KAYAK: High prices won’t deter Americans from bucket list travel

Travel is back with a vengeance for 2023, according to KAYAK’s 2023 Travel Trends Forecast. And, despite rising prices for both domestic and international flights (up 52% YoY for domestic and 29% YoY for international), high prices don’t appear to be discouraging U.S. travelers from taking bucket list trips in 2023.

For the first time, nine out of ten top trending destinations are in Asia-Pacific indicating major pent-up travel demand for the region after two years of restrictions. The better news? Some destinations in APAC are among the few places where prices are down compared to last year Other dream-worthy destinations seeing price drops next year include Melbourne, Fiji and Tahiti.

Top highlights:

  • Last-minute trips continue to thrive, particularly for international destinations. According to KAYAK, search windows for international trips have decreased 11% compared to 2019, indicating interest in last-minute trip planning is on the rise. But booking last minute, while on-trend, won’t necessarily get you a great price. According to KAYAK, prices for international flights departing in February are seeing an 8% dip and will steadily increase through June.
  • Rental car demand finally relaxes. This year was a big year for rental cars with shortages across the country. KAYAK data shows that travelers may start to see that lessen in 2023 with searches finally leveling out (down 3% vs. last year). Car rental prices are also starting to dip (down 5% vs. last year) and may continue to do so through the rest of next year.
  • Cities are back and will be your cheapest bet for travel. Cities like New York, Chicago, Austin and Atlanta are seeing some of the lowest fares for next year.
  • Electrified Road trips are trending. KAYAK data is showing a strong increase in searches for electric car rentals) with average daily rates down 12% YoY indicating more sustainable travel choices are top of mind for Americans heading into the new year.