A combination of low gasoline prices, a rough winter in the Northeast, and wallet-friendly hotel rates in cities across the country is creating a deal-friendly kick-off to summer travel season, according to priceline.com. A leader in online and mobile travel, and part of The Priceline Group of (NASDAQ: PCLN), the company conducted its 13th annual survey of the top Memorial Day spots and found that almost every destination on this year’s list has an average daily hotel room rate (ADR) for the holiday weekend of less than $175 a night. Ten of the top 25 destinations have ADRs of $125 or less.
“Memorial Day weekend is typically the first big chance hotels have of luring consumers out of their homes after a long winter,” said priceline.com travel editor, Brian Ek. “Fueled by low gas prices and an increased trust in access to last-minute deals, we’ve seen a dramatic upwards trend in priceline.com consumers making reservations on the road app-in-hand. This is the summer of the deal as consumers are making their summer plans, hoteliers open up supply, and priceline.com has deals of up to 60% off retail.”
For the second year in a row, the busiest destinations for the upcoming long weekend are expected to be, in order, Las Vegas, San Diego, Orlando and New York City, based on advance hotel reservations for May 22 to May 25 made by priceline.com customers. Priceline.com also found that beach destinations – Orange County, Miami, Los Angeles, and Myrtle Beach – and national park destinations – Niagara Falls, Yellowstone, Yosemite, The Florida Keys and The Black Hills – will be popular among travelers. As such, priceline.com has pulled together both alternative destinations and the best bargain cities below. No matter the destination, travelers can find what they’re looking for on any budget.
Priceline.com Top 25 Destinations for Memorial Day 2015
|2015 Rank||Destination||2015 ADR*||2014 Rank||2014 ADR|
|1||Las Vegas, NV||$131.22||1||$130|
|2||San Diego, CA||$154.49||2||$142|
|4||New York City||$219.56||4||$224|
|6||Orange County, CA||$117.54||5||$107|
|9||San Francisco, CA||$178.22||9||$161|
|10||Los Angeles, CA – Central L.A.||$140.43||12||$129|
|11||San Antonio, TX||$115.62||14||$113|
|13||New Orleans, LA||$172.56||11||$164|
|18||St. Catharines – Niagara Falls, ON||$134.27||35||$120|
|19||Virginia Beach, VA||$125.22||17||$143|
|22||Monterey – Salinas, CA||$170.55||20||$172|
|24||Newark, NJ – Meadowlands||$136.49||N/A**||$131|
|25||Buffalo – Niagara Falls, NY||$119.36||45||$120|
*ADR: Average daily room rate calculated based on reservations made by priceline.com customers across all star levels for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. ADRs were calculated on May 11, 2015. Rates and availability are subject to change at any time.
**N/A: Was not one of the top 50 destinations in 2014.
Priceline.com Best Value Destinations for Memorial Day 2015
Based on advance hotel reservations made on priceline.com.
|Destination||2015 ADR||ADR % Change (2014-2015)|
|Virginia Beach, VA||$125/night||-12.4%|
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||$108/night||-12.0%|
Alternative Destinations to Avoid the Crowds
FOR HIGH ROLLERS
Las Vegas, which has an ADR of $131, is #1 on priceline.com’s Memorial Day list, so it will most likely be packed. West Coasters should consider Lake Tahoe, which comes in far down the list at #64, with a very palatable ADR of $131. Plus, there’s hiking, boating, and jet-skiing, not to mention a knockout view. East Coasters should consider Niagara Falls. The Buffalo side of the falls is down at #25, with a $119 ADR. After seeing the falls, the casinos await.
FOR HANGING OUT ON THE BEACH
San Diego is #2 on the list with a $154 ADR. For some great alternatives, go to beaches where the college crowd just left. Now that spring break is over, the hotel rates are coming back down to earth. Daytona Beach is #114 on the list, with a $117 ADR. Texas’s South Padre Island is #117, and has a $136 ADR.
FOR THRILLING THEME PARKS
Orlando is #3 on the list with a $111 ADR, which signals big crowds over the Memorial Day weekend. Orange County, with Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Sea World down the road, comes in a bit further down the list at #6 on the list with a wallet friendly $118 ADR. On the East Coast, think about Northern Virginia, which is #39 with a really attractive $92 ADR. Virginia has Kings Dominion and Colonial Williamsburg theme parks.
FOR NATIONAL PARK FUN
The busiest national park over Memorial Day is likely to be Yellowstone, which comes in at #48, with a $147 ADR. Just down the road from Yellowstone is Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons. Jackson Hole will be much less crowded at #92, with an ADR of $124. The Grand Canyon is also likely to be not as busy as Yellowstone, coming in at #68, with a $141 ADR.
FOR SIGHTSEEING HISTORY BUFFS
Washington, DC, is #7 on the list for Memorial Day, with a $154 ADR. One alternative is to stay in Philadelphia (#52, with a $146 ADR) and see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross’s House, and run up Rocky’s stairs at the art museum. Or, head to Boston (#32, $230 ADR) and walk the Freedom Trail, climb aboard Old Ironsides, and sample the many treats in Faneuil Hall.
Priceline.com, part of The Priceline Group [NASDAQ: PCLN], gives leisure travelers multiple ways to save on their airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, vacation packages and cruises. In addition to getting compelling published prices, travelers can take advantage of priceline.com’s famous Name Your Own Price® service, which can deliver the lowest prices available, or the recently added Express Deals®, where travelers can take advantage of hotel discounts without bidding.