Spring Break 2023 Volumes Surpassing 2022, Including a Jump in Long-Haul Travel

Millions of Americans are fleeing the cold weather to find warmer climates.

February 14, 2023


We are a mere month away from the traditional Spring Break period, when millions of Americans flee the cold weather in search of warmer climates and new adventures. 

USA Today reports that this year’s Spring Break is going to be a big one, and according to Sojern’s latest travel insights, we agree. Let’s take a look at the trends we are currently seeing for Spring Break 2023.

Long Haul Travel Well Above 2022 Volumes

Flight and Hotel Search Volumes and % Change in Spring Break Searches from US Origins 2023 vs 2022

When we look at the Spring Break 2023 period,  travel intent is up on 2022 volumes across the board. Additionally, we see that Americans are particularly eager to travel long-haul this year. The most dramatic upticks in travel intent are actually for the EMEA and APAC regions, up 78% and 126% respectively, year over year.

While the global economic outlook remains unclear, the strength of the US dollar combined with the removal of the last COVID-19 restrictions, means that Americans are searching further far and wide compared to recent years. Moreover, the emergence of new low-cost airlines with affordable transatlantic flights will make long-haul travel popular this Spring Break.

Travel Marketing Tip: For the past several years, tourism boards shifted their focus to domestic and neighbouring markets. However, with the last of the COVID-19 travel restrictions gone , it’s clear that Spring Breakers are looking to travel further afield. Using travel intent data, tourist boards can locate those Americans looking to travel long-haul, and inspire them to visit their particular destination. 

Domestic Travel Dominates Top 10 Spring Break Destinations

Top 10 Searched Destinations Overall

While we see a large increase in international travel for Spring Break, domestic destinations remain the most popular destinations overall. Cancun, Mexico is the only non-US destination to break into the top 10 destinations. Perhaps not surprisingly, Florida dominates the top 10, as do other sunny, warm-weather destinations including Las Vegas, Honolulu, and Phoenix.

Travel Marketing Tip: The most profitable bookings are direct bookings. How can you ensure you maximize your direct booking potential this Spring Break? Ensure that you have a multichannel marketing strategy, including metasearch. If you don’t have a metasearch presence, you can bet that an OTA will be, and you stand to lose that direct booking.

Families Drawn to LATAM, Solo Travelers Choose Metros

Top Spring Break destinations for Solo/Couples/Families

When we look at group size, you can see that the top destinations are even more varied. For solo travelers, we see that major cities are a big draw, with Chicago, Austin, and New Orleans among the top five destinations. For couples, there’s a more diverse mix of cities, beach holidays, and long-haul travel. Families overwhelmingly are showing preference for LATAM, including beautiful beach destinations like Turks and Caicos, and Costa Rica. With their wide array of all-inclusive resorts, LATAM destinations are an ideal, easy way for a family to get away without the planning involved for other types of getaways.

Travel Marketing Tip: Group size matters, and you can attract different audiences with the right offerings built into your ad creatives. Looking to attract couples? Advertise a couples spa package or a bottle of champagne with booking. Interested in families? Be sure to include your family-friendly amenities in your ads.

For the latest travel trends, remember to check out our Travel Insights Dashboard.

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