Travel website Kayak released its annual “Travel Hacker Guide” Thursday which includes top trending destinations, budget-friendly cities and tips for how to book the cheapest flights. A team of data scientists and experts analyzed the site’s more than 1.5 billion searches to put together the guide.
Kayak’s vice president of marketing, David Solomito, joined “CBS This Morning” to break down where to go and when to book your trips for 2018.
Among the top 10 trending destinations were eight European cities including Paris and Barcelona, but taking the top trending spot was Maui, Hawaii.
“Maui is always popular, it’s kind of the quintessential Hawaiian experience. You have luxury but you also have some of the local culture that’s there. And in response, airlines had added routes so it’s become more accessible and has become more affordable. We saw over a 51 percent increase in searches to Maui on Kayak,” Solomito said.
Top trending destinations:
1. Maui, Hawaii
2. Barcelona, Spain
3. Bali, Indonesia
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
5. Lisbon, Portugal
6. Las Vegas, Nevada
7. Madrid, Spain
8. Athens, Greece
9. Paris, France
10. Rome, Italy
While Europe is a popular destination for tourists worldwide, Solomito was surprised to see that so many European cities were trending, meaning it was searched more frequently than the year before.
“The big thing driving that is the low-cost carriers really driving down prices with competition. So last summer we saw flights to Europe 20 to 30 percent cheaper than the summer before. For the summer of 2018 we expect them to be even lower,” he said.
Their findings show January is the least expensive month to travel within the U.S. and for international travel, try March. But when should you book?
“For the United States and the Caribbean, about a month before your trip is the sweet spot and then on the other end of the spectrum if you’re traveling to Europe of Africa, six months in advance is the best time to book,” he said.
Time in advance to book travel:
North America: 1 month
Central America: 4 months
Caribbean: 1 month
South America: 5 months
Europe: 6 months
Africa: 6 months
Middle East: 3 months
Asia: 3 months
South Pacific: 5 months
Kayak also compiled a list of the most “wallet-friendly” destinations for Americans dubbing Guadalajara, Mexico, as the top bargain locale – where there’s a tequila train.
“It takes you through tequila country. It’s becoming a thing sort of like wine tasting,” Solomito said….