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Adventure travel is going to be huge this summer

Tripadvisor shares insight on where and what Americans are doing this summer

Erika Mailman
Written by
Erika Mailman

This summer, Americans are looking for adventure. That’s the main takeaway from Tripadvisor’s predictions for summer travel this year. According to their study, Americans plan to travel farther from home this year, with 44 percent of respondents planning to travel at least seven hours away. Although we all might be fighting squeezed budgets, many of us are willing to let loose with a grand adventure that lasts longer than previous vacations (55 percent of respondents). It’s almost as if previous years had taught us something about being grateful for moving around the world freely?

Speaking of which, many U.S. travelers are valuing spontaneity this year. While 85 percent know that they’ll be looking to take tours and book experiences during their trips (the breakdown is 33 percent choosing museums and art galleries, 33 percent selecting food and wine tours, and 32 percent looking for water parks and amusement parks), a whopping 56 percent of respondents aren’t booking them in advance. Instead, they will fill up their itinerary once they’re there, making decisions “in the moment” based on how they feel at their destination.

Finally, although the weather can sometimes upend plans, Americans are really optimistic about this summer’s travel. The study says that 86 percent of respondents have deeply positive feelings about their travel plans, using words like excitement, happiness, and optimism to describe the upcoming journeys. And 50 percent plan to “make memories,” 41 percent want to “let loose,” and 36 percent say that they want to "have an adventure.”

You may wonder, what exactly does “adventure” mean? When we pop that search word along with the U.S. into Tripadvisor, we get a list of experiences like ziplining, swimming with sharks, inner tubing, ATV riding, hiking into slot canyons, and more. We’re all for it! That’s why we travel.

The top domestic summer travel destinations for U.S. citizens include:

1. Las Vegas, NV
2. Myrtle Beach, SC
3. Orlando, FL
4. Honolulu, HI
5. New York City
6. Chicago
7. Key West
8. Ocean City, MD
9. San Diego, CA
10. Boston, MA

Another aspect of the study looked at the fastest-growing domestic destinations. These top 10 places include:

1. Yosemite National Park, CA
2. College Station, TX
3. Santa Rosa Beach, FL
4. Pocono Manor, PA
5. Waimea, HI
6. Fort Myers Beach, FL
7. Tavernier, FL
8. Sandusky, OH
9. Yellowstone National Park, WY
10. Mackinac Island, MI

The data is based on a Tripadvisor Consumer Sentiment Survey, which 2,400 consumers participated in, conducted between March 13 and 18, 2024, across six countries, including the U.S. It also includes first-party traffic data from Tripadvisor regarding searches by U.S. travelers between February 1 and April 15 of this year for travel between June 1 and August 31.

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