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Top 4 travel destinations for summer 2021

With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out, warm weather approaching, and safety restrictions relaxing around the country, reservations for short-term home rentals are skyrocketing.

The volume of domestic reservations for summer 2021 is 282% higher compared with the same time frame in 2020 and 32% higher than in 2019, according to Guesty, a property management software firm.

“We call it ‘revenge travel,’” said Vered Schwarz, president and COO at Guesty. “People feel they have to make up for the lost time in 2020.”

If you’ve been dreaming of summer fun, check out the four places with the highest reservation volume in June, July, and August 2021, according to Guesty, and how travelers are staying safe.

Kissimmee, Florida

Lakefront Kissimmee Drone Aerial View
Kissimmee, Florida. (Photo: Getty)

Kissimmee’s got “family vacation” written all over it. With hundreds of hotels and restaurants, the town mostly caters to theme park visitors because it’s generally cheaper to stay here than in neighboring Orlando. 

Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and a handful of other attractions are all a short drive away. But there’s a lot to do within the town itself, from airboat rides, nature preserves, a vintage airplane museum, and fully restored dwellings of some of Osceola County’s earliest settlers.

Nashville, Tennessee

Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Lower Broadway is a renowned entertainment district for country music. Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee. Nashville is known as the country-music capital of the world. The city is also known for its culture and commerce and great bar scene.
Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Getty)

From its live shows along the iconic Broadway strip to its rich country-music history, Nashville is a town for music lovers. In terms of places to visit, there’s something for everyone, from the Grand Ole Opry to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Museum of African American Music. 

If you’re traveling with kids, plan a stop at the Adventure Science Center and hikes along the city’s scenic parkways. Don’t forget to sample the city’s famous hot chicken and whiskey, too.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Small brightly painted duplex home in the French Qtr of New Orlenas LA, USA
Small brightly painted duplex home in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Getty)

New Orleans is best known for its Creole cuisine and architecture, world-famous party scene on Bourbon Street, and African-American history. There are plenty of summer festivals to enjoy, from Pride Fest in June to Essence Fest in July and Downtown Music and Arts Fest in August. And as the birthplace of jazz, be sure to check out live shows and head to the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

Moab and Orderville, Utah

Moab, Utah (Photo: Getty)
Moab, Utah (Photo: Getty)

Rounding out the list of top summer destinations are Moab and Orderville, both located in Utah. With five national parks and dozens of adventures on offer — including mountain biking, water rafting, rock climbing, and more — Utah is an outdoor lover’s dream. Moab is situated between Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, while Orderville is located near Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon in neighboring Arizona.

Best tips for summer 2021 travel

Travel pretty much shut down last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but “people believe the vaccine rollouts will make a difference,” Schwarz said. “They feel they can travel safely.”

More than 200 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of April 22, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, travelers are taking precautions. In fact, Schwarz says, home-stay reservations have risen in popularity because there’s more built-in hygiene compared with standard hotel rooms.

“There’s a lower guest turnover, which already reduces your risk of exposure,” Schwarz said. “You check in and check out automatically; you get a code for the door, so you don’t need to meet anyone to get a key; and you have that secluded feeling where no one comes in and touches your space.”

Having your own kitchen and outdoor space in a home rental can also help you practice social distancing. For some extra sanitation, you can also wear a face mask, regularly wash your hands, and avoid touching shared surfaces in public. And before booking your reservation, it’s a good idea to research the travel regulations in the area before you add it to your 2021 must-see list.

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