The holidays tend to be a busy time to travel, and they're only getting busier. Deloitte's 2023 annual holiday travel survey found that 40% of Americans intend to travel over the upcoming holiday season; that figure's up over 31% from last year. Although hotels are a common choice, many vacationers opt for Airbnb rentals for their extra space and flexible pricing.
To help travelers with their holiday planning, MoneyGeek analyzed over 200,000 Airbnb listings across 18 popular U.S. travel destinations and identified the destinations with the most availability during the holiday season. We found that, while securing accommodations in popular spots like New York City and Hawaii can be difficult, alternative cities such as Columbus, Ohio, and Nashville, Tennessee, offer an abundance of options for travelers to consider.
MoneyGeek analyzed December 2022 data from Inside Airbnb to determine the average availability of Airbnb units in 18 popular U.S. travel destinations over 30 days, spanning from mid-December to mid-January. To calculate availability percentages, we divided the average number of days each area's units were unoccupied by 30.
For those traveling with families or groups of friends, Columbus, Ohio, and Chicago might be worth considering. Columbus leads with a 65% Airbnb availability rate during the holiday season. Larger accommodations for five to eight people have an even greater availability rate of 70%, while smaller units for one to two people have a 60% rate. Chicago ranks third on our list, with 54% and 58% availability rates overall and for larger units, respectively.
Nashville, Tennessee — renowned for its music scene — claims the second spot for most holiday Airbnb availability at 56% during the festive period. Dallas and Seattle complete the top five list, each with around 50% availability throughout the holiday season.
With its mild temperatures and warm waters, Hawaii's winter season makes it a popular winter holiday travel destination. As such, it's no surprise that Hawaii ranks as the location with the least Airbnb availability during the holidays. From mid-December to mid-January, the Airbnb availability rate in Hawaii is a mere 26%, half that of the most available destinations. Although the Aloha State is home to over 30,000 rentals (the third-greatest amount in our study), with a median nightly cost of $287, demand remains high, and most units are booked far in advance.
New York City also has limited Airbnb availability at 26%, despite having the most listings in our study (over 40,000 as of December 2022). San Francisco, Denver, and Austin, Texas, also rank among the areas with the least availability, each averaging 13 available days during the same 30-day holiday period.
It's no secret that traveling during the holiday season can be costly. MoneyGeek recommends adopting these cost-saving tips for your holiday travel so you can enjoy the vacation you want without compromising your finances.
MoneyGeek analyzed December 2022 Inside Airbnb data to discover Airbnb unit availability, examining over 200,000 listings across 18 popular U.S. travel destinations. We considered each location's listing availability for the 30-day period from mid-December 2022 to mid-January 2023. By calculating the average of this metric for each area, we created our ranking of travel destinations with the greatest and least Airbnb availability during the holiday season.
We also evaluated the average nightly price per unit and unit size (based on the number of people it accommodates) to provide further insights. The locations we analyzed were primarily cities, except for Hawaii (a state) and the Twin Cities Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).