While international travel has seen a rise in the last two years, travel within the United States has also skyrocketed. The rising cost of everyday life hasn’t stopped the uptick in travel, and recent data shows that several U.S. cities have seen an increase in tourism. American Express recently conducted a travel survey of 8,000 people that determined which U.S. destinations they look most forward to visiting.
Each of the participants in the poll travels at least once per year and earns a minimum of $70,000 each year. The parameters of the poll helped narrow it down to the people most likely to travel throughout the year in 2023.
According to the poll, the top summer travel destinations in the U.S. include:
- New York City, New York
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Los Angeles, California
- Seattle, Washington
- San Francisco, California
New York City Manhattan Central Park
It should come as no surprise that New York City is the top summer travel destination. The city’s massive size, variety of cultures, and endless choices for great meals make it feel like you’re in another country. New York City is also the biggest city in the U.S., and it boasts endless attractions ranging from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Empire State Building.
Las Vegas Strip
Las Vegas, Nevada is another top summer travel destination, especially among single travelers and couples. The casinos, restaurants, buffets, and museums in Las Vegas offer plenty of excitement, and you may never want to leave the iconic strip. Similarly, Los Angeles is one of the country’s key hubs of entertainment, but it caters more to families than Las Vegas.
While Seattle isn’t as big of an entertainment hub as Los Angeles or New York City, it’s a great travel destination. The wide availability of direct flights to each of these major cities combined with the attractions within them makes them desirable for many travelers that want to stay within the United States.
American Express has said that many of the main U.S. travel destinations are those that are significant in pop culture. With cities like New York City and Las Vegas topping the list, this tracks. Social media is another major influence, with 46% of the poll participants claiming that Instagram inspired their choice of cities they plan to visit this summer.
Los Angeles during the day
TikTok also reportedly influenced 29% of the poll participants, and this only serves to confirm the rising influence of social media on the travel industry. Poll participants have also reported that movies and TV shows have influenced the cities they choose to visit. Social media, films, and television have seemingly never swayed prospective travelers more than now.
The younger participants in the poll have stated that their choice of travel destinations is primarily influenced by how the cities look. That accounts for 60% of the young respondents, and it makes sense when you consider the other data. Social media, film, and television are all visual mediums that have proven to influence everything from fashion to travel plans.
Laconia, New Hampshire
Other major businesses, such as Airbnb report cities like Lousiville, Kentucky, and Laconia, New Hampshire among the top summer vacation destinations in the United States. However, their data is different as Airbnb offers alternative lodging opportunities than what most travelers seek out in major U.S. cities. The study that American Express conducted spanned February 3rd-11th, and it worked wonders to show how Americans prioritize travel.
For example, 75% of the participants in the poll stated that travel is a worthwhile budget expense. It’s no secret that inflation has affected countless U.S. households, so the fact that Americans still prioritize travel for leisure shows how ingrained it is in our culture. Summer has always been the peak travel season in the United States, and it’s clear that those with the means to do so still plan to take vacations this year despite the rising cost of living.
The Men’s Mental Health Health Association conducted a travel poll in 2013, and 80% of participants reported that travel improves their mood. Travel is also known to alleviate stress, inspire creativity, and boost productivity. International travel may be hotter than ever, but it’s worth planning a trip to New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco this summer.