Valentine's Day travel trends

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which made us wonder: What are the most attractive destinations during a holiday for lovebirds? To find out, we looked at the combined occupancy of our Valentine’s Day bookings across the U.S. from 2017 through 2019.

After identifying our top 10 most popular February 14th vacation rental markets, we partnered with Datadipity Insights to learn a little more about this year’s Valentine’s Day vacationers. For the study, we asked 1,500 adults living in the U.S. about everything from the most romantic type of lodging to their preferred travel companions.

Respondents want sunny coastal destinations and cozy accommodations that include a private kitchen and big views. While most will travel with their significant others, they all crave their alone time. How much of that time they’ll spend on their smartphones varies by generation—and it doesn’t break out how you’d think.

Here’s what vacationing for Valentine’s Day will look like in 2019.

Which U.S. coast gets the most Valentine’s Day love?

Who will be the most popular Valentine’s Day traveling companion?

It’s no surprise that the majority of Valentine’s Day vacationers plan to travel with their significant other or family. But more plan to vacation alone rather than with friends? We didn’t see that coming.

What Valentine’s Day gift will melt the hearts of every generation this year?

We asked our respondents what they want for Valentine’s Day this year. One gift transcends generational lines.

Prefer unique experiences

Prefer material gifts

Generation Z

80%

20%

Millennials

83%

17%

Generation X

77%

23%

Baby Boomers

71%

29%

Phone time vs. alone time

We asked respondents across four generations about the importance of alone time—and how much is too much time to spend on the phone during a romantic getaway. Here's what the majority of each generation had to say:

More than half of respondents, regardless of age, still want some alone time when vacationing with their partner.
It’s surprising that Baby Boomers, the oldest generation we surveyed, are the most reluctant generation to unplug.
Millennials, on the other hand, are most likely to want their partners to disconnect and be more present.

Which lodging do Valentine’s Day vacationers consider more romantic?

When asked which is more romantic, a hotel or vacation rental, 55 percent of our travelers chose vacation rental. Maybe checking in at a front desk kills the mood?

What are the top three activities for Valentine’s Day vacationers?

  • Cooking and dining out: 55%
  • A romantic walk: 52%
  • Outdoor adventure: 43%

Respondents were given the opportunity to choose multiple answers.


Why are Valentine’s Day vacationers so sweet on vacation rentals?

  • They get the comfort of home: 64%
  • There is a kitchen: 38%
  • There are more amenities: 32%
  • Vacation rentals are more flexible than hotels: 31%
  • They can be “local,” experiencing the community authentically: 25%
  • They're looking to stay in places where hotels aren’t practical: 14%

Respondents were given the opportunity to choose multiple answers.


How do vacationers describe the perfect Valentine’s Day getaway?

If you aren’t sure what to plan for your Valentine’s Day vacation this year, it’s a good bet your companion will appreciate a condensed trip somewhere warm. No need to book something extravagant. Look for a cozy cottage with great views. Here’s what Valentine’s day vacations will look like for our respondents this year.

A couple enjoying coffee on the front porch of their vacation rental
The perfect vacation rental getaway

Short and sweet

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday. You can expect to see the bulk of vacationers booking weekend-style romantic getaways. Here’s how long they plan to stay:

  • 2 nights: 42%
  • 3 nights: 32%
  • A whole week: 17%
  • 4 nights: 9%
A hot cup of tea sits on coffee table inside vacation rental
The perfect vacation rental getaway

Hygge-friendly

Maybe it’s because 2018 was such a noisy year, or maybe it’s just the nature of the holiday, but this year’s Valentine’s Day vacationers want comfort, quiet, and peak snuggle-ability. Here’s how they described their ideal vacation rental vibe:

  • Cozy: 39%
  • Exciting: 20%
  • Secluded: 18%
  • Modern: 15%
  • Rustic: 8%
Artfully designed bedroom of vacation rental
The perfect vacation rental getaway

Extraordinary

This year’s Valentine’s Day vacationers want an unforgettable experience—think a hot tub, chef’s kitchen, and larger-than-life views. Here’s what they chose as the top five most important vacation rental amenities:

  • A great location: 30%
  • A hot tub/pool: 20%
  • A great view: 14%
  • The bed: 13%
  • The right price: 12%

Book your Valentine's Day vacation today

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Indian Rocks Beach, FL vacation rental
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View of private hot tub located in Waikoloa, HI vacation rental
Waikoloa, HI
View from South Padre Island, TX vacation rental
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Corpus Christi, TX
View of Pacific Ocean from balcony of Lahaina, HI vacation rental
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Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.