Summer Travel Forecast: The Top Destinations, Hotels, and Tips to Save Money

Patrick Surry - Jan. 31, 2016

Summary

  • Las Vegas is the most popular domestic destination this summer, followed by Los Angeles, Orlando, Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Chicago, Denver, and Miami
  • The cheapest flights to the top 10 domestic destinations are at the end of August, while end of June and start of September are currently the most expensive
  • To find the best weeks for travel between specific markets and the best days to book and fly, use Hopper’s when to fly and buy reports.
  • New York City has the highest rated hotels, according to TrustYou’s analysis of all reviews and social mentions worldwide. To find the best destinations globally, check out TrustYou’s destination reports.

Popular Domestic Summer Destinations

The most popular domestic destinations this summer can be seen in Figure 1.  According to flight search data, Las Vegas has the highest demand followed by Los Angeles, Orlando, Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Chicago, Denver and Miami.

Because not all weeks are equal for travel, Table 1 shows the cheapest week to travel to each each of the top 10 destinations. The end of August is the cheapest time to travel for most destinations, with different weeks in July being the most expensive.  To find the best weeks for travel between specific markets, use Hopper’s when to fly and buy reports.

Figure 1: Top 10 Domestic Destinations (Memorial Day - Labor Day, Sized by Popularity)

Destination

Cheapest week

Average good deal price

Most expensive week

Average good deal price

Chicago (ORD)

August 31st

$327

September 7th

$426

Denver (DEN)

August 24th

$356

September 7th

$417

Orlando (MCO)

August 24th

$362

September 7th

$436

New York (LGA)

August 24th

$370

September 7th

$463

New York (JFK)

August 24th

$388

September 7th

$462

Las Vegas (LAS)

August 24th

$394

September 7th

$502

Los Angeles (LAX)

August 31st

$404

June 29th

$469

San Francisco (SFO)

August 31st

$418

September 7th

$524

Seattle (SEA)

August 24th

$432

June 29th

$505

Honolulu (HNL)

August 31st

$942

June 29th

$1123

_ Table 1: Cheapest Week for Top 10 Domestic Destinations (end of June - Labor Day)_

Overall for domestic summer travel the booking day doesn’t have a big impact on price (Figure 2).  The best day to depart is Tuesday and the best day to return is Wednesday.

Figure 2: Prices by Booking Day, Departure Day, Return Day, and Advance Purchase for Domestic Destinations (Data from searches over the last 100 days)

Best Hotels in the Top US Summer Destinations

To determine the best hotels in each of these destinations, we partnered with TrustYou, the online reputation management company. TrustYou ranked the top destinations by how good their hotels are and found the best hotels in each city (Table 2 and Appendix for more details).  By destination, New York City has the highest rated hotels, followed by Orlando and Chicago (a full ranking and analysis of the top 25 destinations in the US is available for download here).

The scores for top individual hotels based on TrustYou’s calculation of reviews and sentiments written across all review platforms and social media sites worldwide are listed below. Analysis of the top five hotels within each destination are available in the appendix. The analysis of reviews shows that many hotel types are able to impress guests, with a handful of hotels outside of the 4-star/5-star category breaking the top five rankings. This bodes well for travelers on a budget.  

City Rank

City

City Score

Top Hotel

Top Hotel Score

1

NYC

89.9

Hotel Library

96.34

2

Chicago

88.5

The Peninsula Chicago

96.30

3

Seattle

87.9

Hotel 1000

96.37

4

Vegas

86.3

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

94.63

4

Los Angeles

86.0

Magic Castle Hotel

94.63

6

Orlando

86.0

Hotel The Villas of Grand Cypress

95.69

7

Denver

85.9

Four Seasons Denver

94.83

8

San Francisco

85.6

The Inn at Union Square

94.24

9

Honolulu

83.7

Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk

91.52

10

Miami

81.3

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

90.37

Table 2: Best hotels for top domestic summer destinations

Popular International Summer Destinations

The most popular international summer destinations are in the Caribbean and Europe.  Cancun is the most popular followed by London, Paris, Montego Bay, Rome, Punta Cana, Manila, Dublin, and San Jose Del Cabo (Figure 3 and Figure 4).

The cheapest and most expensive weeks to visit each destination are listed in Table 3.  The end of August and start of September is currently the least expensive time to fly to most of the top destinations.  To find the best weeks for travel between specific markets, use Hopper’s when to fly and buy reports.

Figure 3: Top 10 International Destinations - Latin America and Caribbean (Memorial Day - Labor Day, Sized by Popularity)

Figure 4: Top 10 International Destinations - Europe (Memorial Day - Labor Day, Sized by Popularity)

Destination

Cheapest week

Average good deal price

Most expensive week

Average good deal price

Cancun (CUN)

August 24th

$491

September 7th

$572

Montego Bay (MBJ)

August 10th

$562

September 7th

$694

Punta Cana (PUJ)

September 7th

$563

June 29th

$713

Los Cabos (SJD)

August 10th

$564

September 7th

$684

Dublin (DUB)

August 31st

$1042

June 29thSeptember 13th

$1344

London (LHR)

August 31st

$1282

September 7th

$2440

Paris (CDG)

August 31st

$1337

June 29th

$1634

Rome (FCO)

August 24th

$1426

June 29th

$1741

Manila (MNL)

August 24th

$1497

June 29th

$1976

_ Table 3: Cheapest Week for Top 9 International Destinations (end of June - Labor Day)_

Book ticket to the Caribbean and Latin America on any day, since the price variation is minimal (Figure 5).  Departure day also doesn’t make much of a price impact, but you can save about $20 by returning on a Wednesday.

