Planning Your Next Getaway? Vrbo Says These Are the Top 10 Hidden Gems to Visit

The road trip phase continues

Scenic View Of Mountains Against Sky
Kelly Thomas / EyeEm / Getty Images

Raise your hand if you've ever heard of Nampa, Idaho. Irmo, South Carolina? What about Layton, Utah? These three small towns have one big thing in common: they're all on Expedia's newest travel trends report as top 10 "hidden gems."

Yup, Expedia crunched booking and search data from vacation rentals site Vrbo and found that demand increased by 30 percent—or more—in some very unexpected places. Turns out, keeping vacations close to home may not have just been a pandemic-pushed phase. Exploring our own backyards may just be here to stay.

The overall takeaway from Expedia's 2022 travel trends report was clear: people are becoming more and more comfortable doing their own thing.

"Travel in 2023 will be about saying no to normal, breaking routines, and searching for experience without compromises," a statement from the company read. "They will no longer be adapting to the next new normal. They will be creating their own status quo."

And it looks like the number one place for creating your own status quo—or at least an escape from the big city life for a hot minute—is Nampa, Idaho. Located in the Intermountain West, Idaho has long been known for its stunning landscape scenery and wide open access to nature. It's also just about a two-hour flight, or less, from major west coast cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle and only a 30-minute drive from Boise.

Here's a complete list of "hidden gem" destinations that are seeing spikes in traveler demand:

  1. Nampa, Idaho
  2. Greensboro, North Carolina
  3. Layton, Utah
  4. Irmo, South Carolina
  5. Oneonta, New York
  6. Hampton, Virginia
  7. Bristol, Rhode Island
  8. Spokane, Washington
  9. Las Cruces, New Mexico
  10. Missoula, Montana

Like you, we were curious who exactly was behind these big jumps in demand to such surprising destinations. So, we reached out to Expedia for more insight.

"For the hidden gem destinations on Vrbo, it's no surprise that travelers interested in heading to these places are located in surrounding areas," a spokesperson told Tripsavvy. "Based on Vrbo search data, people interested in traveling to Nampa, Spokane, and Missoula are by and large from cities and towns in the Northwest, like Seattle, Portland, Boise, and Bozeman. Meanwhile, people who live in East Coast cities like New York, Philadelphia, D.C., and Boston were searching for Vrbo vacation homes in Oneonta, Hampton, and Bristol."

When you look at these unexpected trending destinations on a map, their appeal becomes more apparent.

"Since many of these hidden gem destinations are near lakes or in the great outdoors, it makes sense that travelers who want to escape the city are taking road trips together and discovering scenic places off the beaten path," the spokesperson added.

Curious about other travel trends that are expected to continue into next year? Check out the full Expedia travel trends report here.