Summer has officially arrived, which means three solid months of beers, barbecues, and beach vacations. But wait — what’s the perfect beer for lounging outside on a hot day after the lawn’s been mowed? Or what’s the best technique for grilling steak? And where’s the beach that offers maximum sunbathing with minimum crowds?
Face it: sooner or later, you’re going to have to turn to Ye Olde Search Engine to help you answer these tough summer-themed questions — that is, if you haven’t been doing your fair share of searching already.
What we search for reveals a lot about how we plan to spend our summer. Yahoo knows this for a fact: they’ve analyzed data from millions of searches and have discovered exactly where Americans plan to go, how they plan to get there, and where they plan to rest their heads when they’re there. They also know exactly what kind of novelty inflatable rafts people are looking for.
Getting Out of Town
If you had to guess the number-one most searched U.S. city, what would it be? New York City? Los Angeles?
Guess again. Apparently people really want to go to Denver — perhaps because they’re inspired by the nice weather to get out and be active. Denver was the number one most-searched U.S. city, followed by Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Diego. NYC and LA only come in at numbers seven and eight after Washington, D.C., Boston and New Orleans were last on the list.
As far as getting to their destinations, American Airlines was number one on peoples’ minds, followed by the always-popular Southwest. Delta, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue came in at third, fourth, and fifth, with United following close behind. After number seven Hawaiian, the last three in the top ten were all foreign airlines: British Airways, Air Canada, and Air France.
Some travelers prefer hotels, while others prefer rental accommodations like Airbnb. It’s no surprise, then, that Airbnb tops the list of rental accommodations people searched for, followed by VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey, and Couchsurfing. As for hotels, the top-searched chain was Marriott, followed by Hilton, Choice Hotels, Holiday Inn/Express, and Hampton Inn and Suites. Motel 6 fell all the way to the bottom, with Super 8 nowhere to be found. Maybe that’s because people really only pop into Super 8s when they’re starting to feel sleepy on the road.
Summer’s not just the time for travel — it’s also the time to fire up the much-neglected grill, and show off your barbecuing skills to the neighbors. But first, you have to find the perfect recipe. The top-searched barbecue dish is marinated steak, followed by its healthy cousin, chicken/chicken breast. After that, people move away from the grill and search for perfect sides to accompany: pasta salad is number three on the list, followed by tuna salad with cottage cheese (what even is that?), potato salad, and chicken salad. Pork chops make an appearance at number seven, and salmon at number nine, interrupted by egg salad at number eight. Everyone’s favorite barbecue dessert, banana cream pie, comes in at number ten. Just make sure the recipe includes Nilla Wafers, and you should be set to wow.
Floating In Style
Interestingly enough, Yahoo’s search analysis revealed that people also want to make sure they get the perfect floating toys for their summertime pool parties. The number one type of inflatable raft people searched for was islands, followed by a tigers, globes, swans, and flamingos. People must really want to feel like they’re on a desert island…in the middle of their backyard. Maybe then they can properly ponder the question of what three items they’d bring with them.
Do your search bar habits line up with the rest of America? Yes or no, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you enjoy the next three months to the fullest, whether you travel, or whether you just stay home and float around on your flamingo raft.