While travel searches took a big hit the last couple of months — off by almost two-thirds in total — many people are still dreaming about, and planning for, their future vacations.
According to the folks at rentcafe.com, a nationwide apartment search website and a research blog, 42 percent of those surveyed still want to pursue their travel plans when permitted. But which destinations are holding strong during the pandemic?
To find out, RENTCafe analyzed travel-related Google searches for 960 destinations in the U.S. and then ranked them as top overall destinations, towns, beaches, and natural areas that saw the smallest drop in interest from would-be vacationers.
The survey followed Google travel searches during March and April of this year. All searched destinations were off by at least 25 percent, but some fared much better than others.
Here’s what they found:
- People crave small-town comfort and nature vacations, while city trips decreased drastically in popularity.
- The Outer Banks, North Carolina, emerged as the most resilient destination in the U.S., thanks to the smallest decrease (-25 percent) in travel searches compared to March and April 2019.
- Small towns shine as the most preferred post-pandemic destinations. Fairbanks, Alaska, with its Northern Lights, and Moab, Utah, a gateway to Canyonlands, retained their online popularity.
- Although travelers’ fascination with sunny getaways fell 60 percent compared to one year ago, Hawaii’s beaches are still trending, taking five spots in their list of the top 10 most resilient beach destinations. One of the best day trip destinations in the Northeast, Nantucket, Massachusetts, made it to third place in this category.
- Yellowstone National Park leads as the top post-pandemic natural attraction, followed by Aspen, Colorado. Perhaps surprisingly, the everlasting bucket-list entry Niagara Falls, New York, didn’t reach the top 10 — though it may be tainted by the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City, even though it’s hundreds of miles to the west.
Here’s a map showing the most resilient destinations across the U.S., according to the survey: