If there's a friend or a person at the office who can't stop blathering about how much he loves the heat and wishes summer would never end, feel free to throw as much ice on his dreams as possible.
No, not everyone loves sweating through every open pore for months at a time. No, not everyone loves it when the kids are out of school, everyone else in on vacation and every beach or boardwalk you step on is teeming with humanity. In fact, their are city residents who absolutely love it when these people turn a federal holiday into a three day weekend, go to some remote hotspot and leave all the parks, movie theaters and restaurants to everyone else.
If they do so last-minute, all the better. A recent survey of TripAdvisor Rentals travelers revealed that while most travelers book their stay in a vacation rental 6 to 12 months in advance (40%), a combined 54% of travelers book 3 to 5 months out (34%), or 1 to 3 months out (20%). A survey from AAA indicates that, in all, 42% of Americans are planning to take a vacation in 2017 - with most planning trips to warm-weather destinations in the U.S. and abroad. Approximately one-third (30%) of U.S. adults say they are more likely to take a vacation this year compared to 2016.
"There is a lot of pent-up demand for travel," says Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of travel and publishing. "Whether they're taking a road trip to a well-known domestic destination or visiting an exotic international locale, today's travelers are seeking experiences that are unique and immersive."
Take the kids with you while you're at it. More than one-third of Americans (35%) are planning to take a vacation of 50 miles or more away from home involving two or more immediate family members this year. While most family travelers (70%) are planning to take one or two vacations, there is a significant increase this year in the number of Americans who say they are planning to take three or more vacations. The 28% of family travelers who will take three or more trips this year is 13 percentage points higher than in 2016.
"Families continue to see the value of traveling as a way to bond and reconnect in today's busy world," Sutherland says. "The best way to wrap up a family vacation is to start planning the next one, as more and more Americans are starting to do."
That puts families with Apple (AAPL) iPhones in hands on a whole lot of road trips (79%), visits to national parks (51%) and theme-park excursions (40%) this year, far outpacing the number of families spending on international travel (33%), guided tours (22%) and ocean cruises (20%). Compared to 2016, 10% more families are expected to take road trips this year. Rick Seaney, chief executive of travel site FareCompare.com, notes that the last week in August is about the only time you'll find summer travel bargains. Children go back to school, older leave for college and parents spend their time back-to-school shopping and shuttling, leaving the travel calendar open for the unencumbered. During that time, demand for hotel rooms and flights plummets, recovers briefly for Labor Day and then slides into autumn.
"As for airfare prices, they can drop as much as a third or more over summer airfare," Seaney says. "For my money, autumn is the best time of the year for a vacation: it packs the one-two punch of great weather and great airfare prices."
As travel site Hopper figured out last year, booking a late-August trip cuts summer travel costs costs significantly. Domestic airfares that hover around $375 for July and August weekend dates drop closer to $300 during the last two weeks of August, with the best fares available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. With international flights, you can save as much as 17% as airfare drops from an average of $1,100 in July to $850 in late August.
The issue, however, is that it's likely still going to be hot and you'll still have to put up with a who's who of "How's about this heat?"-spewing knuckle draggers if you head to favored destinations like Cape Cod; Ocean City, Md.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Miami; or Gulf Shores, Ala. Even if you manage to take advantage of the low season in Las Vegas, the pools will be packed with electronic dance music aficionados in heat and the air outside the air-conditioned casino floors will rate somewhere between "oven" and "newly formed star."
If you loathe the smell of sunblock and anxiously await the day you can put on woolen socks and consume pumpkin-spiced everything, you aren't alone. With help from travel sites and our own years of avoiding the heat, we've put together a list of ten places that are great for escaping the higher reaches of the mercury and avoiding a meltdown.