MLK and Presidents Day Holiday Travel Trends and Weekend Getaways 2023

The backyard of a vacation rental in Malibu, CA
Vacation rental in Malibu, CA living room.

With the start of a new year comes a blank slate for fulfilling resolutions, as well as a fresh calendar for making vacation memories. If you’re among the 40% of U.S. travelers who anticipate traveling more frequently in 2023, as reported in Vacasa’s 2022 Holiday and Winter Travel Trends, thankfully there’s the promise of not one, but two soon-approaching three-day weekends to start the year off strong.

With Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January and Presidents Day in February, we’re likely to see more travel plans for long weekend trips over quick two-night getaways. After all, 60% of travelers shared plans to take a long weekend trip as part of their winter vacations, when surveyed for our report.

So as we enter the peak planning window for these two weekends (more on that later), now is the prime time to decide where to go for a holiday trip. Whether you’re looking to escape for some sun and fun, or squeeze in another ski weekend before spring arrives, we’re here to help with a look at how others plan to travel over the long weekends, courtesy of search data*.

Vacation rental living area in Neskowin, OR
Trend 1

Thursday check ins > Tuesday check outs

Three-day weekends can stretch into even longer weekends, thanks to remote work flexibility or a strategically-timed PTO request. Why not add a bonus day? While Friday to Monday stays remain the most-searched dates for the two holidays this year, those looking to extend their trips are more likely to check in early: Thursday to Monday stays are searched 2x more often on than Friday to Tuesday stays over both MLK Day and Presidents Day weekends.

Romantic vacation rentals on Amelia Island, FL
Trend 2

Sun over snow for MLK Day weekend

For MLK Day weekend, travelers are seeking respite from the cold weather are prioritizing sand and sunshine from coast-to-coast.

Most-searched destinations for MLK weekend

MLK day vacation rental living room with pool.
Key West, Florida
Hilton Head Island beach vacation rental living room.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Where to spend MLK Day: Vacation rental with a pool
Palm Springs, California
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Trend 3

Sand and slopes for Presidents Day weekend

Over Presidents Day weekend, travelers are seeking a mix of sand and snow (perhaps due to increased odds of a bluebird day?), with the top three destinations landing in both coastal and mountain states.

Most-searched destinations for Presidents Day weekend

Steamboat Springs, Colorado vacation home living room
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Anna Maria, Florida vacation home
Anna Maria, Florida
Park City, Utah vacation rental living room
Park City, Utah
Vacation rental in California with a pool
Trend 4

Last-minute reservations are common

No need to worry if you haven’t reserved your vacation rental just yet. Both MLK Day and Presidents Day weekend see a significant spike in last-minute search traffic on, so it's not too late to find accommodations that check all your holiday weekend boxes.

In 2022, searches for MLK Day weekend began to pick up the October prior and peaked after the New Year with a last-minute surge in searches for the January holiday. Similarly, searches for Presidents Day weekend also started to gain momentum a few months out, with a more gradual increase throughout January and February.

*Data is based on searches for stays during January 14-16, 2022, and February 18-20, 2022.

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