Newport Beach, California ranks # 2 on Hotwire's 2020 list of "Itty Bitty City" destinations for a quick summer vacation nearby.
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Summer is almost over and the Covid-19 pandemic is showing no sign of subsiding. Many Americans putting their vacation plans on hold are thinking about when they could escape.
Shorter breaks in smaller towns near home could be the answer.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has really changed everything we know and love about travel – between ground flights and changing travel restrictions, people are having a hard time mending their travel this year," said Nick Graham, director of the online travel center Hotwire. com. "Domestic travel, especially quick, local getaways for 2 to 3 days, is a great way to retest the travel waters and get a much-needed change of scenery while staying close to your home."
Hotwire found that 72% of Americans are interested in a summer vacation, but 4 in 5 are quick to think. Local travel is a great first option during the pandemic. Additionally, 43% will seek fewer crowded destinations and 89% will take health precautions while traveling. These steps include traveling by car (50%), researching the cleanliness of the hotel before booking (29%), and sticking to home (26%).
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These results are supported by other research. Insurance company Allianz found that nearly 6 in 10 travel insurance customers surveyed will be vacationing within the US borders this year.
Americans also want to avoid crowds: in a recent survey of 2,000 people, financial services company IPX 1031 found that 66% avoid large cities when traveling. Additionally, 81% are monitoring Covid-19 case values in potential targets, and 85% cancel when the number increases.
"These trends in travel planning reflect a tendency towards more remote (and) rural areas and even staying in large cities, which are traditionally very popular for summer travel," said Matt Zajechowski, spokesman for IPX 1031.
Meanwhile, 60% of Americans haven't taken a single day of vacation since the outbreak began, said Graham of Hotwire, although taking time out is important for wellbeing.
"From personal experience, the few quickie trips I've taken have felt incredibly busy, and exploring our own backyard here in the US is a great place to start," he said.
Hotwire has compiled a list of the top 40 US cities for "quickie" travel this summer, dividing them into four size classes, including "itty bitty city" and "small town favorites", each with 10 destinations. Graham said the company analyzed more than 10,000 data points for 300 cities based on factors such as last-minute savings, drivability and population size, as well as a more traditional metric like the number of tourist attractions.
"These new factors put places like South Bend, Indiana and Troy, Alabama on our radar, but of course we also measured recreational factors such as activities and entertainment, which again shows popular destinations like Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia top of the list, "he said.
Here's a look at the lists:
Top 10 & # 39; Itty Bitty & # 39; Cities
Charleston, South Carolina is Hotwire's first choice for Itty Bitty City getaways.
Peter Unger | The Image Bank unpublished | Getty Images
Charleston, South CarolinaNewport Beach, CaliforniaSanta Barbara, CaliforniaSouth Bend, IndianaSarasota, FloridaSavannah, GeorgiaTemecula, CaliforniaTroy, AlabamaWilmington, DelawareAtlantic City, New Jersey
Hotwire also rated the so-called "small towns", although some could only be considered small when compared to places like New York and Los Angeles:
Top 10 & # 39; Small Towns & # 39;
Orlando may have Disney and Universal, but according to Hotwire, the Florida theme park mecca is also a top choice for small town getaways.
Orlando, FloridaScottsdale, ArizonaFort Lauderdale, FloridaReno, NevadaSalt Lake CitySpringfield, MissouriMadison, WisconsinShreveport, LouisianaTallahassee, FloridaToledo, Ohio
For all talk of moving to small, less populated destinations, Hotwire also rated much larger cities. His "medium-sized must-see" picks were St. Louis; Tampa, Florida; Atlanta; Arlington, Virginia; Tucson, Arizona; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Pittsburgh; Miami; and Cincinnati. Meanwhile, the top 10 "big cities" for vacation were Las Vegas; San Francisco; Washington, D.C .; Oklahoma City; Seattle; Memphis, Tennessee; Indianapolis; Austin, Texas; Denver; and Portland, Oregon.