The aspens were just beginning to turn yellow Sept. 20 around Steamboat Springs, and looking west from a bridge across the Yampa River near downtown revealed the red and orange tones of the underbrush and scrub on nearby hillsides. (Dena Rosenberry, The Denver Post)

As I sit in my home, clacking away at my keyboard every day, looking out the window to daydream here and there, a thought keeps ringing in my head.

“God, I gotta get out of here.”

I’m not the only one. On Thursday, Airbnb released the results of a survey that showed 36% of respondents daydream daily of traveling. And for those stuck working from home, that number jumped to 47%.

The survey, conducted by ClearPath Strategies on Sept. 15-19 with slightly more than 1,000 U.S. adults responding, found that, unsurprisingly, travel looks very different in the After Times™. 

More people are traveling to be near family or biting the bullet traveling with family (bold move on their part). Friend groups have become mini traveling “pods.” People who can work remotely are moving to pretty places to do so (that expense report doesn’t seem so bad if you’re filling it out from a mountain town). Overseas trips are seemingly out of the question this year, but some domestic ones are looking pretty good.

So what does that mean for Colorado? Well, a lot of people want to be here (no surprise considering U.S. News gave us four of the five top spots for Best Places to Live). The report found that both Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge have become trending Airbnb destinations but for different crowds of travelers.

In Steamboat, it’s the work-remote crowd. These are the people who are starting to book longer stays, think upwards of 2 weeks, in small and mid-size cities that are immersed in nature and have wide-open spaces, the report says. The skiers among them may have also heard that Colorado’s northern mountains are supposed to get excellent snow this season.

Other trending work-from-not-your-home spots:

  • Park City, Utah
  • Truckee, California
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Then there’s the “vacation is not for work but for leisure” crowd. In the Before Times™, they’d be blowing up your Instagram feed as they jetset to London, eat croissants in Paris and explore the Colosseum in Rome. But top destinations have shifted domestic in the After Times™, according to the report. Now, Americans are booking local spots by national parks, ski resorts and beaches. And what’s a great American town with a lovely ski resort? Breckenridge.

The other top vacation-vacation spots, according to Airbnb:

  • Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
  • Davenport, Florida
  • Palm Springs, California
  • Tulum, Mexico (ok, this one isn’t domestic, but it’s a lot closer than Rome.)

What’s all this mean? If you’ve been thinking about taking a vacation, know you’re not alone. But also, make sure you follow those COVID safety precautions, because Colorado currently has more active outbreaks now than at any other time during the pandemic.

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