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

Published on June 23, 2014 by

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.

10 Comments

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  2. [...] make the most out of your trip is to take the road less traveled, and by that we mean choosing an alternative, cheaper city with the help of a handy list from [...]

  3. [...] that late August is the cheapest time to travel, both in terms of hotel pricing and airfare. According to Hopper, the top 10 most popular destinations in the country are cheapest to visit during the end of [...]

  4. [...] make the most out of your trip is to take the road less traveled, and by that we mean choosing an alternative, cheaper city with the help of a handy list from [...]

  5. [...] For more destination-specific hacks, the team at Hopper figured out the best time to “fly and buy” this summer, narrowing down the cheapest weeks to take to the skies. [...]

  6. [...] if late Aug is a cheapest time to travel, both in terms of hotel pricing and airfare. According to Hopper, a tip 10 many renouned destinations in a nation are cheapest to revisit during a finish of August, [...]

  7. Annette

    Do you have information about flying to London Business Class regarding cheapest flights and days to tracel

    • Patrick Surry

      Thanks for your interest. Right now we're focused on economy flights only, but planning to look at business/first in the future.

  8. [...] For more destination-specific hacks, the team at Hopper figured out the best time to “fly and buy” this summer, narrowing down the cheapest weeks to take to the skies. [...]

  9. [...] For more destination-specific hacks, the team at Hopper figured out the best time to “fly and buy” this summer, narrowing down the cheapest weeks to take to the skies. [...]

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