While summer vacations have earned their rightful place on the list of annual anticipations, there’s something special about fall travel that hits the sweet spot between summer crowds and the looming chill of winter. With that in mind, Vacasa, a leading vacation rental management platform, teamed up with Allison+Partners Research to better understand how this season’s travel could look different compared to years—and seasons—past.
Quick weekend trips may be favored as the days get shorter, but that doesn’t mean vacation days will go unused: 58% of respondents are planning to take a vacation during the 2022 fall season and 72% said they plan to travel more frequently this fall than they did in 2021. And, though summer travel still reigns supreme, many prefer autumn getaways because the weather is more ideal (34%), it’s less crowded (23%) and/or because they’re less busy now than during the summer (22%). Where are they heading? Vacasa data reveals five destinations seeing notable year-over-year gains for fall bookings—from the beaches of Hawaii to the shores of Lake Tahoe to the woods of Northern Wisconsin—proving people are seeking variety during this seasonal sweet spot.
So, as people fall for autumn travel, here’s a look at more key findings from Vacasa’s 2022 Fall Travel Trends:
- Work flexibility continues to factor into seasonal travel plans: 76% of those working a hybrid or fully remote format plan to get away this fall—but that’s not the only group more inclined to travel. Combined, Gen Z and millennials are more likely than older generations—Gen X and boomers—to have travel plans this fall (64% vs. 50%) and the same is true of parents compared to non-parents (63% vs. 50%).
- Approximately four in five fall travelers are planning to travel domestically (79%)—which is up slightly from summer 2022 (74%). And, of those who are going to a destination within the U.S., 46% are planning to stay close to home, traveling approximately 300 miles or less.
- Almost two-thirds of fall travelers are planning to take a quick weekend trip (two or less nights) this season (64%)—nearly twice as many as those who planned to do so in a similar question asked in summer 2022 (33%) and nearly three times as many as those who planned to do so in a similar question asked in fall/early winter 2021 (22%).
- More weekend getaways may mean more spontaneity, too. Half of all travelers are currently in the process of booking/planning their upcoming fall trip(s) (50%), while nearly a quarter say they will likely book a last-minute getaway (24%).
- Those who are not planning to travel for a vacation this fall say they are instead trying to save up money (37%), are not currently in the financial position to take a vacation (36%), or are waiting until gas prices are lower (27%).
- Meanwhile, COVID-19 concerns continue to drop season-over-season as a reason for not traveling: 16% of non-travelers cited the pandemic as a reason for not traveling this fall, compared to 20% of respondents in summer 2022 and 35% in spring 2022.