Active travel and far-flung destinations continue to be on the rise, according to new research from hostel booking platform Hostelworld. In 2018, the top three hottest trending destinations for U.S. travelers were Sri Lanka, Turkey and Egypt, according to the company’s latest report.
When it comes to what is attracting Americans to new locations, fitness activities are one of the primary drivers. In fact, recent research from Hostelworld found three-quarters (74%) of U.S. travelers aim to be equally or more active when on vacation than at home, and nearly half (47%) aim to get at least one workout in during their vacation.
Hostelworld’s booking data also reveals Americans are not only researching fitness options, but also turning this research into early reservations. While bookings on Hostelworld increased across the board from 2017 to 2018, with day-of and short-lead bookings spiking by 13 percent and 4 percent, respectively – the most significant jump can be seen in long-lead bookings. American bookings made over a year in advance increased by 54 percent, whereas long-lead bookings in Australia and the UK only increased by 17 percent and 4 percent respectively. This demonstrates a stronger desire to prioritize travel amongst Americans, in comparison to other countries. Americans are finalizing their plans early in order to secure lower prices whilst staying in the trendiest accommodation. Perhaps this increased planning has also driven the sharp rise in solo travelers, particularly young women. Between 2015 and 2017, Hostelworld’s booking data saw a 45 percent growth in female solo bookings.
“Americans see travel as an opportunity to escape the 9-5 grind, step out of their comfort zones and explore new and uncharted destinations,” said Catriona Flood, director of strategy and planning at Hostelworld, in a written statement. “It is no wonder then, that we are seeing such an uptick in long-lead bookings. Americans often receive less paid time off than workers in other countries and therefore treasure their paid time off and spend a lot of time planning their getaway to ensure that they are getting the best possible experience.”
American wanderlust took them far and wide this year and 2019 shows no signs of slowing down. Based on year over year growth of bookings by American users, Hostelworld data indicates the following countries will be the hottest trending destinations for Americans in 2019:
- Sri Lanka