While the Fourth of July celebrates American independence, this year, American travelers are choosing to celebrate by exploring outside the homeland.
TripIt analyzed U.S. origin flight, rental car, lodging, and vacation rental reservations made by our TripIt users for the Fourth of July weekend in 2022 and compared the findings to the equivalent booking period in 2021.
We found that nearly 40% of all flight reservations during the holiday weekend will be to international destinations as Americans make up for lost time due to pandemic-era restrictions. We also found that major metros continue to see a tourist revival, though destinations known for open spaces and outdoor adventures continue to draw crowds, as well.
Current Percentage of Flight Reservations Compared to Year Prior
(Int’l)2022 Car Rentals2022 Lodging2022 Vacation Rentals% change from 2021
Long lines loom at domestic airports
As seen increasingly during holiday periods—most recently, Memorial Day Weekend 2022—airports can expect crowds. With reduced staff across the board—from security and concession to flight attendants and pilots—travelers can expect long lines and should be prepared for potential delays.
We expect the busiest airports to be:
SFO – San Francisco International Airport (SFO) LAX – Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) JFK – John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) ORD – Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) BOS – Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) DEN – Denver International Airport (DEN) DWF – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DWF) SEA – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) EWR – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) ATL – Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Those departing from these airports should allow extra time, especially if their flight is on Friday (7/1), the busiest day for departures, or Tuesday (7/5), when most travelers will return. For the top-five most popular airports, the busiest hours for departures (and when you should be careful to allow even more time) will be:
Busiest Airport Hours Based on Departure Reservations
While flights overall saw more than a 2X increase, international travel continues to make the strongest return with more than 4X the number of international flights booked compared to last year, accounting for nearly 40% or all flights departing during the holiday weekend. This builds on the trend we saw during Memorial Day 2022 when a third of flights were headed abroad. In fact, London is the number one destination, followed by Paris (#7), Cancun (#12), Barcelona (#18), Rome (#21), Lisbon (#22), and Amsterdam (#24).
Of the remaining domestic flights, nearly a third are to destinations in either California (15%), or Florida Of the remaining domestic flights, nearly a third are to destinations in California (13%), Florida (9%), Hawaii (7%), or Washington (5%).
Flight Destination Rankings and Rank Changes
2022 RankingCity, State 2021 Ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022) 1London 42412 Seattle, WA423 Chicago, IL854 Denver, CO1-35 Las Vegas, NV3-26 New York, NY1047 Paris43368 San Francisco, CA1139 Boston, MA7-210 Orlando, CA2-811 Los Angeles, CA9-212 Cancun 5-7 13 Honolulu, HI6-714 Minneapolis, MN20615 San Diego, CA13-216 Kahului, HI12-417 Newark, NJ24718 Barcelona 12010219 Washington, DC311220 Atlanta, GA23321 Rome 745322 Lisbon 12610423 Salt Lake City, UT15-824 Amsterdam 13511125 Dallas22-3
Speed bump at the pump
Despite record-high gas prices, demand for rental cars remains. While we don’t see as strong an increase YoY as we’ve seen in the past, we do see an increase in reservations, nonetheless. And while big cities rule the top 25, a few less-expected destinations make the list as well, including Anchorage, (#16), Saint Paul, MN (#17), and Santa Ana, CA (#21).
Car Rental Destination Rankings and Rank Changes
2022 RankingCity, State 2021 Ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022) 1Denver, CO212 Honolulu, HI313 Seattle, WA27244 Kahului, HI1-35Boston, MA506 Chicago, IL1047 Orlando, FL4-38 Los Angeles, CA18109Lihue, HI13410 San Francisco, CA11111Las Vegas, NV9-212 Salt Lake City, UT8-413 Kailua-kona, HI14114 San Diego, CA16215Portland, OR6-916 Anchorage, AK7-917Saint Paul, MN25818 Nashville, TN533519 New York, NY442520 Seatac, WA12-821 Santa Ana, CA826122 Newark, NJ603823 Tampa, FL32924Fort Lauderdale, FL17-725 Miami, FL19-6
Americans eye big cities and big skies
We see a similar mix of big city and great outdoors when it comes to hotels and vacation rentals as well.
Big cities continue to call it a comeback, with New York City reclaiming its number one spot for hotels, New York City (#2) continues its climb back to #1 for hotel reservations, where it reigned pre-pandemic. Chicago (#3), Seattle (#5), San Francisco (#6), Los Angeles (#10), Washington, DC (#11), and other major metros also made climbs within the top 25 for lodging. Meanwhile, Anchorage (#13), Denver (#14), and Yellowstone (#19) remained, despite some decreases in rankings.
Vacation rentals, as usual, highlight a more eclectic mix of destinations. While mainstays like Seattle (#1), San Diego (#2), Chicago (#3), and New York City (#8) appear on the list, so do destinations like Bend, OR (#10), Asheville, NC (#15), Myrtle Beach, SC (#16), Port Angeles, WA (#23), and Fredericksburg, TX (#25).
Lodging Destination Ranking and Rank Changes
2022 RankingCity, State2021 RankingRank Change (2021 to 2022)1Las Vegas, NV102New York, NY313Chicago, IL854Orlando, FL2-25Seattle, WA1166San Francisco, CA937Honolulu, HI4-38Boston, MA6-29San Diego, CA5-410Los Angeles, CA16611Washington, DC17612Nashville, TN12013Anchorage, AK10-314Denver, CO13-115New Orleans, LA331816Portland, OR14-217Minneapolis, MN907318Lahaina, HI7-1119Yellowstone, WY27820Anaheim, CA18-221Atlanta, CA21022Austin, TX15-723Miami, FL24124Houston, TX644025Kissimmee, FL316
Vacation Rental Destination Rankings and Rank Changes
2022 Ranking City, State2021 RankingRank Change (2021 to 2022) 1 Seattle, WA762 San Diego, CA1-13 Chicago, IL854 Provincetown, MA2117 5Anchorage, AK3-26 Honolulu, HI4-27 Koloa, HI29228 New York, NY35279 Austin, TX9010 Bend, OR281811 Los Angeles, CA271612 Hilton Head Island, SC5-713 Portland, OR2-1114 Kiss immee, FL17315 Asheville, NC1028716 Myrtle Beach, SC766017 Lahaina, HI14-318 Nashville, TN6-1219 Washington, DC15-420 New Orleans, LA452521 Princeville, HI412022 Brooklyn, NY22023 Port Angeles, WA755224 Colorado Springs, CO633925 Fredericksburg, TX611586
Methodology: TripIt looked at U.S. origin round-trip flight reservations made between June 1, 2021, and June 1, 2022, for travel over the Fourth of July holiday (Friday, July 1 – Tuesday, July 5, 2022), and equivalent booking periods in 2021. Reservation data in TripIt is provided by users and is booking provider agnostic.
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