Figure 5: Prices by Booking Day, Departure Day, Return Day, and Advance Purchase for Central and Latin American, and European Destinations (Data from searches over the last 100 days)

For both Latin America and Europe Hopper also found cheaper cities some the most popular destinations (Tables 4, and 5).  Punta Cana offers savings over Santo Domingo and Santiago, while Montego Bay offers a modest discount over flying to Kingston.  In Europe, flying to Milano, Milan, or Bologna offers savings of between $110 and $300 as compared to flying to Rome.

Country

Cheaper alternate city

Average good deal price

Popular City

Average good deal price

Savings

Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo

$476

Punta Cana

$567

$91

Dominican Republic

Santiago

$491

Punta Cana

$567

$76

Jamaica

Kingston

$468

Montego Bay

$494

$25

_ Table 4: 3 Cheapest Cities Nearby Top Latin American and Caribbean Destinations_

Country

Cheaper alternate city

Average good deal price

Popular City

Average good deal price

Savings

Italy

Milano

$1139

Rome

$1458

$319

Italy

Milan

$1220

Rome

$1458

$238

Italy

Bologna

$1339

Rome

$1458

$119

United Kingdom

Belfast

$1354

London

$1399

$44

United Kingdom

Manchester

$1372

London

$1399

$26

_ Table 5: 5 Cheapest Cities Nearby Top European Destinations_

Best Hotels in the Top International Summer Destinations

TrustYou also looked up the rankings of hotels within the most popular international destinations and also identified the top hotels within each destination. (Tables 6, 7, and 8).

Destinations in Europe tend to average better scores than destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the most popular European destinations, London scores the best hotel scores, followed by Paris and Dublin (a full ranking and analysis of the top 25 in the Europe is available for download here). In the most popular destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean, Cabo has the highest ranking hotels, followed by Punta Cana and Montego Bay.

The scores for top individual hotels based on TrustYou’s calculation of reviews and sentiments written across all review platforms and social media sites worldwide are listed below.

Overall rank

Hotel

City/City Rank

Hotel Score

1

Hotel Half Moon Bay

Montego Bay (1)

94.12

2

le blanc spa resort cancún

Cancun (1)

93.96

3

Cabo Azul Resort And Spa

Cabo (1)

93.88

5

Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort & Spa

Cancun (2)

93.48

6

Iberostar Grand Rose Hall

Montego Bay (2)

93.32

7

Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa & Casino

Punta Cana (1)

93.04

8

The Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real

Punta Cana (2)

92.74

9

Secrets The Vine Cancun

Cancun (3)

92.68

10

Royalton Punta Cana Resort & Casino

Punta Cana (3)

92.30

_ Table 6: Top 9 Hotels in Central American Summer Destination Cities_

Overall rank

Hotel

City/City Rank

Hotel Score

1

QuodLibet GuestHouse Roma

Rome (1)

98.52

2

Haymarket Hotel

London (1)

97.17

3

Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences

London (2)

97.08

4

Deko Rome

Rome (2)

96.89

5

The Milestone Hotel

London (3)

96.53

6

Hotel 41

London (4)

96.28

7

The Merrion Hotel

Dublin (1)

95.49

8

Mandarin Oriental

Paris (1)

95.43

8

Raffles Royal Monceau Paris

Paris (1)

95.43

10

Corinthia Hotel London

London (5)

95.25

_ Table 7: Top 10 Hotels in European Summer Destination Cities_

Overall rank

Hotel

Hotel Score

1

Pan Pacific Manila

87.82

2

The Bayleaf

87.04

3

Manila Hotel

86.08

_ Table 8: Top 3 Hotels in Manila_

 Data and Methodology

The flight data presented in this analysis comes from Hopper’s combined feed of Global Distribution Service (GDS) data sources which includes about 10 million queries and 1 billion trips per day.  Demand is represented as the number of queries not actual ticket purchases, and is calibrated across all GDS sources for each market.  Good deal prices are represented by the 10th percentile prices.  For example if the 10th percentile price is $800 dollars it means that only 10% of trips are priced at or below this price.

The hotel data presented in this report comes from TrustYou’s semantic analysis of hundreds of millions of hotel reviews and social opinions scattered across the internet.  TrustYou uses algorithms to automatically detect, collect, understand, score and rank hotels based on this data. Scores are based on a scale of 1-100. Destination scores are based on TrustYou’s quarterly destination reports for first quarter 2014. Individual hotel scores are based on scores calculated from reviews written within the current calendar year.

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