Top 10 Summer Travel Trends

Choice Hotels Summer Travel Trends Report

A beach day in the South of France. Photo by Carrie Finley Bajak.
A beach day in the South of France near St. Tropex. Photo by Carrie Finley Bajak.

With more than 6,300 hotels open in more than 35 countries and territories, Choice Hotels Top Ten Summer Travel Trends survey is worth reading.

My favorite finding from the survey was #2

“Travelers would rather lose their luggage than their phone.”

1. More Trips, But Fewer Nights Away

There will be a 17.2 percent increase in the number of leisure trips taken this summer, but travelers will spend fewer nights away, with a decrease of 9.4 percent.

2. Travelers Would Rather Lose Their Luggage than Their Phone

In this increasingly digital world, survey results showed that Millennials and parents with children under 12 years of age would rather lose their luggage than their mobile phone when traveling.

Editors note:  I hope this does not effect my planned beach days in August – I will be heading to the beaches in Greece, Croatia, and Italy.

3. The Beach in August

August will be the busiest month for leisure travel this summer. When asked about their preferred leisure travel destination, 43.1 percent of respondents said they would most enjoy a beach, followed by mountains at 12.3 percent and a city at 10.4 percent.

4. Travelers Prefer Driving

The survey found that 75.3 percent of summer travelers are planning to drive to their leisure travel destination this summer, driving an average of 689 miles round-trip. Fifty percent of respondents also said that they would prefer a two-hour drive compared to a flight, bus or train ride to get to their summer vacation.

5. Free High-Speed Internet Most Important

Free high-speed Internet was selected by 65.5 percent of respondents as the “must-have” amenity when selecting a hotel or resort for summer travel. Following free high-speed internet, free continental breakfast and an in-room refrigerator polled highest for needed amenities at 54.5 and 49.6 percent, respectively.

6. Loyalty Programs Influence Travelers’ Booking Decisions

The survey also showed that 34.6 percent of travelers say that loyalty and incentive programs influence where, how and when they travel, and over 53 percent of respondents are enrolled in travel rewards programs.

7. Camping is the Least Favorite Vacation

Nearly 40 percent of travelers (38.2 percent) said that camping was the least desirable type of summer vacation.

8. New Locations Trump Old Favorites

Almost 70 percent of respondents (66.8 percent) would prefer to visit somewhere new over returning to a favorite vacation destination this summer.

9. Travelers Want to Explore Cuisines, Unless They Have Kids

When on summer vacation, 28.9 percent of respondents choose to dine at restaurants they can’t find at home, unless they are traveling with children. If travelers have children under 12 years of age, 24.5 percent most often visit casual dining restaurants, like TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s.

10. Millennials are Traveling with Pets

The survey found that Millennials are 21.7 percent more likely than older generations to be traveling with a pet this summer. Correlatively, 34.2 percent said locating a place to stay was the greatest inconvenience when traveling with a pet.

Methodology — The Choice Hotels Summer Travel Survey was conducted by research company, Newlio ( among 1350 U.S. adults that are planning to take one or more overnight leisure trips this summer.

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