The wheels are already in motion for the first major U.S. travel season of the year, Spring Break, marking the beginning of the busy period for short term rental property managers in summer markets. This peak booking period is the perfect time for property managers to maximize revenue-earning potential by making the most of high-demand areas and industry trends.
So, what will 2023’s Spring Break look like? Using reliable market data, we’re uncovering everything you need to know about this popular U.S. travel season. Will travel demand be higher than last year? Where are the best short term rental markets? And, of these popular Spring Break destinations, where is your target market coming from?
Spring Break 2023 vs. 2022
As of February 27th, our short term rental market analysis has highlighted the most popular booked day within the Spring Break period as March 11th , which had already sold 546,019 nights. Last year the highest night sold in the same stay period was a week earlier on March 5th, with 527,401 booked nights.
Interestingly, when we look at the data by weeks, the most popular week to book for Spring Break remains the same as last year; the 11th week, which falls on March 13th-19th this year. This knowledge presents a fantastic opportunity for property managers to maximize revenue by increasing average daily rates (ADRs) during high-demand periods.
Overall, travel demand for Spring Break is up, with nights sold for this week increasing 8% year-over-year, possibly showing the normalizing of the industry as travel confidence returns to pre-pandemic levels. And some areas are seeing an explosion in bookings compared to just a year ago…
Top Ten Emerging Spring Break Hotspots for 2023
Based on scraped market data, the top emerging US Spring Break destinations seeing the highest year-on-year growth in total nights booked are:
- Manhattan, New York (+186%)
- Tulsa, Oklahoma (+175%)
- Old Orchard Beach, Maine (+156%)
- Rapid City, South Dakota (+150%)
- Norfolk, Virginia (+146%)
- Bella Vista, Arkansas (+136%)
- Huntsville, Alabama (+128%)
- Alexandria, Virginia (+128%)
- Cleveland, Ohio (+125%)
- Las Vegas, Nevada (+114%)
Spring Break isn’t just for college students, as highlighted by high-demand locations like Maine and South Dakota — the latter likely being booked by families for the nearby attractions, such as Mount Rushmore.
How do these destinations fare in comparison to the most popular locations in 2022? When comparing year-over-year demand, Manhattan, New York takes the top spot for the best-performing location, witnessing booking growth of 186% (that’s 6,377 extra nights sold than in 2022).
Tulsa, Oklahoma, follows shortly behind with 175% year-over-year growth. Then Old Orchard Beach, Maine (156%), Rapid City, South Dakota (150%), and Norfolk, Virginia (146%). Data trends, such as these, not only show destinations that remain popular year after year but also indicate areas that are up-and-coming, enabling real estate investors and property managers to make strong business decisions for the years ahead.
Where Are Spring Break Bookers Traveling From?
Knowing when and where your target market is traveling is invaluable information for property managers, but you can take this one step further by homing in on where your guests are coming from. Based on some of the biggest U.S. college towns, we’ve pinpointed where your ideal Spring Break target market is traveling from and where they’re staying, so you can maximize appeal.
New York, NY
The most popular Spring Break booking destinations for residents or students in New York this year are Aspen, Colorado, and Big Sky Mountain Village, Montana. These short term rental stays are wildly different, with Aspen’s average length of stay being 15 days at an ADR of $1,033, while Big Sky Mountain Village’s ADR comes in higher at $312, but people are staying for a shorter number of nights (3).
Los Angeles, CA
Coming in at the number one destination for LA Spring Breakers is Mammoth Lakes, California, for stays of nearly 4 days. Big Sky Mountain Village, Montana, is also popular, with stays of just over 5 days.
Palm Springs, California, is also popular, with an 11-day average length of stay. The variety on show here, both in terms of type of destination and length of stay, suggests dramatically different demographics.
The top three destinations for those traveling from Boston this year include Vail and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and Key West, Florida, with an average length of stay again varying greatly between nearly 5.6 and 11 days.
Park City, Utah, is popular with those traveling from Chicago, with the second and third most in-demand destinations being Colorado’s Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs. In fourth place is Key West, Florida, which registers an average length of stay that is at least four times higher than the other locations.
- Certain markets are on track for a strong growth trajectory this Spring Break season
- As people look further afield for value, your next investment might be found in some unexpected places
- Length of stays can vary enormously by destination. This knowledge can present opportunities, allowing property managers to boost revenue while reducing gap nights in places where longer stays are typical
Want to be the first to know when new trends start to emerge? Book a demo of our platform to start your data journey.