Hayley Berg - Thu Feb 16 2023
Whether it’s a trip to escape the cold and snow for sandy beaches, or to find snow to ski and snowboard, half of Hopper users plan to go on a spring break trip this year. Despite recession concerns and tightening budgets in many US homes, 60% of travelers are expecting to spend $500 or more on their trip this year (33% plan to spend over $1,000!). More than half of travelers will be spending on at least one flight and 75% will also be spending on a hotel or a rental home for their stay.
Though travelers are eager to getaway, 82% have not booked their trip yet. With prices for travel already high headed into March, now is the time to start planning and booking Spring Break travel to get the best deals.
Today, domestic airfare for Spring Break trips is averaging $264 per ticket, an increase of 20% compared to last year and 5% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Hotel prices have also risen, with the average daily rate in the US just over $300 per night for March and April stays. Higher costs and ultra high demand for travel have combined to push airfare and hotel rates higher this year. Despite some sticker shock, Americans continue to book travel at new highs.
Demand for Spring Break trips is surging this year, with domestic searches for March and April getaways outpacing overall search demand growth by ~10%. High demand has pushed domestic airfare for trips in March and April to $264 per ticket, an increase of 20% compared to last year and up 5% from pre-pandemic.
Island destinations in the Caribbean and beachfront destinations in Mexico and Central America have seen a 25% surge in demand for Spring Break travel dates. Lower airfare to these destinations relative to other international hubs combined with shorter flight times and warm weather make these cities exceptionally popular for Spring Breakers.
As demand continues to outpace previous years and jet fuel prices remain high, prices for trips to international destinations this Spring are being pushed above pre-pandemic levels. Airfare to Europe is 16% higher than in 2019, while airfare to Mexico and Central America has reached 30% higher than pre-pandemic. Despite the sticker shock some Americans are likely feeling, demand to these destinations has not slowed. Cancun, San Juan, Punta Cana, London and San Jose remain the most booked destinations for Spring Break on the Hopper app this year.
High demand combined with high jet fuel prices and constrained flight capacity from airlines has combined to push airfares over pre-pandemic levels, but flexible travelers can still find incredible deals to top destinations this year!
Fly midweek to pack on the savings: Thursday and Friday are the most popular days of the week to head out on a vacation, but peak travel days come with peak travel prices. Book your getaway to depart on Wednesday to save as much as 33% (or $92 per ticket!) off of peak weekend prices.
For those travelers packing their passports, departing early to midweek can offer significant savings off of peak weekend prices. Saturday is the absolute most expensive day to depart for destinations in the Caribbean (Antilles), Mexico, Central America and Europe!
Caribbean (Antilles): Save 30% or $131 per ticket departing on Tuesday or Wednesday instead of Saturday.
Mexico and Central America: Depart on Tuesday or Wednesday to save 16% or $90 per ticket off peak Saturday prices.
Europe: Save 20% by flying on Monday instead of Saturday, or $140 per ticket on average.
Book your Spring Break flights trips ASAP
Traveling in March? Book now! Prices will almost double in the last 2-3 weeks ahead of your departure date as flights fill up quickly.
Traveling in April? Book before the end of February for the best deals. April is a popular month for spring break getaways so prices will start rising even earlier than for March trips. Prices can rise by over $200 per ticket in the last 3-4 weeks ahead of your trip!
For international trips prices are already rising. Book by the first week of March!
Hotels for Spring Break stays are currently averaging $316 per night, a 64% increase compared to this time last year. Higher hotel costs combined with ultra high demand have pushed nightly rates higher across the US and international markets. Despite higher prices, there are still great hotel rates available in many top markets. Nightly rates in Tokyo are below $100 on average, along with Hong Kong, Jakarta and Houston.
While hotels remain the primary choice of accommodation for Spring Breakers booking on Hopper, an increasing number of travelers are choosing to stay at a vacation rental. Vacation rentals for March and April stays are averaging $365 per night, and can often offer more space and amenities than traditional hotels. Rental homes in top markets like New York City, Atlanta and Tampa are all averaging under $300 per night. Travelers looking for additional space and flexibility, or traveling with a larger group, can check out vacation rentals available to book on the Hopper app!
