Trends Worth Tracking: Late Summer Travel Spots

Digitas

Tara Lyons

Trends Worth Tracking: Late Summer Travel Spots

Top 5 Trending Labor Day Destinations

Brought to you by VERA, Digitas’ intelligence hub dedicated to uncovering truths worth tracking.

The Truth

Summer is coming to a close and Labor Day weekend is a prime opportunity to fit in one final getaway before fall rolls in. According to a study by Airlines for America, more Americans are traveling during Labor Day weekend, with 16.1 million Americans flying to their vacation destination during Labor Day weekend in 2017. To connect brands with consumer trends, Digitas took its “Truth. Connection. Wonder.” approach to unveil the top five trending travel hot spots for the end of summer based on online search interest.

The Connection

#1: Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

- This beautiful Croatian national park boasts 16 lakes and more than 90 waterfalls. Fall travelers get the added benefit of stunning fall foliage along with glistening waters.

- Natural wonders were clearly on travelers’ minds, as online search interest in Plitvice Lakes increased 31% YoY.

- Musical group TLC advised us not to go chasing waterfalls, but a quick Google image search should be enough to convince you to book your flight to Croatia ASAP.

#2: Reykjavik, Iceland

- Reykjavik is renowned for its nightlife, famous ice caves and amazing natural sights, such as the Northern Lights. New Englanders looking for an international trip can travel to the world’s northernmost capital within a six-hour flight.

- Online search interest for Reykjavik is up 24% YoY and searches for the Icelandic capital consistently peak during summer months.

- According to Think with Google, Reykjavik is a popular destination for female New Yorkers between the ages of 25 to 34 with an avid interest in hiking.

#3: New England, USA

- The dramatic New England fall foliage starts in the northern New England states (Maine and New Hampshire) typically in late September and moves down to the southern New England states (Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island) around late October.

- Travelers are researching fall foliage getaways earlier in 2018, as searches reached record highs in July, up 10% YoY.

- If you’re thinking about an unbe-leaf-able experience this year, it’s best to start looking and booking now.

#4: Niagara Falls

- Niagara falls borders both the US & Canada, making its jaw dropping beauty accessible with or without a passport. On either the New York side or across the border into Ontario, take in the falls with trails, observation towers and more.

- Searches for Niagara Falls are up 7% YoY. Surprisingly, much of the interest is surrounding ziplining through the falls!

- Though Niagara Falls has been the perfect long weekend getaway for the Northeast for years, the search for “the best time to Niagara Falls” is trending in Canada and Texas.

#5: Colorado, USA

- Boulder & Aspen may be major winter destinations, but the sweeping views of fall foliage mixed with snowy mountaintops in the distance help land Colorado on many top travel lists for fall.

- Searches for Colorado travel have consistently increased 5-7% each year since 2016, peaking in July of this year.

- Not surprisingly, travel to Colorado over-indexes on the west coast, with the most searches coming from Oregon, Washington and New Mexico. Exceptions are Virginia and Pennsylvania, who are feeling the “West Coast Best Coast” hype. If you do make it to the Rocky Mountain state, be sure to check out the Boulder Fall Festival in September to enjoy local music, craft beer and farmers’ markets.

The Wonder

Search trends indicate that people are searching earlier for fall travel, especially for Labor Day and for iconic leaf-peeping destinations (we see you, New England!). In the US, the most popular departure dates searched for during the month of September are the 1st and the 2nd**, indicating that planning for Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer is well underway.

Sources:

*Google Trends

**Sojern Global Travel Insights