HomeToGo finds Outer Banks among most-searched Labor Day destinations

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach at sunset. [Sam Walker photo]

HomeToGo, a vacation-rental marketplace, has found the Outer Banks one of the top-searched travel destinations for Labor Day weekend.

Here are the top five for 2021, based on search demand compared to 2019, according to HomeToGo, along the with company’s descriptions of each:

Smoky Mountains, North Carolina: “Known for the highest-elevation mountains in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, travelers can stand 6,643 ft. above grand level and enjoy views over 100 miles of the Great Rivers and Lakes that create the Smoky Mountain Blueway Trails.”

Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania: “With its forested mountain slopes, breathtaking waterfalls and abundance of beauty, The Pocono Mountains is a top destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike known for its zip-lining, hiking, whitewater rafting, fishing and more.”

Outer Banks, North Carolina: “Outer Banks visitors can experience a quiet, one-of-a-kind coastal town vibe and explore the natural beaches and wide-open parks stretching over 100 miles along North Carolina’s eastern coast.”

Cape Cod, Massachusetts: “Laid-back living, white-sand beaches, rolling dunes and blinking lighthouses are what come to mind when travelers think of Cape Cod, which is also home to a handful of charming small towns that are rich in history.”

Lake Michigan, Michigan: “A popular destination for fishing, boating and sailing, Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake located entirely within the United States and is home to the largest freshwater dunes in the world.”

HomeToGo also analyzed its search data to identify major travel trends for this Labor Day compared to pre-pandemic travel in 2019, revealing the following findings:

  • Travelers planned further ahead this year: The average Labor Day traveler started planning their trip in June (85 days to check-in, compared to 74 days in 2019).
  • Labor Day travelers are staying closer to home: The average traveler on HomeToGo is searching for Labor Day accommodations within 200 miles, or approximately three hours driving time, from home (down from 277 miles in 2019).
  • Long weekend trips are getting longer: The average intended length of stay for trips over Labor Day weekend is 5.9 days (up from 4.2 days in 2019).
  • Vacation rentals continue to trend compared to pre-pandemic: Search demand for accommodations over Labor Day weekend is up by +24% compared to 2019.
  • Most travelers will be staying stateside this long weekend: 90 % of searches on HomeToGo are for domestic destinations, compared to a 71% domestic share in 2019.
  • Couple travel reigns supreme: According to HomeToGo data, the average Labor Day travel group is 2.1 persons (down from 2.8 people in 2019).

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.