Summer 2023 travel trends

Budgets, bucket lists, and beyond

Published May 2023

People on a beach overlooking a blue ocean.
cozy interior with unique circular fireplace in Mendocino, CA vacation home

There’s no time like summer to make memories to last a lifetime, and 2023 is shaping up to be one for the photobooks. To understand just how people are gearing up to enjoy the season, Vacasa teamed up with Allison + Partners to survey more than 1,000 Americans about their upcoming plans for summer travel.1

This year, as travelers seek to balance budgets and bucket lists, they’re putting experience ahead of tradition. Whether it’s soaking up the sun on a pristine sandy shore, jet-setting (or set-jetting) for a fun-filled urban adventure or hitting the highway for a good old-fashioned road trip, summer 2023 is all about taking much-needed time to savor new and beloved destinations.

For a closer look at the travel trends heating up for summer 2023, let’s dive into the data.

Getaways and travel trends for summer 2023 by days.

Trip types and travel companions

  • Of the 68% of Americans surveyed who are planning summer travel, 66% are planning a trip with their significant other and 27% are taking a trip with friends. And let’s not forget our furry friends! One in five summer travelers plans to pack along a pet (20%).2
  • Holiday trips are on the upswing. The percentage of Americans traveling for one or more summer holiday weekends has increased from 67% in 2022 to 80% in 2023, with 54% of travelers going somewhere for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, 49% going somewhere for Memorial Day, and 41% traveling for Labor Day weekend.2
  • It’s weekend travel for the win. This summer, 77% of travelers are choosing quick and easy getaways (2 days or less) to satisfy their wanderlust — but more travelers are taking longer trips, too.2
  • Nearly 70% of travelers say they’re planning a trip for three to four days, 63% of travelers are planning a trip for five to seven days, and 43% are planning a trip for seven days or more.2
Infographic highlighting 2023 travel trends on the travelers top picks.

Travel modes and motivations

  • Top priorities for summer travelers? Going somewhere within their budget (41%) and going somewhere that allows them to truly unplug and disconnect (38%).
  • Experience trumps tradition. Nearly 60% of travelers say checking a destination off their bucket list, going somewhere photo-worthy, or having authentic cultural experiences are among their top two travel priorities. And just 20% put a premium on creating or building on traditions.
  • Nearly 90% of summer travelers have shifted upcoming travel plans or planning behaviors to be more budget conscious (87%), most often by driving instead of flying (33%), monitoring prices to find a deal (32%), or scheduling their trip around the least expensive days/weeks to travel (31%).2
  • The great American road trip is making a comeback, with more than three-quarters of summer travelers (78%) planning to drive to a destination by car, RV, airstream, or camper van. Meantime, nearly half plan to hit the skies for an upcoming trip (48%).2
  • Thirty-eight percent of travelers plan to book a vacation rental this summer, up from 32% in summer 2022 — with 76% choosing a vacation rental for private and recreational amenities (e.g., full kitchens, pools, and bikes) and more than half choosing a vacation rental because they provide the best value for the money (52%).2
infographic highlighting the summer's hottest destinations.

What’s on the summer agenda

  • Destinations new and known are calling, with travelers evenly split across visiting a place they’ve never been to (34%), returning to a place they’ve previously visited (35%), and traveling to a combination of somewhere familiar and somewhere new (31%).2
  • Most summer travelers are staying stateside (84%), while 44% are traveling internationally.2
  • Summer hot spots include beach destinations (57%), city/urban destinations (46%), and national parks (40%), with travelers also opting for attraction-based locations like Las Vegas and Disneyland (36%), lakes (35%), mountain destinations (35%), historic and culturally rich destinations (29%), and movie or TV show set destinations (19%).2
  • Travelers are most often taking trips for outdoor recreation like hiking or snorkeling (41%), a family-related event (40%), or exploring U.S. national parks (33%). Also on the agenda? Festivals and concerts (28%), sporting events (22%), and wellness retreats (21%).2

Looking to book your summer getaway?

You can’t go wrong with these Vacasa guest favorites.

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  1. Allison+Partners surveyed 1,001 consumers age 18 or older in the US. The survey was fielded using the Qualtrics Insight Platform and panel was sourced from Lucid Marketplace. Fielding was executed across March and April 2023.
  2. Question was “select all that apply,” accounting for multiple trips and, where applicable, totals of more than 100%.