Surveys are a great way to guage what readers are interested in and how to make content for a site more relevant. We recently did our own travel survey here at TravelingMamas.com and had fun reading all the results. Many of our loyal readers (you) send us emails requesting particular post topics or answers to your travel questions. However, we also get a good majority of readers who discover the site while using search engines. We took a look at all the information compiled by other travel sites to see just what’s popular among the travel masses and what destinations we’re all dreaming of for 2011.
Top Destinations in Europe
Tripadvisor revealed that 69% of those that took part in their recent travel trends survey admitted they are planning international trips in 2011, with Europe being the most popular international destination. So which cities in Europe are top on their list? Paris, London, and Rome.
Where will travelers rest their heads in 2011? The Tripadvisor Travel Trends Forecast suggests that vacation home rentals are on the rise, with 47% of travelers considering a stay in a vacation home, which is an increase of 8% over last year’s numbers. At TravelingMamas.com we keep our ears to the ground, listening for clues in what people are chatting about in travel, both online and offline. It seems that travel budgets and the potential for saving a few bucks on a vacation, plus the added space are the key reasons travelers are seeking vacation home rentals.
What US destinations are the most popular for 2011? I could base this information solely on TripAdvisor’s survey results, but wanted to look further than one press release. I began searching around on other sites, reading press releases, consulting with a few travel booking agents around the US, checking popular search terms (on this site and with the search engines), and talking to friends around the US who are planning trips. This reasearch has helped me to guesstimate the top destinations for 2011. Please keep in mind, this is a prediction of the destinations where I believe people are planning to travel in the new year and they are listed in no particular order.
Las Vegas, NV - Sin City is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest conference destination in the US. There is the perception of Las Vegas being the place to act wild. Fortunately, the stereotype of Vegas is slowly changing and has become a destination for luxury and decadence. Sure, you can still find the deals, free things to do in Vegas, and budget lodging, but Las Vegas is now a culinary and entertainment destination offering more than just chance games and 99 cent shrimp cocktails.
New York City, NY - The concrete jungle of New York City is always a popular destination. It’s consistently the top place for Thanksgiving holiday travel. It’s a city of style and has become a shopping pilgrimage for women from all over the US, thanks to that Sex in the City show and all those blockbuster movies.
The Florida Keys – Travelers looking for that island state of mind are traveling to Key West and the Florida Keys for a taste of the relaxing lifestyle this destination is known for. There are plenty of family attractions in the Florida Keys to keep everyone entertained and couples can escape at one of the many romantic resorts in the Florida Keys.
Maui, Hawaii – Maui has been a top honeymoon spot, but is growing as a family destination. This island isn’t all about beaches. Maui’s Upcountry offers magical views, a lavender farm, winery, and goat cheese farm.
Asheville, NC – The beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains makes Asheville a popular, growing destination. It doesn’t hurt that this artsy city is booming with culinary offerings, attractions, and of course, the Biltmore Estate with winery and spa. It’s a city with rustic elegance and offers indoor and outdoor adventure.
Austin, TX – I have some really cool friends in Austin and can see why this music city is gaining in popularity with the no-children crowd. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun for families, but I’m seeing an increase in travelers looking for a place to party in a cool, laid back way.
Orlando, FL - You can thank that mouse for making Orlando one of the top destinations in THE WORLD. I’m noticing an increase of families booking trips to Orlando and companies holding conferences in the area so the business trip can double as a family vacation. With the decrease in personal travel budgets and a lack of time off from work, it’s no wonder this trend is becoming popular. Orlando was also made the previous list of top summer destinations.
Branson, MO - Family travelers are realizing that Branson isn’t just for senior citizens and offers activities for all ages. I’ve even heard of a few people planning a Branson honeymoon. The Ozarks are beautiful to behold. Branson isn’t a wild town and is a wholesome destination for families.
San Francisco – TripAdvisor says it’s a popular destination for 2011, but I’m just not feeling it.
Unfortunately, I really wanted to add one of my favorite cities – New Orleans, LA. It’s not only so close to me that everyone seems to think I live there, but it’s also dear to my heart. Sadly, because of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico and hyped up stories in the media, travelers have this perception that New Orleans is covered in oil and do not have plans to visit in 2011. Prove me wrong, people! Visit Louisiana. If you are interested in statistics, in August Travelocity polled Americans and released some disheartening information about tourism along the Gulf Coast.
Did we leave out a destination that you think will be one of the top destinations for 2011? Where are you planning to travel?