Stats: Flight Searches Up in Maui 51%

Kapalua Beach, Maui, Hawaii
Photo by cullenphotos/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Maui is one of the top trending destinations for 2018, according to KAYAK’s new 2018 Travel Hacker Guide. The guide spotlights the top destinations and travel hacks for the upcoming year, including the hottest destinations, cheapest cities to travel to and a new “When to Fly” report detailing the most and least expensive days of each month to take a flight.

Here are the key insights from the report:

  • Hawaii is seriously heating up with Maui ranking #1 on this year's top trending list. Flight searches are up 51 percent compared to last year likely due to increased flight routes and low cost carriers, making Hawaii more accessible and affordable in 2018. 
  • The Brexit Effect becomes a reality with London making its first appearance on KAYAK's list of most popular destinations, accompanied by repeat offenders including New York, Chicago, Orlando, Los Angeles, etc.
  • For the beachgoers, Jamaica is having a moment. The #1 and #2 top trending beach destinations were both in Jamaica- Ocho Rios and Negril, seeing a significant increase in searches year over year - respectively at 206 percent and 147 percent.
  • Las Vegas named #1 most popular destination. Las Vegas consistently makes an appearance on KAYAK's list of most popular destinations and this year is no different. But, for the first time, Sin City also made this year's list of top trending destinations coming in at #6. The introduction of Las Vegas' first hockey team may be bringing in new types of travelers.
  • Look to our neighbors north and south for budget destinations as Guadalajara and Calgary were named #1 and #2 for top wallet-friendly trips. With the Mexican Peso at a historical low, it has never been easier to explore Mexico on a budget.

KAYAK's top 2018 Travel Hacks include:

  • Fly in January for the cheapest domestic flight prices. Following the holiday travel rush in December, flight prices start to creep back down in January with January 31st revealed as the least expensive day of the year to travel.
  • International travelers should fly in March when median airfare is at its lowest; according to historical data, March 19 was the cheapest day travel internationally. 
  • 2018 is the year to head to Europe. Not only did seven out of ten destinations top this year's trending list but median airfare to many European cities this summer will be the cheapest they've been in three years. Cities where prices are expected to drop include Barcelona, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris and Rome.
  • Be flexible with your departure dates. While there is no magic day or time to book to get the best deal, KAYAK is seeing a trend that most of the cheapest days to fly domestically fell on a Tuesday or a Saturday last year.
  • For travelers looking to stay stateside without breaking the break, check out Denver for your next vacation. Coming in at #5 on KAYAK's list of wallet-friendly trips, median airfare rarely goes above $250.

Top 10 Trending Destinations- Destinations with the greatest percent increase in searches year over year

  1. Maui- Searches up 51%
  2. Barcelona- Searches up 35%
  3. Bali- Searches up 27%
  4. Amsterdam- Searches up 27%
  5. Lisbon- Searches up 25%
  6. Las Vegas- Searches up 21%
  7. Madrid- Searches up 20%
  8. Athens- Searches up 20%
  9. Paris- Searches up 18%
  10. Rome- Searches up 17%

Top 10 Most Popular Destinations- The most searched for destinations on KAYAK 

  1. Las Vegas- 3 years in a row at #1
  2. New York
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Orlando
  5. Chicago
  6. Denver
  7. Miami
  8. San Francisco
  9. London- First time making the top 10 and up 7 spots since 2017
  10. Seattle

Top 10 Trending Beach Destinations- Beach destinations with the greatest percent increase in searches year over year

  1. Ocho Rios, Jamaica- Searches up 206%
  2. Negril, Jamaica- Searches up 147%
  3. Crete, Greece- Searches up 75%
  4. Maui, Hawaii- Searches up 51%
  5. Canary Islands, Spain- Searches up 47%
  6. Paphos, Cyprus- Searches up 12%
  7. Bimini Islands, Bahamas- Searches up 10%
  8. St. Lucia- Searches up 6%
  9. Curaçao- Searches up 5%
  10. Fiji- Searches up 4%

Top 10 Wallet-Friendly Trips- Top Flight destinations, of the 100 most searched flight destinations, with the lowest overall median trip cost (flight + 3 night hotel stay)

  1. Guadalajara, Mexico- 41% less than the average trip cost
  2. Calgary-  32% less than the average trip cost
  3. Orlando- 32% less than the average trip cost
  4. Raleigh- 31% less than the average trip cost
  5. Denver- 28% less than the average trip cost
  6. Fort Myers- 28% less than the average trip cost
  7. Tampa- 26% less than the average trip cost
  8. Salt Lake City- 25% less than the average trip cost
  9. Minneapolis- 23% less than the average trip cost
  10. Baltimore- 23% less than the average trip cost

Source: KAYAK

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