Tips for getting the best accommodation deals
Plan ahead & save 50% off stays in leisure cities: Leisure cities like Las Vegas and Miami offer warm weather, entertainment and access to the outdoors (Grand Canyon/Beach) that appeal to Americans all year round. Book 3+ months in advance to save 50% or more on your trip.
Book at the last minute to save >30% in big cities: Hotels in large cities have to compete with many other, similar hotels to capture your reservation. Book in the last 3 weeks before your check in dates to find savings averaging 30% off peak prices, or more than >$150 for stays.
Skip the Saturday Night Stay to save $45 or more: Save $45 per night on average by checking in on off peak days, like Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. You’ll pay a 25% premium on average to check in over the weekend. This premium is significantly larger for popular cities like Las Vegas (120% premium) and Miami (80% premium)!
Rental cars are currently averaging $56 per day nationally, down 15% compared to this time last year! Warm weather destinations are the most popular for rental car pick ups, with Orlando ($39/day), Phoenix ($64/day) and Fort Lauderdale ($34/day) topping the list as the highest demand car pick up cities for Spring Break 2023.
Major Spring Break destinations are seeing great low rates for travelers planning to rent a car. Car rentals in Cancun, Miami and San Jose Costa Rica are all below $30 per day. With higher fuel prices prevailing in the US, lower rental car prices come as a relief for those travelers planning to rent a car while on a trip, or take a road trip. For those travelers headed to smaller cities or more remote destinations, expect to see higher prices. Car rentals in Hawaii are among the most expensive for Spring Break, along with popular bachelorette/bachelor party destinations like Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans.
Tips for getting the best rental car deals
If you’re flexible on the type of car you’re renting, book at the last minute to get great deals! Prices often drop for last-minute car rentals, especially from larger airports with large fleets of cars.
Book at the largest local airport for the most availability and options! Airports are most likely to have a large fleet of cars offering a range of sizes, brands and amenities. Check out larger airports in your area if you’re looking for a specific car type!
Never prepay for gas! Often you can find a lower per gallon price for gas within a few miles of the airport. Stop at a gas station to fill up before you drop off the car and you can save big time!
Under 25? No Penalty for Young Drivers if you book on Hopper! Traditionally rental car companies charge you a penalty if you’re under 25. If you’re under 25, you can book most deals through Hopper without any penalty charges!
Try a booking app like Hopper for exclusive rates. Since Hopper is app-only, car rental companies send Hopper exclusive rates that can be cheaper than travel websites!
This year travelers are headed to warm weather destinations, as Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Miami top the list as the most booked destinations for flights and accommodations for Spring Break trips. For travelers grabbing their passports trips to island cities in the Caribbean, beachfront cities in Mexico and London are on the books.
The most booked destinations for March and April trips on the Hopper app as of mid February.
While warm weather destinations may have the hearts of most Spring Breakers, these top destinations are seeing an increase in popularity this year compared to previous Spring Break seasons. In the US, a mix of smaller cities like Everett and Burbank top the list along with big cities like Chicago, Houston and New York City.
For travelers headed out of the country, it’s all about Asia this spring. Destinations in China, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan top the list of hottest destinations for March and April travel. As much of Asia reopened fully to tourism in the last few months, demand continues to surge to these major cities that, in some cases, have been closed off to travelers since the pandemic began.
Top destinations seeing trending demand for March and April trips on the Hopper app as of mid February.
New York City, NY for $202 round-trip (additional $25 off flights & 25% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
Orlando, FL for $212 round-trip (additional $25 off flights & 30% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
San Diego, CA for $313 round-trip (additional $25 off flights & 25% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
Tampa, FL for $255 round-trip (additional $25 off flights & 30% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
Houston, TX for $226 round-trip (additional $25 off flights & 40% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands for $480 round-trip (additional $100 off flights & 20% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for $516 round-trip (additional $40 off flights & 20% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
Montego Bay, Jamaica for $416 round-trip (additional $35 off flights & 20% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
Oranjestad, Aruba for $574 round-trip (additional $100 off flights & 20% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
Barcelona, Spain for $709 round-trip (additional $50 off flights & 25% off hotels during Hopper’s Spring Break Sale on 3/3)
You could save up to 40% on your next flight!