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Fluent Survey: Americans Will Spend Less on Summer Travel in 2015

As we’re approaching the peak season for summer vacations, the Fluent team decided to field a study on American adults’ travels plans this summer. We asked a number of questions pertaining to consumers’ airline and hotel preferences, their intent to spend more or less on travel in comparison to last summer, and their use of digital technology for booking trips.

We used our proprietary survey platform to field a nationwide poll of 1,314 American adults (aged 18 – 65+) on June 24 – 25, 2015. Survey takers were randomly selected across Fluent’s online and mobile advertising network. The findings below are at a 99% confidence interval, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5.

  • Americans plan to spend less on travel this summer. 49% of American adults plan to spend less on summer travel this year than they did last year. 32% plan to spend about the same as last year, while only 19% plan to spend more this summer. 49% say they’ll only take 1 – 2 trips this summer, and 39.9% say they don’t plan to take any trips at all. For those who will travel, most will stay close to home, nearly half (46%) of American adults plan to travel domestically – within the US or Canada – or to the Caribbean this summer.
  • Digital shoppers are bigger summer travel spenders than their non-digital counterparts. Consumers who’ve signed up for travel email alerts and use travel mobile apps had a higher percentage of people (35%) who plan to spend more this year, and they are nearly 30% more likely to spend at least $2,000 on their summer vacations.
  • Mobile device usage for travel and lodging is rising steadily. 1 in 4 people have used a mobile device to book a hotel. While that number is substantial, it’s even higher amongst regular travel app users. 74% of people who use travel mobile apps have booked hotels with a mobile device, and 61% of people who’ve signed up for travel email alerts have also booked hotels using a mobile device.
  • AirBnB is a growing force, but most Americans still prefer hotel chains. National hotel chains and small boutique hotels are still the preferred lodging options for most Americans. 34% of people said that they prefer national hotel chains, 15% prefer small boutique hotels, while 8% chose AirBnB.
  • Cost savings is most important when selecting travel and lodging. When asked, “what is most important to you when choosing an airline for travel?” – 40% of people said cost savings, followed by safety record (19%) and brand reputation (10%). When asked the same in regards to lodging, 37.5% said cost, 15.1% said location, and 13% said comfort or brand reputation.

While the majority of American adults don’t plan to travel much or very far this summer, the role of digital technology and mobile devices have increased substantially for consumers as they plan their summer vacations. For more consumer research and insights from Fluent, visit fluentco.com/resources.

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