CHICAGO, May 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An overwhelming 88 percent of Americans plan to take a summer vacation this year, up 11 percent year-over-year, with more than half of travelers using reward points to book hotel and airfare, according to new survey data released by Orbitz.com. 1 The overhang from the brutal winter will see travelers seeking solace in warm temperatures regardless of increased travel costs – travelers can expect to pay more for air travel and hotel prices alike this summer. To help offset costs, Americans are keeping summer travel almost exclusively domestic this year. Cancun, Mexico is the only international destination and leads the top ten air travel list, followed by Las Vegas, Orlando, Seattle and Los Angeles.
On average, airfares are up 6 percent and hotels prices are up 12 percent in top destinations. While costs and the number of travelers are up over the previous summer, consumers are also willing to spend more on their trip this summer. Over half of travelers (51 percent) surveyed said they would spend $2,000 or more for their summer vacation versus 44 percent in 2013. Travelers on a budget said they would cash-in rewards points or buy food and eat some meals in their room instead of dining out to save money this summer.
"Staycations are a thing of the past. This year we're seeing more Americans traveling and, in fact, taking advantage of smart tactics to save costs and upgrade vacations," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor of Orbitz.com. "The majority of consumers said that they would redeem credit card points on their summer vacations so if they have been using a card with good travel rewards, it could be a big help in offsetting summer vacation costs. For example, the average consumer spends $2,780 on travel and $10,000 on non-travel credit card purchases each year. That consumer could earn $423 in rewards towards a hotel stay on Orbitz.com if they used the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card, and that could translate into 2 or 3 free hotel room nights."