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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

Travel Copywriter
Yellowstone is a location for one adult summer camp. Photo from YellowstonePark.com

Yellowstone National Park ranked second overall in the survey. Photo from YellowstonePark.com

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 destinationstownsbeaches, 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:

2 Responses to Which U.S. Destinations Are the Strongest?

  • Clark,
    Very interesting! I’m surprised that the Outer Banks rank first. It’s super laid back! No boardwalks, etc. It draws many people from “the north.” Pennsylvania especially.
    We’re spoiled! It’s relatively so close by that we take it for granted.
    Hugs to you and C,
    Teeda

  • What about the Grand Canyon? The most spectacular site I’ve seen. As a native of California, I have to mention the great redwoods, Napa and Sonoma and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I also love the national parks of Utah. I thought they were the best until I saw the Grand Canyon. My trip of a lifetime was rafting down the Colorado River through the GC on a pontoon raft with a geology group. Those massive walls towering above you, perhaps more awesome than looking or hiking down into it. Makes you feel so insignificant! Navigating through the rapids was a ton of fun, too..

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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