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Winter travel, at the moment, is taking a bit of a hit amid the latest surge in positive COVID-19 cases due to the arrival of the new Omicron variant in the United States and Europe. That has a lot of people rethinking their upcoming travel plans, both for business and pleasure , which is especially disheartening for many after last year’s dismal holiday season.
But many travelers and travel industry professionals are looking forward to brighter days in the spring and summer of 2022. Here’s a glance at some of the travel trends to expect next year to help you plan accordingly. Back to nature, again
Being outdoors was all the rage (and the only option) in the pre-vaccinated days of the pandemic in 2020. Travelers began to make their way back to urban centers —craving more socialization, nightlife, and simply being indoors in winter—starting in the summer of 2021. But that renewed interest in the great outdoors hasn’t died out just yet—and it might be getting bigger than ever. Club Wyndham and WorldMark by Wyndham timeshare properties near U.S. national parks, for example, have seen a 71% uptick in bookings.
Outdoorsy destinations are dominating Kayak’s top trending list at the tail end of 2021, with Colorado and Montana making up four of the top 10 trending destinations for 2022, with an increase in search share of at least 46% compared to 2019. And while it’s typically filled with metropolitan cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Atlanta, Kayak’s most popular destinations list is seeing these destinations replaced by outdoor beach towns like Cancun, Honolulu, and Maui. This is the first time in years that New York City has not been among the top 10.
"We always see beach towns in Mexico and Florida trend for American tourists, but what’s more interesting are the new cities we’re seeing pop like Kalispell, Bozeman, and Steamboat Springs," Kayak CEO Steve Hafner tells Fortune . "Destinations that offer quick flights, little to no restrictions and provide a good combination of indoor and outdoor activities appear to be the preference amongst American travelers these days."
But it’s not all about just going camping or glamping. The Greek Islands is Contiki ’s top booked destination for 2022. Likewise, the tour company, which typically attracts travelers between the ages of 18 and 35, says Costa Rica is one of their top booked with a 375% increase year-over-year. According to a recent survey conducted by Contiki, younger travelers are especially interested in beach vacations in 2022, nearly 70% opting for "beachscapes over mountainscapes." And Wyndham has seen a 69% increase for bookings to Hawaii. Last-minute bookings
The booking window for flights are shrinking when compared to two years prior, according to travel search engine Kayak . And this is especially the case for international travel: searches for flights within seven days have increased 50% as travelers become […]