March 19, 2021
With warm weather returning, many Americans are dreaming of the vacations they may have skipped last year during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.
The country isn't out of the woods yet, but President Joe Biden has set a goal to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all U.S. adults on May 1. The White House hopes life will start to resemble normalcy by the Fourth of July.
As European countries face significant setbacks caused by the spread of COVID variants, there is growing concern about another wave of infections sweeping across the U.S. during the interim months of mass vaccination. That possibility has not dimmed the hopes of those looking to plan getaways.
Airbnb this week released the top 10 destinations its users have been searching for ahead of the spring and summer travel seasons. Cape May came in at No. 2 on that list.
The top destinations are based on growth in the number of searches for trips between March and August 2021 compared to searches for trips from January to February 2021.
Always a popular place to travel, Cape May has increasingly gotten recognition as more than a regional magnet for Jersey Shore regulars.
Last year, TravelMag named Cape May's beaches among the 30 most charming in the United States, calling the town "characterful" for its Victorian-era houses and museums. It's also home to wineries, the Washington State Mall, an alpaca farm and popular whale and dolphin watching tours.
Philadelphia health officials warned last year that Jersey Shore visits frequently were tied to COVID-19 transmission based on information collected during contact tracing interviews. The cases were most often linked to gatherings among households doing typical Jersey Shore activities, as opposed to spending time on the beach.
As the U.S. gets ready to enter peak vacation season during a critical point in the nation's COVID-19 response, health experts are advising would-be vacationers — whether vaccinated or not — to heed a number of tips that will make nonessential travel safer.
Airbnb's own survey data suggests that most vacationers have aimed to plan around safety. Since March of last year, their most-wishlisted properties were cabins. Views of treehouse properties have increased 80% and views of barns have gone up 63% since that time.
The top three trending amenities on Airbnb are patios and balconies, gardens or backyards and barbecue areas.
Below are Airbnb's most-searched destinations for the spring and summer travel seasons.
1. Southern Maine
2. Cape May, New Jersey
3. Round Top, Texas
4. Lake Powell, Arizona
5. Cape San Blas, Florida
6. Orderville, Utah
7. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
8. Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
9. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
10. Whitefish, Montana