After so many months of being cooped up, Americans are ready to hit the road.  More than 72% are planning a summer getaway.  Sometimes termed “revenge travel,” we’re looking for a big surge in fun and adventure.  The 2021 summer travel trends promise to deliver!

summer travel trends beach

1. Domestic Travel

While we might be ready to take on the world, the world isn’t quite ready for us yet.  Many international destinations are still limiting visitors, making our homegrown attractions much more appealing.

Travelers are taking long weekends in places they can reach driving 6-8 hours.  They’re far enough from home to feel like they’re on vacation but close enough to be comfortable.

For many of us, that might be a trip to the east or west coasts, or a southern sojourn to the Gulf coast.  The beach is always a popular choice for travel, and we have some of the best beaches in the world!

summer travel trends small town

2. Small Towns

While beaches remain great getaway options, small towns are getting in on the domestic travel trend as well!  Most travelers will find Small Town, USA is much less crowded than its sandy counterpart – an appealing factor for the pandemic-weary.  Small towns offer a glimpse of a simpler life, friendly folks, and a nostalgia for times gone by.

Historic Bedford is a great example of a quaint, yet captivating spot tucked into the Cumberland Valley Pennsylvania just off the PA Turnpike.  Its population is a mere 2800, but it draws visitors from around the globe.  Home to Bedford Springs (once believed to have healing properties), Bedford is rich in U.S. history and natural beauty.

Small town vibe seekers will love the charming streets, historic homes, and variety of attractions.  Check out Pitt Theatre, a town staple since 1939 and right around the corner from the magnificent county courthouse.  Visit the Omni Bedford Springs Resort, a luxurious throwback to colonial days that has hosted 10 U.S. presidents.  Golf, hike, drink, eat – there’s something for everyone in this charming town.

summer travel trends outdoor

3. National Parks and Outdoor Adventure

Again, we are fortunate to live in a place with so many beautifully preserved natural wonders.  Our national parks are veritable treasure troves of unspoiled magnificence.  They are also a very popular 2021 summer travel trend!

National parks and other outdoor adventures are topping our lists for summer travel for many reasons.

  • They allow us to relax and rejuvenate in the breathtaking beauty of the outdoors
  • They put a little distance between us and the crowds we’re used to dealing with on vacation
  • They promote a healthier lifestyle by encouraging activity
  • They’re easily accessible (29 states have national parks)
  • They’re family-friendly

If you’re planning a trip to one of the parks, be sure to make reservations in advance.   Parks are anticipating record-setting numbers of visitors so don’t try to wing it.  There may be wait times at the gates, skyrocketing car rentals, or campgrounds and lodges that are totally booked.  You might just find you’ll be sleeping in your car instead of under the stars!

summer travel trends dude ranch

4. Private Adventures

Many of us are not quite ready to mingle with the public at large and prefer to remain within our “bubble.”  As a result, private or individualized options are emerging.  Extended families and friend groups are embracing the road less traveled.

They’re reserving large, luxury cabins perfect for glamping or booking unique, privately guided tours.  They’re planning relaxing stays at private retreats or romping adventures at a dude ranch.

Sticking with our travel tribes and steering clear of the crowds is a trend that is on the rise for 2021 and most likely beyond.


5. Travel Protection

Ensuring you are covered while traveling is a HUGE trend this summer.  A study by the travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth shows that nearly 35% of policies searched had the “COVID-19” filter applied.

We want to travel confidently and feel protected as we venture beyond our backyards.  Travel protection is a smart way to inspire that confidence.


As you plan to get back on the road following a big detour, consider these 2021 summer travel trends.  There’s no right or wrong way to go as long as you do it safely.  Reclaim your sense of wanderlust and find your happy place!