2020 Travel Hacker Guide Data Methodology


Unless otherwise indicated, we considered searches conducted on the US KAYAK site between 11/01/2018 - 10/31/2019 for travel from the US occurring for travel dates specified below for each list.

All flight searches are round-trip economy flights, excluding price outliers based on certain criteria.

All hotel searches include properties with at least 4 stars and a certain minimum click threshold, unless otherwise noted. Excludes airport properties and outliers based on certain price criteria.

All city information, dining prices and weather data sourced from public sources on the internet.

Top 10 Trending Destinations
Travel dates considered were between 03/01/2019 - 02/28/2020. To find the change in trend rank, travel dates 03/01/2018 – 02/28/2019 were used.
Flight Destinations with the greatest year over year percent increase in searches of the top 100 most searched-for destinations.
Median Airfare Histogram: Median airfare by month for destination based on above trending travel dates & overall search dates.
Best Deal: Based on the lowest price found on KAYAK in the last 48 hours for the next 2 months of travel.
When to Book: Median airfare as a function of months before departure.
Top Trending Hotels: Based on properties with the greatest year over year percent increase in searches.
Travel dates and search dates adjusted as needed to generate additional data. Destinations include 4+ star properties based on number of available properties. Those with minimal 4+ star properties or none at all were excluded from the list.
Median Hotel Rate Histogram: Based on KAYAK monthly hotel rate data, updated every 24 hours.
Top 10 Wallet-Friendly Trips
Travel dates considered were between 11/01/2018 -10/31/2019.
Top Flight destinations, of the 100 most-searched flight destinations, with the lowest overall median trip cost were considered. Percent difference based on comparison to overall trip cost within North America (defined as US, CA, MX) for travel and search dates indicated. KAYAK has defined a “trip” as “a round-trip flight + 3-night hotel stay.”
Median Airfare Histogram: Median airfare by month for destinations based on above wallet-friendly travel dates & overall search dates.
Best Deal: Based on the lowest price found on KAYAK in the last 48 hours for the next 2 months of travel.
When to Book: Median airfare as a function of months before departure.
Top Wallet-Friendly Hotels: Based on properties with the lowest median hotel rate. Travel dates and search dates adjusted as needed to generate additional data. Destinations include 3+ star properties based on number of available properties. Those with minimal 3+ star properties or none at all were excluded from the list.
Median Hotel Rate Histogram: Based on KAYAK monthly hotel rate data, updated every 24 hours.
Top Solo Travel Destinations
Travel dates considered were between 11/01/2018 -10/31/2019.
Top Solo Travel destinations (1 passenger), of all destinations with more than 1,000 searches for solo travel, that have a higher solo travel percentage than overall US Solo Travel.
Median Airfare Histogram: Median airfare by month for destinations based on above Solo Travel dates & overall search dates.
Best Deal: Based on the lowest price found on KAYAK in the last 48 hours for the next 2 months of travel.
When to Book: Median airfare as a function of months before departure.
Top Solo Travel Hotels: Top hotels booked for 1 traveler. Travel dates and search dates adjusted as needed to generate additional data.
Those with minimal 3+ star properties or none at all were excluded from the list.
Median Hotel Rate Histogram: Based on KAYAK monthly hotel rate data, updated every 24 hours.
Top Under-the-Radar Destinations
Travel dates considered were between 11/01/2018 -10/31/2019.
KAYAK looked at the number of hotels for the top 200 most searched destinations in each region. The list includes cities with the highest density of hotels vs searches.
Median Airfare Histogram: Median airfare by month for destinations based on above Under-the-Radar travel dates & overall search dates.
Best Deal: Based on the lowest price found on KAYAK in the last 48 hours for the next 2 months of travel.
When to Book: Median airfare as a function of months before departure.
Top Under-the-Radar Hotels: Most clicked properties for each of the destinations were considered. Travel dates and search dates adjusted as needed to generate additional data. Destinations include 3+ star properties based on number of available properties. Those with minimal 3+ star properties or none at all were excluded from the list.
Median Hotel Rate Histogram: Based on KAYAK monthly hotel rate data, updated every 24 hours.
Monthly Deal Destinations
Travel dates considered were between 11/01/2018 -10/31/2019. Overall guide search dates were used.
Flight destinations with the greatest year over year percent decrease in airfare from the top 100 searched for destinations by month to travel.
When to Fly
For All Regions (AF, AS, CA, CB, EU, ME, NA, SA, SP) based on travel dates between 11/01/2018 -10/31/2019 and overall guide search dates indicated.
When to Book: Median airfare from US origin to each above region by weeks out. Data was capped at 6 months before departure date.