Americans Celebrate Fourth of July 2022 by Traveling Overseas  — TripIt Blog

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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 Fourth of July weekend 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

2022 Flights
(All)
2022 Flights
(Domestic)
2022 Flights
(Int’l)
2022 Car Rentals 2022 Lodging 2022 Vacation Rentals
% change from 2021 +115% +68% +290% +48% +42% +31%

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:

  1. SFO – San Francisco International Airport (SFO)  
  1. LAX – Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)  
  1. JFK – John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)  
  1. ORD – Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)  
  1. BOS – Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)  
  1. DEN – Denver International Airport (DEN)  
  1. DWF – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DWF)  
  1. SEA – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)  
  1. EWR – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)  
  1. 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

Airport Date Departure Time (Local)
SFO July 1

July 5

8 a.m.
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
8 a.m.
LAX July 1

July 5

9 a.m.
8 a.m.

7 a.m.
10 a.m.

JFK July 1

July 5

5 p.m.
7 p.m.

7 p.m.
9 p.m.

ORD July 1

July 5

8 a.m.
9 p.m.

12 p.m.
9 a.m.

BOS July 1

July 5

5 p.m.
7 p.m.

11 p.m.
7 p.m.

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 the 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%), 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 Ranking City, State 2021 Ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022)
1 London 42 41
2 Seattle, WA 4 2
3 Chicago, IL 8 5
4 Denver, CO 1 -3
5 Las Vegas, NV 3 -2
6 New York, NY 10 4
7 Paris 43 36
8 San Francisco, CA 11 3
9 Boston, MA 7 -2
10 Orlando, CA 2 -8
11 Los Angeles, CA 9 -2
12 Cancun 5 -7
13 Honolulu, HI 6 -7
14 Minneapolis, MN 20 6
15 San Diego, CA 13 -2
16 Kahului, HI 12 -4
17 Newark, NJ 24 7
18 Barcelona 120 102
19 Washington, DC 31 12
20 Atlanta, GA 23 3
21 Rome 74 53
22 Lisbon 126 104
23 Salt Lake City, UT 15 -8
24 Amsterdam 135 111
25 Dallas 22 -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 Ranking City, State 2021 Ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022)
1 Denver, CO 2 1
2 Honolulu, HI 3 1
3 Seattle, WA 27 24
4 Kahului, HI 1 -3
5 Boston, MA 5 0
6 Chicago, IL 10 4
7 Orlando, FL 4 -3
8 Los Angeles, CA 18 10
9 Lihue, HI 13 4
10 San Francisco, CA 11 1
11 Las Vegas, NV 9 -2
12 Salt Lake City, UT 8 -4
13 Kailua-kona, HI 14 1
14 San Diego, CA 16 2
15 Portland, OR 6 -9
16 Anchorage, AK 7 -9
17 Saint Paul, MN 25 8
18 Nashville, TN 53 35
19 New York, NY 44 25
20 Seatac, WA 12 -8
21 Santa Ana, CA 82 61
22 Newark, NJ 60 38
23 Tampa, FL 32 9
24 Fort Lauderdale, FL 17 -7
25 Miami, FL 19 -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 Ranking City, State 2021 Ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022)
1 Las Vegas, NV 1 0
2 New York, NY 3 1
3 Chicago, IL 8 5
4 Orlando, FL 2 -2
5 Seattle, WA 11 6
6 San Francisco, CA 9 3
7 Honolulu, HI 4 -3
8 Boston, MA 6 -2
9 San Diego, CA 5 -4
10 Los Angeles, CA 16 6
11 Washington, DC 17 6
12 Nashville, TN 12 0
13 Anchorage, AK 10 -3
14 Denver, CO 13 -1
15 New Orleans, LA 33 18
16 Portland, OR 14 -2
17 Minneapolis, MN 90 73
18 Lahaina, HI 7 -11
19 Yellowstone, WY 27 8
20 Anaheim, CA 18 -2
21 Atlanta, CA 21 0
22 Austin, TX 15 -7
23 Miami, FL 24 1
24 Houston, TX 64 40
25 Kissimmee, FL 31 6

Vacation Rental Destination Rankings and Rank Changes

2022 Ranking City, State 2021 Ranking Rank Change (2021 to 2022)
1 Seattle, WA 7 6
2 San Diego, CA 1 -1
3 Chicago, IL 8 5
4 Provincetown, MA 21 17
5 Anchorage, AK 3 -2
6 Honolulu, HI 4 -2
7 Koloa, HI 29 22
8 New York, NY 35 27
9 Austin, TX 9 0
10 Bend, OR 28 18
11 Los Angeles, CA 27 16
12 Hilton Head Island, SC 5 -7
13 Portland, OR 2 -11
14 Kissimmee, FL 17 3
15 Asheville, NC 102 87
16 Myrtle Beach, SC 76 60
17 Lahaina, HI 14 -3
18 Nashville, TN 6 -12
19 Washington, DC 15 -4
20 New Orleans, LA 45 25
21 Princeville, HI 41 20
22 Brooklyn, NY 22 0
23 Port Angeles, WA 75 52
24 Colorado Springs, CO 63 39
25 Fredericksburg, TX 611 586

Methodology: TripIt looked atU.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 periodsin 2021. Reservation data in TripIt is provided by users and is booking provider agnostic.

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