ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. – Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic dictated where U.S. travelers could go. Now, as borders remain open, traveler behavior is taking a familiar turn. Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth.com, analyzed spring break trip data to reveal the current trends that could indicate the return of normalcy in travel.
Italy regains popularity
Historically, Italy has been the second most popular international destination for U.S. tourists, according to Squaremouth.com, before falling out of the top 10 completely in 2020.
This spring break, Italy has started to regain its popularity, accounting for 4% of trips booked on Squaremouth.com. Only Mexico (11.6%) and the U.S. (19%) comprise a larger traveler share.
Europe rises as Caribbean travel falls
For the majority of the past two years, travel to Europe fell off the map, as a result of border closures and quarantine restrictions. This spring break, U.S. tourists are returning to Europe for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.
In addition to Italy, France and Spain have also returned to the top 10 destinations list. These countries were previously replaced by Caribbean destinations, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Aruba and Jamaica, which remained widely accessible throughout the pandemic.
Domestic travel remains uncharacteristically high
Travelers remained closer to home during spring break months throughout the pandemic, with domestic travel comprising almost 90% of trips in 2020.
While domestic travel has decreased, it is still significantly higher than pre-pandemic years. This year, 23% of spring break trips are remaining stateside, compared to 13% in 2019.