Where To Go This Summer To Beat The Crowds and Save Money

There’s no doubt about it- travel is back! And while this is surely exciting, many travelers this summer have had a few rude awakenings. Travel may be back, but it’s not without some major issues. For one, prices are HIGH. Whether you’re looking at airfare, hotels or AirBnB rentals, you’re likely to find yourself shocked by the cost. Travelers are also facing severe crowding in many popular locations- traffic jams, crowded beaches, and attractions selling out are just some of the issues related to overcrowding that traveler are experiencing. Summer travelers are also experiencing major changes in the quality of service they receive. From flights to hotels to restaurants, many businesses are short staffed and struggling to keep up with high demand, which means the quality of service they can offer is suffering. This can be especially hard to swallow when you’re paying premium prices for your travel! But there’s a solid month of summer left and we’re here to help you find where to go this summer to beat the crowds AND save money!

Summer Data

The Florida based travel company, Trips to Discover, took some time to study Google trends and rental home date across the country in order to help travelers find locations where crowds are smaller and rental costs are lower. They discovered that across the country, rental home rates on platforms such as AirbNb went up nearly 80% since 2019. They found that booking rates increased drastically in more rural areas and along coastlines whereas booking rates dropped quite significantly in large cities. The company also collected data on Google trends- tracking which destinations people were searching more often and which destinations saw a decrease in searches- to help identify where crowds may be biggest. Here is what they found if you’re looking for where to go this summer to beat the crowds and save money!

Where to Beat the Crowds

The following locations saw more than a 50% decrease in Google searches since pre-pandemic times:

  • Green Mountains, Vermont
  • New York City
  • The Washington Coast
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Tallahassee, Florida

All of these locations are truly amazing, so if you’re wondering where you can go this summer to beat the crowds, any of these locations are a good place to start looking! The big surprise on that list is New York City. New York City stayed shuttered longer than most cities and was slower to jump back in the travel game- but NYC is indeed back. Most people just aren’t aware of it quite yet, or are still a bit hesitant to visit what was the epicenter of the United States’ first wave of coronavirus. Keep in mind that NYC has tons of beautiful outdoor space, so if prices are a bit lower and crowds are a bit smaller- it might just be the best time to visit the Big Apple!

Where to Save Money

Trips to Discover coined this list their list of “hidden gems”. These locations offer the best of both worlds- costs are lower thanks to stable or decreasing rental rates PLUS they have decreased Google searches meaning they are less popular destinations with fewer crowds.

  • Texas: Corpus Christi
  • Florida: Lakeland, Punta Gorda and Orlando
  • Colorado: Vail, Aspen and Breckenridge
  • Indiana: South Bend
  • Utah: Park City
  • California: Mammoth Lakes

If you look closely, you’ll notice that many of these “hidden gem” destinations are actually winter destinations that are also gorgeous in the summer! We may think of heading up to the mountains to ski or snowboard in the winter, but locations like Vail, Aspen, Brekenridge, Park City and Mammoth Lakes are also stunning in the summer months and offer lots of outdoor activities to keep busy. So while we may not normally think of these destinations for summer travel- if you’re looking to beat the summer crowds and save money during a travel season where prices are reaching astronomical rates- these winter destinations may be just perfect!

Where to Avoid

If you’re looking for where to go this summer to beat the crowds AND save money, you’ll want to AVOID these destinations. Combining their date on increased Google searches and increasing rental home costs, Trips to Discover found these to be some of the hottest destinations in the US so far this summer:

  • Lake Hartwell, South Carolina/Georgia
  • Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Jersey Shore, New Jersey
  • Niagra Falls, New York
  • Telluride, Colorado
  • Southern Oregon Coast
  • US VIrgin Islands

These locations are all situated near water and/or great outdoor activities. And while all of them are pretty well known destinations, in previous years they have not been the most popular travel destinations. They’re a little bit off the beaten path in terms of summer travel destinations in normal years. But in 2021, when you combine people’s desire for beautiful and fun outdoor locations with their desire to find some off the beaten path locations- they’ve simply exploded in popularity this year, quickly becoming overcrowded as people attempt to beat the crowds of more common summer destinations. These are all BEAUTIFUL locations, but if you’re looking to escape the crowds this summer- you might want to save them for another year!


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