The Year in Review: Priceline Recaps How Americans Traveled in 2021 and Takes an Early Look at 2022

December 17, 2021 at 6:00 AM EST

NORWALK, Conn., Dec. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With the New Year approaching, Priceline analyzed how Americans traveled throughout 2021 for its annual travel recap, and released a forecast on what to expect for early 2022. Reflecting on the state of travel now and over the past year in 2021, one major theme emerges: the western and southeastern U.S. reigned supreme across all types of travel—but that's not all. 

South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach is Q1 2022’s most affordable destination for average round-trip flight tickets at $261.
Travelers flew more than 4.5 trillion miles all together--enough to fly to the moon and back 9,400 times

Americans didn't shy away from traveling over the long summer holiday weekends, as the busiest travel days of the year were the Sunday before Fourth of July and the Friday before Labor Day. When it came to deals, travelers could visit major cities for significantly less than pre-pandemic rates—saving up to 27 percent!—with San Jose, San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC, and Seattle having the biggest percentage drops in hotel prices. Las Vegas held strong, remaining the number one destination for both hotel and flight over the last two years, and four hours southwest, Los Angeles regained its spot in the top three for most popular car rentals. To learn more about 2021 travel, visit Press.Priceline.com. 

A Preview of 2022
Looking ahead to early 2022, the biggest trend so far is that travel—and travel prices—are continuing to heat up. For the first quarter of 2022, the average daily cost of hotels is up 18 percent over the same time last year, and average flight tickets are up 32 percent. As prices rise, Priceline has identified destinations across the country where travelers can explore, make memories and find great deals. 

"As both inflation and the returning demand for leisure travel drive up prices, travelers are looking for products that help them identify and book vacations at affordable rates," said Brett Keller, Chief Executive Officer. "Priceline was created to do exactly that. We continue to negotiate great rates and roll out new deals and features, such as our VIP Loyalty Program, so our customers can book the trip they want at a price they can afford."

Where Are The Deals?

  • Southeast beach destinations offer some of the best airfares, with Myrtle Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa all landing within the top 10 most affordable, offering average round-trip fares less than $285
  • Half of the top 10 most affordable destinations for hotels are in the west (Laughlin, NV.; Page, AZ.; Buena Park, CA.; Albuquerque, and Reno, specifically). Across these five cities, the average daily hotel rate comes in under $110 per night. 

Where Are People Going?

  • While major entertainment meccas Las Vegas, Orlando, and New York hold the top three spots, Chicago, New Orleans, and Nashville join the top 10 list for most popular hotel destinations. 

Destinations To Watch

  • Cape Canaveral: Home to the Kennedy Space Center and other space-themed attractions, Florida's Space Coast is up-and-coming and has a popular port for cruises bound for the Caribbean. 
  • Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg: Serving as gateways to the scenic Great Smoky Mountains, both destinations light up in early 2022. Pigeon Forge will host the "Smoky Mountain Winterfest" with five million holiday lights through February 14th, and travelers can experience the famous 200-foot tunnel of lights at "Lights Over Gatlinburg" at Gatlinburg Skylift Park through January 29th.
  • Memphis: Tennessee's great outdoors aren't the state's only emerging destinations for 2022. Cultural hotspot Memphis is hosting fun events like a crawfish festival and the Beale Street Music Festival at the city's fairgrounds this spring.

As the New Year arrives—and as the travel industry continues to recover—Priceline is here to help travelers find great deals for their trips. Consumers can save even more during its Season of Savings event. The six-week sale, with deals and discounts on top of everyday savings, runs through January 2, 2022. Visit Priceline.com or download the Priceline App for the latest deals and exclusive discounts on all types of travel.

Connect with Priceline on:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Methodology
Priceline analyzed all hotel, roundtrip rental car, and roundtrip flight bookings for travel from January 1 - December 31, 2021 to determine the findings. 2020 and 2019 comparisons were analyzed with the same travel window for each corresponding year.

Q1 2022 findings were determined by analyzing hotel, rental car, and flight bookings for travel from January 1 - March 31, 2022. 2021, 2020, and 2019 comparisons were analyzed with the same travel window for each corresponding year. 

About Priceline
Priceline, part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), is a world leader in travel deals. Priceline offers exclusive discounts on hotels, flights, alternative accommodations, rental cars, cruises and packages. We offer more than a million lodging properties, helping travelers find the right accommodation at the right price. We negotiate great deals every day, and put our best pricing on the Priceline app. Our deep discounts on hotels, flights, rental cars and more are also distributed through our partnership brand, Priceline Partner Network. With free cancellation for many rates, 24-hour customer assistance and the option for both pre-paid and pay upon arrival reservations, Priceline helps millions of travelers be there for the moments that matter. For us, and for our customers, every trip is a big deal.

For further information, please contact:
Christina Bennett, christina.bennett@priceline.com 
Stephanie Perry, priceline@mbooth.com 

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SOURCE Priceline