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The complete Google guide to summer 2021

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The sun is shining, the days are getting longer and more and more U.S. cities are reopening — it’s official, summer 2021 is almost here. Right on time, vacation fever has hit: Google searches for “summer vacation” and “sunscreen” are seeing a major spike, and those are just a couple of the many interesting Google Trends we’ve been seeing. So we decided to collect some of this information to bring you Google’s Guide to Summer: You’ll find trending travel spots, must-eat-at restaurants and tips for finding the perfect summer gear. 

To find what places are turning into vacation destinations, we looked at places with the highest percentage growth in hotel searches, comparing April 2021 to April 2019. These 10 cities saw the biggest bump in interest: 

Infographic showing the top 10 trending vacation destinations.

If you’re planning a trip to one of these places, the next step is deciding where to eat while you’re there. Hidden Gem restaurants are verified restaurants on Google Maps with high ratings from fewer people — which could help you avoid crowds and get an amazing meal. Check out these Hidden Gems from each of the cities listed above: 

Infographic listing the top three hidden gem restaurants in each top tending vacation destination.

If you’re not ready to travel by plane, you’re not alone. Many people are looking into alternative transportation options or even local options, such as… 

  • 🚌 Glamour-BUS travels: In the U.S., there are over 60% more RV-related searches on Google Maps than there were a year ago. The metro areas most interested were Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas and Denver. 

  • 🏖️ Beachy keen: As the weather heats up, U.S. Maps searches for “beaches” are up over 40% compared to May 2020, and searches for "parks" are up over 50%. 

  • 🏕 Happy campers: Camping-related searches on Maps are trending up nearly 90% compared to this time last year. The top five areas interested in camping are Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Denver and Seattle.

  • 🚲 Tourists on tires: People are using Google Maps for cycling directions 44% more than they were in 2020. According to our cycling direction data, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C. are the cities with the most cyclists. 

Infographic showing the top airline alternative forms of travel.

Whether you hit the road (or skies) or stay put, you’ll want to grab the right gear. Try these Google Shopping power tips to find whatever you need for summer:

  • Check if you’re getting a “good” price on that retro cooler: On a Shopping product page, you’ll see a price bar showing whether the price you’re seeing for that product is high, low or typical, compared to current prices from across the web and in nearby stores.

  • See if an inflatable pool (or whatever else) is in stock at local stores: With Google Shopping, you can search for a product, like inflatable pools, and apply the “Nearby” filter (or include “near me” in your search) to show results from local retailers on a helpful map display, along with an indication of whether the product is in-stock. 

Image showing a popsicle floatie floating in a pool.
  • Compare prices and shipping options for a summer koozie: Once you’ve found your favorite koozie, scroll down on the product page and tap “Compare prices” to see all of the prices and shipping options from online and local retailers for that product. You’ll also see whether a retailer offers curbside pickup and/or the option to buy online/pickup in store.

  • Use filters to find the perfect sunscreen (or other beauty products): On Google Shopping you can easily use filters to find the type of product you’re looking for. When you search “sunscreen” you can simply scroll down and on the left hand side you’ll find rating filters under “Product Rating” such as four stars and above.

  • Get summer picnic or beach ideas and see product availability on Google: Google Images is a great place to find summer inspo. You can see availability information so you know if the item you're looking for is actually in stock. You can even use Lens to find that retro beach towel or picnic blanket your friend or your favorite celeb has. Once you find it, Google will give you options for how to buy it.

Consider yourself set for the summer!

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