What places will be hot for travel in 2021? Frommer's rounds up the industry's predictions.
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Where Will U.S. Travelers Go in 2021? Here Are the Industry's Predictions

The time around New Year's Day is prediction season, which means many major travel purveyors have either surveyed their customers or opened their books to get some ideas about which destinations will be getting the most love in 2021 from American travelers.

Usually, New York, Orlando, and Las Vegas sit at the top of the heap, the only suspense being which city occupies the top spot in a given year. But the landscape, so to speak, has changed drastically thanks to the pandemic—though which destinations are now most popular varies according to which travel behemoth you ask.

Here's a quick survey of the forecasts from the big players in travel. I tried to compare apples with apples, but in a few cases that hasn't been possible because companies have used varying devices for their predictions. At the end, I'll talk about ways to find places you should go once travel is safe again.

Hot places for travel in 2021: Expedia's list
JD Ross 75/Shutterstock
Methodology: Expedia looked at its customers' searches for 2021 travel. 

Results: Beachy destinations are grabbing the imaginations of travelers who use this giant online travel agency. Its top 10 starred coastal Mexico and the Hawaiian islands, plus Miami, Punta Cana, and French Polynesia. But Sin City and Disney are still potent lures, with Las Vegas and Orlando coming in at #3 and #4 respectively.

Expedia's list (in order of popularity):

Cancún (pictured above)
Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Mexico 
Las Vegas
Punta Cana
Oahu, Hawaii
Maui, Hawaii 
Los Cabos, Mexico
French Polynesia
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
New York
Key West, Florida
Los Angeles
Nassau, Bahamas
New Orleans
Bali, Indonesia  

Hot places for travel in 2021: Priceline's list
Snap a Skyline/Shutterstock
Methodology: Priceline analyzed hotel data for all bookings made between September 1, 2020, and November 30, 2020, for travel between January 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021.

Results: I'm guessing business travel trends may also be reflected here (I'm looking at you, #10 Atlanta).

Priceline's list (in order of popularity):  
Las Vegas (pictured above)
Washington, D.C.
New Orleans
New York
Riviera Maya
Key West
Hot places for travel in 2021: Airbnb's list
David A. Litman/Shutterstock
Methodology: Airbnb combined the responses to a survey it commissioned with searches for rentals in 2021. 

Results: According to the company's data, a growing number of customers (a 128% increase, in fact) say they are using Airbnb stays as a way to explore relocation destinations. The following choices are among the top ones for this type of travel (it’s unclear whether the places are listed in order of popularity; Airbnb declined to be specific).

Airbnb's list:

Park City, Utah (pictured above)
Truckee, California
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Durham, North Carolina
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Boise, Idaho
Richmond, Virginia
Greenville, South Carolina
Indianapolis, Indiana
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

For regular vacations, Airbnb says that U.S. travel is at the top right now, as opposed to the state of things in December 2019, when such international destinations as Paris, London, and Rome were getting the most love. The following destinations are trending (once again, Airbnb declines to specify the order of popularity).

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Breckenridge, Colorado
Davenport, Florida
Palm Springs, California
Tulum, Mexico
Hot places for travel in 2021: VRBO's list
Anthony Heflin/Shutterstock
Methodology: Like its competitor Airbnb, vacation rental clearinghouse Vrbo released findings based on both a look at what the company calls "travel demand data" and a recent survey of over 8,000 participants. In Vrbo's case, all respondents were parents (to capture family travel trends).

Results: Vrbo did not name which destinations will be most popular in 2021, but it did release a list of "emerging destinations"—those that have seen the greatest increase in popularity in the last year. Four out of the five are near inland bodies of water.

Vrbo's trending destinations, in order of increasing popularity, are:

Emory, Texas
Smithville, Missouri
Slade, Kentucky
Outer Banks, North Carolina (pictured above)
Mannford, Oklahoma
Hot places for travel in 2021: Home To Go's list
Romrod Photo/Shutterstock
Home To Go
Methodology: This aggregator of vacation rentals looked at its winter searches for 2021 on November 20, 2020, to come up with its list.

Results: I assume that different places will rise to the top when more customers are booking summer travel. Frankly, I am surprised by some of the international locations that surfaced here, like Naples in Italy, or Rosarito in Mexico, both of which are usually considered secondary destinations.

Home To Go's list:

United States:

Florida Keys (pictured above: Islamadora)
Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina
Naples, Florida
Lake Tahoe, California
Maui, Hawaii


Santorini, Greece
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Bali, Indonesia
Rosarito, Mexico
Naples, Italy
Paphos, Cyprus
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Hot places for travel in 2021: Frommer's Best Places List for 2021
So where should you go?
If you’re less interested in following crowds and more intrigued by sights that great American authors think everyone should know, click on this link to see our own Best Places 2021 article. Included are mini essays by Gloria Steinem, David Sedaris, Jodi Picoult, Fannie Flagg, Cathleen Schine, Sahar Mustafah, Daniel Okrent, Kim Johnson, and nine other top authors.

Pictured above: the road to Acoma Sky City in New Mexico, one of the fascinating destinations in our annual Best Places feature