STAMFORD, Conn., April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Planning the perfect summer vacation can be daunting (so many places, so little time), but KAYAK is here to help: today, the world's leading travel search engine released its 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide to hack the where, when, and how to travel this summer.
KAYAK data scientists and travel experts looked within the site's one billion annual searches to uncover both trending destinations (those seeing the greatest increase in searches) and most popular destinations (cities with the most overall searches) and paired the findings with practical advice to create the 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide. The Guide features four lists to satisfy every type of traveler…
The Trend Setter: Trending Destinations
These international destinations are heating up with the greatest year-over-year increase in summer searches. With the big games fast approaching, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil took the top spot, seeing a 127% increase in flight searches versus the previous summer. Three Canadian cities also made the list – Calgary, Montreal and Toronto- which may be driven by Americans looking to take advantage of the strong U.S. dollar without going overseas.
Hacker Tip: If you're thinking about vacationing in one of these hot spots, the time to book is now: KAYAK data shows that you can score deals on airfare in the majority of these cities when booking six weeks to three months out.
The Opportunist: Trending European Destinations
A strong U.S. dollar also means this is a great time to vacation at one of these trendy European hot spots, marked by the greatest increase in searches since the previous summer. The list shows that Americans are craving scenic escapes: nine of the 10 destinations on the list are port cities, and three are located in the Nordic region, known for its natural beauty and long summer days boasting nearly 20 hours of sunlight. The cities also boast several must-see natural wonders, including hot springs just a short drive away from Reykjavik, Iceland and the famous fjords of Oslo, Norway.
Hacker Tip: To experience the Midnight Sun natural phenomenon in Reykjavik, taking place in June, don't wait to book – KAYAK data shows that best fares were found ten weeks out.
The Maverick: Winter in Summer Destinations
If you're looking for a nontraditional summer getaway, head over the Equator to jump from summer to winter (and scorching hot to moderate temperatures) in the span of a flight. The guide reveals that Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Santa Cruz, Bolivia and Zanzibar, Tanzania are among the top destinations in the Southern Hemisphere receiving the greatest increase in interest among travelers year over year. Since it is off-season or shoulder season in several of the locales that made the top 10, you'll beat both the heat and the crowds.
Hacker Tip: Consider booking a pre-Memorial Day vacation to save some cash: nine of the 10 cities on this list have historically seen the best median airfare prices in May. If you're looking for a trip later in the summer, consider Auckland, New Zealand, whose median airfare prices were lowest in August.
The Road Tripper: Summer Friday Destinations
These easy weekend jaunts are perfect for a bachelor/bachelorette party (it is wedding season, after all), an impromptu family road trip or anything in between. The list, pulled from most searched places to stay for a Friday – Sunday stint, shows that waterfront escapes are hot this summer: more than half of the destinations are shoreline cities. East Coast destinations are especially popular for long weekend getaways: the list features four cities up and down the coast from Atlantic City, NJ to Key West, FL.
Hacker Tip: Make the most of these drivable destinations by planning ahead. KAYAK data shows that booking a rental car two weeks out may help you score the best deal.
"We analyzed data from our one billion annual searches to empower travelers and equip them with the information they need to book the summer getaway that is right for them," said David Solomito, North America Brand Director for KAYAK. "Between low prices at the pump and a strong U.S. dollar, savvy travelers can score a great deal this summer, whether they're traveling abroad or staying closer to home."
This year's Guide also includes tips on what to expect when you get to each destination, including average temperature and rainfall. Visit the 2016 Summer Travel Hacker Guide for full findings across all four lists, and visit KAYAK's website to plan and manage your next trip.
For full methodology on the Travel Hacker Guide, visit www.KAYAK.com/summertravelhacker.
KAYAK is the world's leading travel search engine. KAYAK searches other travel sites and shows travelers the information they need to find the right flights, hotels, rental cars and vacation packages. The company's website and apps also offer tools to help travelers plan and manage their trip, including price alerts, price forecasts and free itinerary management. Each year, KAYAK processes more than one billion searches for travel information and has local sites in more than 30 countries and 20 languages. KAYAK is an independently managed subsidiary of The Priceline Group.
Golin for KAYAK