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."
Additional highlights from the Orbitz Summer Travel Insider Index include:
- Orlando is bumped from the top spot by Cancun, perhaps due to rising prices in one of America's favorite family destinations – airfares are up 12 percent while hotels rose 8 percent.
- Americans are seeking urban getaways this summer, with cities accounting for half of the destinations in this year's list.
- While hotel prices are up, travelers can still find hotel rooms under $200 in half of the top 10 destinations.
|Orbitz Insider Index: 2014 Top 10 Summer Destinations2|
|Rank||Destination||Avg. Airfare 2014||Avg. Airfare 2013||YOY Change||Hotel Avg. Daily Rate 2014||Hotel Avg. Daily Rate 2013||YOY Change|
Check out Orbitz.com's list of the busiest summer travel days to find out when airports and hotels will experience the most crowds. A couple of insights to keep in mind when booking summer vacations:
- Travelers can expect the biggest crowds of the summer on the Friday before Memorial Day (May 23).
- The July Fourth holiday falls on a Friday this year. Nearly 60 percent of travelers are taking an additional vacation day to take advantage of the long weekend and will be leaving on Thursday, July 3 – also one of the top 10 busiest travel days this summer.
- The busiest travel days for summer are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Travelers should consider vacations on Sunday through Wednesday for lower volume days which could also result in less cost.
|Orbitz.com Top 10 Busiest Days for Summer Travel3|
|1||Friday, May 23 (Memorial Day weekend)|
|2||Saturday, May 24 (Memorial Day weekend)|
|3||Thursday, May 29|
|4||Friday, May 30|
|5||Thursday, June 5|
|6||Friday, June 6|
|7||Saturday, May 28|
|8||Thursday, June 19|
|9||Thursday, June 12|
|10||Thursday, July 3 (July Fourth weekend)|
|1The Orbitz.com summer survey was fielded by Orbitz from April 14-18, 2014 via insightexpress. 751 U.S. adults aged 18 and older who had traveled within the past 12 months were surveyed.|
|2The Orbitz Insider Index 2014 Top 10 Summer Destinations were ranked based on all air bookings (standalone air and air booked as part of a package) made on Orbitz.com for travel between May 23 and Sept. 1, 2014. The year-over-year (YOY) percent change in average airfare and daily hotel rate was calculated based on the difference in average air and hotel pricing in each destination in 2014 vs. 2013 for travel between May 23 and Sept. 1, 2014 vs. May 24 and Sept. 2, 2013.|
|3The Orbitz.com Top 10 Busiest Days for Summer Travel were ranked based on the number of air bookings (standalone air and air booked as part of a package) made on Orbitz.com for travel between May 23 and Sept. 1, 2014.|
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