Winter travel trends: ‘Tis the season for winter getaways

Make your 2023-2024 winter season more memorable through the gift of travel.

Published November 2023

Homes in Montana near ski slope.

It's "snow" secret. We're back with another season of travel trends. Winter is here, and it's time for holiday trips with family and friends or solo adventures to beat the winter blues.

According to this year's survey,* 47% of Americans plan to travel for a vacation or getaway during the 2023-24 winter season from December through February. 64% of respondents also plan to travel with more frequency than they did last winter, with 71% of Americans taking quick weekend trips (2 or single-day trips) and 64% taking long weekend trips (3-4 days)—an increase from what 2022 winter travelers reported previously (67% and 60%, respectively).

This year, 43% of travelers shared that their top priority this winter will be visiting a destination that stays within their budget—a slight decrease from what was reported in the fall (45%). What's more, travelers are also prioritizing visiting more convenient destinations (38%), including going to places the whole group can enjoy (38%).

Ready to discover 2023-2024 top holiday travel trends? Get wrapped up in the season's magic and read on to gain inspiration for your next trip.

Icons and stats communicating Winter's coolest vacation spots.

Winter whereabouts:

  • Stateside travel: 4 in 5 winter travelers are staying in the U.S. this season (79%), a slight increase from a similar question asked in winter 2022 (75%).
  • Winter in the city: 44% of travelers are heading to an urban/city destination this winter, followed by leisure destinations (37%) and beach destinations (36%). This is a slight seasonal shift from the fall when consumers were still leaning into beach destinations more than others (43%). Meanwhile, a quarter of winter travelers are headed to the mountains this season (24%).
  • Domestic vs. international travel: Boomers are the most likely to be planning a vacation within the United States (90%), while Millennials are the most likely to be going to an international destination (51%).

2023-2024 winter travel destinations:

Graphic communicating where travelers are heading out to chill with stats and icons.

Travel motive

  • Winter adventures: 42% of travelers are planning to travel for a holiday-related event this winter, 39% are planning to travel for a family-related event, such as a family member’s birthday or a family reunion, and 25% are traveling for winter sports activities, such as skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling.
  • Slopeside savings: Favorable accommodation prices are the top influencer when travelers book winter sport-related trips (50%) – even more so than having fresh snowfall (43%).
  • Winter wonderland escapes: When choosing a winter sports destination, the top driving factors for travelers are the environment/natural beauty (57%), followed by the affordability of passes and/or rentals (53%).

Beautiful 2024 ski destinations:

Affordable 2024 ski destinations:

Graphic communicating how travelers balance expenses in winter 2024 with stats and icons.

Winter travel fund

  • Balancing travel expenses: When asked to share the approximate percentage breakdown of travel-related expenses for their holiday trips, travelers indicated that on average 28% of their budget would be spent on travel, 21% on accommodations, 20% on food/drinks, 18% on activities/experiences and 14% on souvenirs/gifts.
  • Don't let your wallet freeze this winter: 88% of travelers have shifted their travel plans/planning behavior to be more budget-conscious – a slight uptick from this fall (86%). For 34% of these travelers, this means driving to their destination instead of flying. However, 27% will be on the lookout for special promotions, and 27% plan to spend less money when they get to their destination.

Affordable 2024 holiday destinations:

Graphic communicating transportation methods with stats covering the winter travel preferences by modality.

Air, road, sea, or rail?

  • Get in, we’re going on a road trip: More than two-thirds of travelers drive to their winter destinations this season (67%), with 51% planning on flying.
  • Winter train express. Cooler weather is bringing more train rides: A quarter of winter travelers are planning to take a train this season (24%), which has trended upward since this summer (18%) and fall (21%).

Inspirational 2023-2024 winter destinations:

Graphic communicating travel wants across generations with stats.

Generational differences

  • Chill out and travel this winter: Millennials (72%) and Gen Z (65%) are the most likely generations to have winter vacation plans, compared to 28% of those Gen X and older.
  • Picture or it didn’t happen: Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to prioritize going somewhere photo-worthy (30%) compared to those Gen X and older (19%). Meanwhile, those Gen X and older more often prioritize going somewhere that allows them to truly unplug/disconnect (41% vs. 35% Millennials and Gen Z).

Get inspired >

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Graphic communication the trending winter 2024 perks of travelers supported by stats.

Winter accommodations

  • There’s room for everyone: 31% of travelers are staying in a vacation rental this season. 58% of those choosing to stay in a vacation rental did so because it provides the best value for their money and more living space (50%). The latter is particularly important to consumers this winter, compared to the fall (42%) and summer (40%) seasons.
  • Out with the old, in with the new: Millennials are the most likely to trade out traditional accommodations for a camper, RV, or airstream (22% vs. all travelers).

The winter 2024 vacation rentals we booked

Unique winter vacation rentals off the beaten path


  1. *This survey was done in partnership with Allison, where Vacasa surveyed more than 1,000 Americans over the age of 18.

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