Top 10 Summer Vacation Travel Destinations for Americans in 2012

Results from a recent survey by Orbitz indicates 77% of Americans are planning a summer vacation trip in 2012 with Las Vegas, New York, and Orlando as the top 3 destinations.  Based on the survey, if American’s do decide to travel internationally, Cancun, Mexico is the top choice.  Continue reading for more of the survey’s details.

The results of the Orbitz survey could indicate a strengthening economy, as more Americans are hitting the road and also increasing their summer vacation budgets – 53% plan to spend more than $1,500 compared to just 39% percent in 2011.  Orbitz surveyed nearly 1,000 U.S. travelers about their summer travel plans, and 77% plan to take a summer vacation this summer.  More than half (56%) plan to travel by car and 39% by air.  Sixty percent of travelers indicated that gas prices are a major factor in where they travel this summer.

Photo Credit Las Vegas News Bureau


The Orbitz Insider ranking is based on all air bookings made on for travel between June 1 and August 31, 2012.  The most popular destination for summer 2012 was Las Vegas, NV, with affordable hotel rates ($95 per night) a possible key factor.  New York City jumped from the sixth most popular destination in 2011 to the number-two spot this year, whereas Orlando, FL dropped from number one to the number three destination.

Photo Credit Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau


While the top travel destinations on Orbitz’s Index were domestic cities, Cancun, Mexico was the sole international destination to make it into the top 10.  This is the 2nd consecutive year Cancun was ranked as the top international destination on the Orbitz Insider Index Summer Travel report.

Orbitz Summer Travel Insider Index

2012 Rank Destination 2011 Rank 2012 Average Daily Hotel Rate
1 Las Vegas 2 $95
2 New York 6 $226
3 Orlando 1 $101
4 Los Angeles 4 $132
5 Seattle 3 $135
6 San Francisco 7 $170
7 Denver 5 $97
8 Chicago 8 $163
9 Boston 10 $177
10 Cancun 9 $212


Cancun, Mexico is stepping up efforts to attract American tourists with a campaign highlighting the turquoise waters and white sand beaches of the Mexican Caribbean as well as unique attractions like the Underwater Museum and adventure travel experiences such as swimming with whale sharks.  Also, in 2012 Cancun celebrates the year of the Mayans and the closing of the traditional Mayan calendar and a new beginning.

Photo Credit Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau


So what are your summer travel plans for 2012?  Are you flying or driving?  Staying in the U.S. or traveling abroad?  Please share your plans in the comments below.  Seriously, I need to hear plans because I don’t have any yet…  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, and be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.