending North American destination (flight searches are up 53% year-over-year), but its summer airfare decreased by 4%. Montreal, Canada also made it into the top 3 trending destinations for Memorial Day with a 42% increase in searches and a 33% drop in airfare.

Remember to reference our travel guide: While summer is an expensive season to travel, August – based on 2012 searches – was the cheapest month of the season to fly. Also based on last year’s searches, the best time to book your flight for domestic travel was 21-35 days before departure and within 3 months of departure for international travel.

Happy summer travels from KAYAK.




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