Tripadvisor's Fall Finds: City Breaks and Solo Trips Hot This Season

Thursday, September 7th, 2023

 Tripadvisor®, the world's largest travel guidance platform, today released the next in its Seasonal Travel Index series, revealing data and trends about what to expect for travel this fall.

Although the popular summer vacation season is coming to a close, travel doesn't appear to be fading with it: 74% of American travelers surveyed report they will travel this fall, well above the 61% planning to travel at the same time last year. Similarly, over half (52%) plan to travel more than they did last fall and only 3% will travel Iess.

On trend with increased travel is a rise in international trips. While 65% of U.S. travelers will stay domestic this fall, the remaining travelers set their sights on global destinations: more than a quarter (27%) will travel both internationally and domestically, and nearly one in ten (8%) have fully prioritized international travel over domestic this season. Notably, the share of international travel has recently surpassed pre-pandemic levels, a trend that's been gradually rising over the past two years. Even for those staying in the U.S., the vast majority (80%) plan to travel over four hours from their home.

Same cities, new ways to explore
City breaks are most popular with travelers this fall, as familiar favorites in Europe and Mexico continue to shine. In fact, most travelers (75%) plan to return to a destination they've visited before, as repeat destinations can give travelers a greater sense of security. That said, people want to explore these destinations in more depth, evidenced by the fact that "culture and sightseeing" is the number one trip type for Americans this fall, and interest in museums and cultural sites is on the rise. Plus, Tripadvisor first-party data indicates that travelers are keen to try more local tours and activities, booking new and elevated ways to experience classic attractions (as shown below).

Most Popular International Destinations for Americans This Fall

  1. Paris, France
  2. Cancun, Mexico
  3. Rome, Italy
  4. London, United Kingdom
  5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  6. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  7. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  8. Barcelona, Spain
  9. Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba 
  10. Florence, Italy

For those staying stateside, the ever-popular Las Vegas, New York City, and Orlando round out the top three most popular destinations Americans will visit, respectively. As U.S. travelers attempt to stretch out their summers, enjoying warmth and sunshine past Labor Day, smaller Sun Belt destinations are seeing increased interest. Below are the top trending domestic destinations for Americans this fall on Tripadvisor, based on places with the greatest year-over-year growth.

  1. Little Torch Key, Florida
  2. Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
  3. Miami Springs, Florida
  4. Hawley, Pennsylvania
  5. Carefree, Arizona
  6. Reno, Nevada
  7. Cape Canaveral, Florida
  8. Holmes Beach, Florida
  9. Rutherford, California
  10. Indio, California

Solo travel on the rise
Over one-quarter (26%) of American travelers surveyed will take a solo trip this autumn. This is well above the global total of 15% as well the 17% who reported traveling solo last fall. While the reasons behind this trend may vary, it is a sign that travelers are more comfortable to journey alone and want to fully immerse themselves in the local culture. For solo explorers looking for great places to visit, Tripadvisor has recent guides on the best places to travel solo in the world, as well as across the U.S.

Americans most excited about their trips
When asked how they feel about their upcoming trip, 78% of Americans reported being excited and 70% responded "happy," both being well above global totals of 64% and 60%, respectively, for these positive emotions.

This is despite the fact that their trips will be more modest than their international counterparts: Americans are most likely to take trips 2-4 nights in length, well below totals of other countries who will average 5+ nights. Notably, Boomers are more likely to take 5+ day trips compared to other age groups. Americans also over-index in reporting to stay in vacation rentals and with friends and family (versus hotels) and are more likely to be flexible when choosing a destination (60%) than the global population of respondents (48%).

With fewer trips on average, Americans are eager to maximize those trips. Thus, U.S. travelers are likely to book more on-trip activities on average (3-5) compared to people living in all other countries surveyed, and are interested in a wide array of components such as food, activities, relaxation, shopping, people and weather, showing that their excitement is multifaceted.