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These summer travel destinations are on sale right now

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AirDNA VP of Research Jamie Lane checks out American travel trends ahead of the July 4th weekend, demand for short and long-term rental bookings, and where some of the most expensive summer destinations are.

Video transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Your summer vacation may cost a lot more this year, but demand is back and stronger than ever. For a look at the trends, we're now joined by Jaime Lane, AirDNA's Vice President of Research. Jamie, good to have you on here. So the strongest year on record, you say, for summer vacation demand.

JAMIE LANE: Yeah, it's really unbelievable. Last year was the best year ever and this year is going to break it. We're seeing demand up almost 14% for this weekend over last year.

SEANA SMITH: Jamie, what about the chaos that we're seeing unfold at the airports? Thousands of flights delayed and canceled weekend after weekend-- I would have to think that that's spooked some travelers out there.

JAMIE LANE: Yeah. And the strongest demand we're seeing is actually in drive-to markets. So beach markets-- really drive-to locations generate the most demand. So a little bit of hiccups at the airlines isn't going to hurt it too bad.

DAVE BRIGGS: What type of trends are you seeing, Jamie, in terms of length of stays? And any indication of the bleasure trend continuing, if not growing?

JAMIE LANE: Yeah, we're definitely seeing an uptick in long weekend travel. So where you might have just taken the three-day weekend, we see a lot of people taking four or five days for this extended travel period, and even linking it to the Juneteenth weekend that we had just a couple of weeks ago, and really making a summer out of it.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: So when you add on these three-day weekends now, as you mentioned there with Juneteenth, what about where people are staying? During the pandemic, a lot of people didn't want to stay in some of these big hotels where you'd see huge crowds, and they turned, instead, to your Airbnbs and your rentals. What are we seeing in those markets?

JAMIE LANE: Yeah, demand is still really strong. And what we've seen with the demand being so strong last year, that now there's been a lot more supply being added. So we've seen almost 25% more listings added on Airbnb and Vrbo over this past year that has allowed these destinations to now accommodate more people than ever before.

SEANA SMITH: Jamie, it's a pretty expensive time to travel-- hotel stays up 33% compared to a year ago. Are there any great deals out there that are still available?

JAMIE LANE: Yeah. Overall, short-term rental rates are not as high as hotels. We're seeing rates up 9% this year compared to last year. But there are some relatively inexpensive markets-- Myrtle Beach, Destin come to mind. And actually, some that have actually seen weakness in demand and rates from last year-- some ski markets, if you're willing to go up to the mountains-- Telluride, Lake Tahoe are seeing some weakness in demand this year.

DAVE BRIGGS: Boy, three of the top four most expensive destinations from Colorado, surprising in the Colorado mountains. Talk about the hottest destinations this summer. And what are you seeing in terms of types of rentals-- condos versus apartments versus homes, or even specialty long-term rentals.

JAMIE LANE: Yeah. And specialty short-term rentals are the hottest things that you can get right now. Anything with amenities like a pool or hot tub, we're seeing really strong demand. And then you see the markets with the highest ADRs, and it's really-- these are luxury vacation rental markets, long history of renting out, especially during holiday weekends.

And those are markets where we actually see some weakness in demand. And maybe they're seeing a ceiling on the rates that they can hit.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: So then as you mentioned there, with the addition of more of these listings on Airbnb and with Vrbo, what can people do? If you're a seller, you're trying to rent this house out, what can you actually do to differentiate yourself from the crowd?

JAMIE LANE: Yeah, that's where I really point people to the amenities that you can add to your listing-- so making it family-friendly, pool or hot tub, things like that-- even if it's just a playground in the backyard for families can really make you attractive and stand out from the crowd.

SEANA SMITH: Jamie, when's the best time to travel?

JAMIE LANE: Well, the most popular time to travel is during the summer. And July is traditionally the strongest month of the year. And July 4th is the strongest weekend of the year.

So this is busiest season. You're going to see the highest rates. If you want to find a time where you can get deals, it wouldn't be during the summer. You look during the shoulder seasons-- so spring and fall-- so maybe this summer gets a bit too expensive, look to push out that trip to the fall period.

DAVE BRIGGS: And beyond the timing, Jamie, what are your tips for people that are looking to save and still get away this summer?

JAMIE LANE: Yeah. I would suggest take advantage of the flexibility that a lot of us now have with remote work. Try to make that trip work during the week when you can get significantly lower rates than on the weekend.

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, Jamie, good to see you. Jamie Lane with us today. Appreciate the information.

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