Summer Travel Is Still in Style - As the economy improves, consumers are hitting the road and increasing their summer vacation budgets, with 53 percent planning to spend more than $1,500 compared to 39 percent in 2011.
Orbitz surveyed nearly 1,000 U.S. travelers about their summer travel plans and of those surveyed 77 percent are taking a vacation this summer, with more than half (56 percent) planning to travel by car and 39 percent by air. The majority of consumers (60 percent) said gas prices will be a factor in where they travel this summer.
Based on the Orbitz survey, more consumers are planning to travel in July (31 percent) rather than in June (18 percent) or August (20 percent) with the rest of travelers still undecided. With increased airfares and hotel rates this summer, researching deals and being flexible on travel dates can stretch summer vacation budgets.
"Hotel prices in many of the most popular destination this summer are cheaper in June vs. July, including those in eight of the Orbitz top 10 summer destinations," says Jeanenne Tornatore, Senior Editor of Orbitz.com. "Travelers that can be flexible on travel dates should consider a June getaway when daily hotel rates are 6 percent less expensive, on average."
3 Tips to Avoiding the Budget Barrier
Consumers should not let budgets be the barrier to taking a more than memorable vacation this summer. For those looking to take a fabulous vacation without stretching their finances, Tornatore shares a few summer budget travel tips:
• Follow the sale. Even with rising travel costs this year, summer promotions and deals are plentiful.
• Search all nearby airports and consider traveling on off-peak days and times to help curb higher airfare costs. Expanding search options to include airports within a reasonable radius to departure and arrival destinations will provide more flight and price options. Also, traveling on off-peak days such as early in the week versus the weekend will save consumers green this summer.
• Book a package deal. Avoid a la carte booking and combine air, hotel and car together to optimize savings.
Additional Findings from the Orbitz Summer Travel Survey
• More travelers feel guilty about leaving behind their pet (33 percent) than their children (30 percent) when they go on vacation.
• Americans wish the U.S. would follow Europe's suit regarding paid time off, with 44 percent of survey respondents believing the government should mandate companies to offer at least four weeks of vacation per year.
• Nearly half (47 percent) of survey respondents are getting summer travel ideas through social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest.
• 54 percent of consumers said they would attend the Summer Olympics in London this year if money were no object.
• The majority of consumers plan to travel domestically (81 percent), but more consumers are planning to travel internationally this year (19 percent vs. 11 percent in 2011).