Summer travel is heating up, and recent CivicScience data show that solo and international travel are trends to watch this season. Recent data also show that travel barriers are shifting from COVID-19 safety concerns to economic stressors. This is reflected in the spike in cost-effective travel, including road trips and staying with friends and family. 

Despite increasing interest in cost-effective travel, the latest CivicScience data show that hotels still take the top spot for summer vacationers this year – a third of respondents plan to stay at one this summer, which is equivalent to 2020 levels. Intent to stay at an Airbnb or another rental listing experienced a drop, with 14% planning to stay at one this summer, compared to 17% who said the same in 2020. This is likely because consumers feel less worried about self-isolating while on vacation now compared to 2020. 

Camping vacations also saw a corresponding decrease in interest from pandemic levels. Instead, there’s growing interest in motels (which doubled from 2020), bed and breakfasts, and staying with friends and family.

It’s clear from the data that summer vacation accommodations look different today than they did a few years ago. In particular, hotel intent matched 2020 levels, while Airbnb intent declined – both billion-dollar industries. 

So, who can brands anticipate staying at hotels and rental properties this summer, and what differentiates these travelers from each other? For one, these travelers have different age demographics. Gen Xers aged 45-54 are much more likely to stay at a hotel this summer (46%) than any other age group (vs. 32% of Millennials). Whereas, younger Millennials aged 25-44 are the most likely to vacation at an Airbnb this summer (16%).

Here are five additional unexpected consumer insights that differentiate hotel and Airbnb summer vacationers:

Want to see more insights like these? Get in touch.