Americans to Travel More During Holidays

Travel spending will be up as more Americans plan trips over the river and through the woods this holiday season, according to the third annual Access America Vacation Confidence Index released today by Mondial Assistance USA. Nearly six in ten Americans (57 percent) are confident they will take a holiday trip this year, up from 50 percent in 2010. The increase in spending spurred by more travelers will translate to a nearly $6 billion bump for the travel industry as holiday travel spending is expected to reach $65.2 billion, a 10 percent increase from last year.

“This year’s survey illustrates some good news for the travel industry,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications for Mondial Assistance. “More Americans are traveling this year compared to 2010, and that translates into billions of dollars in extra revenue for travel suppliers. And the good news for Americans is that more people expect to be able to travel this holiday season, reducing the Vacation Deficit by more than 10%.”

Overall Travel Spending is Up this Holiday

Travelers intend to spend $980 on average, down slightly from $1,040 budgeted on average last year. But with significantly more adults expecting to take a trip, overall spend will increase to $65.2 billion.

Car Travel Still Most Popular, But More Plan to Fly

  • Air Travel Wins Big: While car travel is still the top mode of transportation (56 percent), more travelers intend to fly to their destinations this year than they have in the past. A third of travelers (34 percent) plan to fly this year, up from 26 percent last year, and 27 percent in 2009.
  • Keeping it in the Family: Holiday and family go hand-in hand, so it is not surprising that two thirds of parents with children under 18 reported that a holiday vacation is important.
  • Booking Sooner Rather than Later:Nearly half (49 percent) of Americans plan on booking their travel at least two months in advance (compared to 42 percent in 2010) and nearly a quarter intend to book their trip between one and two months out.
  • Mars vs. Venus Exception: Women may not find this surprising, but men are more likely to wait until the last minute to book holiday travel, with a third (32 percent) saying that they plan to book within a month of their departure (compared to 21 percent of women).

Vacation Deficit Index

This year the vacation deficit index, defined as those who believe it is important to take an annual holiday trip but are not confident they will take one, is down to one in five Americans (21 percent) from nearly one in three (32 percent) last year.

“What we’re seeing is that travel continues to be an important investment for Americans, even in unsettled economic times,” said Durazo. “The combination of increased travel, recovering travel costs and the uncertainty in the economy make travel insurance this year’s ‘must have’ stocking stuffer for holiday travelers.”

The Access America Vacation Confidence Index is based on a telephone survey conducted by Ipsos November 2-7, 2011 of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

TripAdvisor 2012 Travel Trends

NEWTON, Mass. — November 8, 2011

TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the results of its annual travel trends survey of more than 2,700 U.S. travelers. Despite the current economic climate, 31 percent anticipate they will spend more on leisure travel next year, while 49 percent expect to spend the same amount as they did in 2011.

Seventy-nine percent of respondents plan to spend a minimum of $3,000 on vacations in the coming year, 57 percent will pay out at least $5,000 and 21 percent will invest $10,000 or more on 2012 leisure travel.

Ninety percent of respondents are planning to take two or more leisure trips next year, and 24 percent are planning five or more getaways.

Beach Bums and Culture Vultures: Top Trip Picks Travelers are Planning for 2012

  1. Beach trip – 44%
  2. Cultural trip (e.g., visiting museums or historic sites) – 42%
  3. Road trip – 40%
  4. City trip – 36%
  5. Guys or girlfriends getaway – 24%

Trip-o-Meter: Culture, Cruising and Castaway Experiences on the Rise in 2012

Took in 2011 Planning to take in 2012
Going Up:
Cultural trips 38% 42%
Cruises 19% 23%
Island escapes 22% 24%
Going Down:
Amusement/theme park trips 14% 12%
Lake trips 14% 12%
Hiking trips 11% 10%

Lodging Barometer: Travelers’ Accommodation Picks for 2012

Stayed in 2011 Planning to stay in 2012
Going Up:
Vacation rentals 35% 36%
B&Bs/ Inns 24% 26%
All-inclusive resorts 16% 18%
Going Down:
Hotels 87% 83%
Staying with friends/family 45% 43%

Mobile Devices: A “Go To” Travel Resource in 2012

  • 44 percent of U.S. travelers plan on using their mobile phone or smartphone more as a travel resource during trips in 2012.
  • 47 percent expect to use their mobile device for their travel needs at their destination.
  • 37 percent will use a mobile device for restaurants research, 27 percent will use one for attractions research, and 26 percent will use one for accommodations research.
  • 31 percent plan to use travel apps on their mobile device or smartphone in 2012.
  • 16 percent plan to use travel apps on their tablet devices.

Top Eco-friendly Travel Actions for 2012

  1. Participating in a hotel’s linen or towel re-use program – 71%
  2. Switching off the air-conditioning or heat when leaving the hotel room – 51%
  3. Select a hotel specifically for its “green” or environmentally-conscious credentials – 12%

“U.S. travelers will be spreading their wings far and wide in 2012, with 68 percent planning international trips,” said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. “Sun and sand remain an enduringly popular choice, but the coming year will also see a renewed interest in cultural trips, as Americans seek to combine precious downtime with enriching experiences.”

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features (including Flights search, TripAdvisor Mobile and Instant Personalization) with seamless links to booking tools.