American Travelers Are Already Planning Their Christmas Holiday Vacations — and This Is Where They're Heading
Travelers are feeling the holiday spirit a few months early this year and booking December homes far in advance, according to data home-sharing site Vrbo shared with Travel + Leisure.
The site has reported a more than 15% bump in demand for homes in December, compared to bookings during the same time period in 2019. Additionally, nearly half of the homes booked for the month are for at least seven nights.
"We typically see December bookings peak in October and November, but families are locking in their holiday vacation plans much earlier than usual," Melanie Fish, Vrbo's travel expert, said in a statement. "Vacation homes have been quickly scooped up during every popular travel season this year, so it's no surprise that families are planning ahead to ensure they have a great place to spend the holidays together."
Those looking to get away over the Christmas holiday from Dec. 20 to Dec. 26, are picking warm-weather destinations above all else. And Florida and Hawaii are topping traveler's lists.
In Maui, for example, less than 20% of Vrbo homes remain available during Christmas week, according to the company. And destinations like Disney World are already starting to plan holiday celebrations.
The surge in demand mirrors how popular travel has been this year. Summer travel has already begun to spill over into the fall with Americans planning "shoulder season" trips in droves, and travelers expected to spend big to make up for lost times.
The rebound comes as several countries have opened up or are planning to open to U.S. travelers, including in Europe. Next week, the UK is expected to begin welcoming fully vaccinated American tourists without the need to quarantine. And on Aug. 9, Canada will allow fully vaccinated Americans to arrive quarantine-free as well.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.