Skift Take

It may not be surprising that beach destinations are a popular choice to ring in the summer, but rustic stays are also of interest.

Short-term rentals are experiencing a boost for this year’s Memorial Day.

Airbnb had a 10% increase in searches from last year for the weekend’s travel, with warmer beach destinations dominating. It also reported high interest for rural experiences, as did short-term rental platform HomeToGo.

Big cities were not always front of mind for customers. Out of Airbnb’s categories, four of the top 10 involved pools and the water. 

Destin, Florida, broke into the websites’ most-searched destinations for the weekend, securing the top spot on HomeToGo’s list. Panama City Beach and Myrtle Beach also made the cut for both lists.

Top 10 U.S. Destinations by Search

Airbnb (unranked)HomeToGo (ranked)
Chicago, ILDestin, FL
Destin, FLGulf Shores, AL
San Diego, CAPanama City Beach, FL
Panama City Beach, FLHilton Head Island, SC
Charleston, SCMyrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach, SCOrange Beach, AL
Las Vegas, NVGalveston, TX
Los Angeles, CAAnna Maria Island, FL
Pensacola Beach, FLOuter Banks, NC
Boston, MAGatlinburg, TN

Into the Woods

Rental platforms observed how other outdoor getaways gained traction. “Iconic cities” was a popular category for Airbnb, but trip categories focused on lakes, cabins, national parks, and the countryside also had demand.

“It’s clear that rural destinations are preferred for getaways around this holiday,” said a statement from HomeToGo. Even though Airbnb had several cities squeeze into its top 10, HomeToGo’s most-searched states included Texas, Colorado, Virginia, and Wisconsin, to name a few.

The company observed that urban destinations only made up 17% of overall search volume for Memorial Day. This is a slight increase from last year, but cityscapes are still less popular options.

Later Booking and Closer Travel

There is strong demand for the holiday weekend as it approaches. Between March and April, HomeToGo reported a 54% increase in searches for stays with check-in dates over the weekend. 

For those booking on HomeToGo earlier this month instead of in April, there was a $17 increase in the median price per night per person. Reserving early helped travelers save a bit of cash for the weekend.

The average travel distance decreased for HomeToGo guests. Road trips are also seeing a spike this year.

“U.S. travelers will be staying closer to home for Memorial Day breaks this year, with the average distance traveled for a vacation recorded at 999 miles in 2024, in comparison to 1,565 miles in 2023,” the statement said.


Get Skift Research

Skift Research products provide deep analysis, data, and expert research on the companies and trends that are shaping the future of travel.

See What You're Missing

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: airbnb, alabama, boston, chicago, dwell, florida, hometogo, las vegas, memorial day, north carolina, san diego, short-term rentals, south carolina, texas, tourism, Travel Trends, vacation rentals

Photo credit: A Myrtle Beach sunset. Kirk Van Nort / Unsplash

Up Next

Loading next stories