Travel News: Top Trends for Summer Travel, America’s Ultimate YMCA, and Virgin Atlantic Says ‘Sock It to Me’

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Joseph Salonis/Dreamstime

Iconic Bixby Bridge, along the Pacific Coast Highway in Northern California, is part of the fun of a Big Sur road trip—one of our favorites!

There’s a great big world out there, and our latest “news you can use” may inspire a trip you never knew you needed.

From the top trip-inspiring trends dominating U.S. travel this summer to the ultimate budget lodging for families and pets in the Rockies, to a brand-new piece of footwear some of you may want to add to your repertoire, this week’s latest news is kicking summer 2018 into high gear.

TOP TRENDS FOR SUMMER TRAVEL

Our friends at Red Roof Inn (redroof.com) have crunched some data to share some surprising trends for summer 2018 travel - in some cases, these findings have us re-thinking some last-minute vacation ideas:

  • More than 90 percent of Americans will travel by car for their summer vacation, clocking more than 500 miles round-trip. Budget Travel has celebrated the great American road trip for more than two decades, so we can’t say we’re shocked by this stat. Are you ready to hit the road?
  • While “beach” may be the first vacation image that springs to mind when we say “summer,” data from AAA suggests that more Americans are headed to cities for vacation - can’t argue with the museums, theaters, parkland, and chic shopping they’ll find there.
  • More than 50 percent of U.S. travelers are headed to national parks, and around 40 percent are headed to theme parks. Of course, there are plenty of cool destinations (California and Florida spring to mind), where you can easily do both.
  • We may have to redefined the “dog days of summer.” Turns out 40 percent of U.S. travelers will bring their dogs along with them on vacation this year.
  • Travelers prize authentic experiences and “living like a local” more than the conventional hotel or resort experience. Budget Travel’s “Locals Know Best” series can certainly help you get the most authenticity out of your trip.

AMERICA’S ULTIMATE YMCA

Singing and dancing to the Village People’s classic ‘70s hit is optional, but the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO, may be the ultimate YMCA in the U.S. USA Today named it the “Best Family Resort in America,” and the property borders gorgeous Rocky Mountain National Park on three sides, meaning you can bunk down in affordable style (lodge rooms from $99, two-to-three-bedroom cabins from $113), spend your days among the aspens, bighorns, and picture-perfect trails of the park and enjoy the unplugged vacation every family needs right now.

VIRGIN ATLANTIC SAYS ‘SOCK IT TO ME’

Here’s one you don’t hear every day: Virgin Atlantic has partnered with Happy Socks to provide fun, specially designed socks in Virgin’s distinctive red and purple depicting images that celebrate passengers’ love of travel. For those of us in the cheap seats, the socks will be available for purchase via Virgin’s Retail Therapy onboard and online platforms, while passengers in the cushier sections will receive them as part of a complimentary amenity kit. We’d love to hear from travelers who opt to kick their summer travel into high gear wearing Virgin’s bespoke socks:)

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