Expedia.com introduces the latest issue of its quarterly report, Expedia Travel Trendwatch, focusing on the upcoming fall and winter travel seasons.In the latest report, 20-year travel industry veteran and Expedia Travel Trendwatch Editor, Chris McGinnis, reveals the findings of a recent Expedia.com consumer survey conducted by Harris Interactive.
It shows that more than 42 percent of U.S. adults would prefer to stay in a hotel than with their family if they were visiting family out of town for the holidays. The report also provides trend information, travel tips, and deals designed to help people make better travel decisions and navigate the upcoming busy holiday travel season. To view the complete report, please visit http://www.expedia.com/trendwatch .
“There’s no doubt the upcoming travel season will be a busy one, with millions of Americans leaving their homes to be with their friends and families,” said McGinnis. “Many people are looking to reduce stress by giving themselves more space and the privacy of their own hotel room, rather than crowding in with their family.”
Key fall and winter travel trends and tips reported in the current issue of the Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM) include:
1) During the upcoming Thanksgiving/winter holiday season, crowding on
airlines, at airports and on freeways will likely echo this past
summer’s full loads.
—Smaller airline fleets and fewer seats, coupled with increasing
demand, mean holiday flights this year may be as crowded as those
this past summer, when planes were flying 90 to 100 percent full
(typical load factors are in the 65-75 percent range). The
addition of winter coats, shopping bags and holiday gifts carried
on board will make flights feel even tighter.
—Despite the crowds and frustrating changes in TSA carry-on rules,
U.S. adults are still planning to travel this fall and winter.
The Expedia.com consumer survey, reveals that of those who plan
to travel by air this holiday season, 80 percent plan to travel
as much (45%) or more (35%) than they did last year. The same
poll indicates that nearly a quarter (23%) of U.S. adults (about
55 million people) plan to travel by air during the upcoming
Thanksgiving and winter holiday seasons.
2) Holiday hotel rates are rising with demand.
—The hotel industry has enjoyed one of the best years on record in
2006, with occupancy and room rates soaring to record levels.
—Despite higher rates, more holiday travelers are bedding down in
hotels. In fact, more than 42 percent of U.S. adults said they
would prefer to stay in a hotel if they were visiting family out
of town for the holidays.
3) Look to off-peak travel for fall/winter travel deals.
—While traveling during autumn’s shoulder and low seasons can
yield significant discounts in certain seasonal destinations,
year-round peak pricing is emerging in popular destinations such
as New York City, Boston, Las Vegas, Orlando, Honolulu, Miami,
San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
—More international visitors and a relatively strong economy
fueling growth in business and leisure travel mean increased
demand and pricing in top destinations.
Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM) Holiday Travel Tips
—For those planning travel during peak holiday weeks, now is the time to
make reservations—if you see a decent fare, grab it because it is
unlikely that there will be much discounting as the holidays approach.
Getting There from Here
—When flying during peak weeks, opt for an early-morning flight to avoid
crowds and delays. If possible, book a nonstop flight. As a second
choice, route through hubs less likely to be affected by winter storms.
Booking the Right Hotel
—Seek out hotels that offer complimentary amenities like breakfast,
parking or Internet access. For example, a family of four could start
off the day saving almost $40 by staying at a hotel with a
Where to Go for the Best Deals
—Consider the Caribbean this winter. With fares to Caribbean
destinations at a low point due to the recent entry by discount
carriers, the region is increasingly affordable. Smart travelers have
taken note of this, and at Expedia.com, the most popular Caribbean
destinations for flight+hotel packages are Jamaica, the Dominican
Republic, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Aruba.