Two new surveys give insight into the best times to buy airline tickets and the most popular places to go with your tickets.
In December, travel prognostications abound. Expedia and TripAdvisor recently weighed in with their 2016 predictions. Expedia, in cooperation with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), focuses on airfare and destinations and TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer survey fixes its attention on budgets and deal breakers.
“This year’s TripBarometer shows that US travelers continue to recognize the importance of treating themselves to travel,” says Barbara Messing, TripAdvisor’s chief marketing officer. “With one-third of survey respondents planning to spend more this year, we expect to see even more travelers checking both domestic and international destinations off their wish lists.”
Expedia and ARC’s Flight Facts and Forecasts
Based on declining ticket prices from October 2014 to October 2015, Expedia and ARC foresee 2016 as a good year for saving money on airfares. When you book an airline ticket matters. To get the best rates on airline tickets, book an economy ticket:
• 57 days in advance for travel within North America.
• 176 days in advance for trips from North America to Europe to receive an 11% savings.
• 77 days in advance from North America to the Caribbean for a 5% savings.
• 160 days in advance from North America to Asia-Pacific for a 13% savings.
• 144 days in advance from North America to the Middle East and Africa for a 24% savings.
• 90 days in advance from North America to South America for a 10% savings.
• Weekends edge out Tuesdays as the best day in the week to find the lowest fares, although Tuesday prices come close to those advertised on Saturdays and Sundays.
TripAdvisor’s Travel Finds
Travel matters to Americans, who rank third in annual travel spending among countries in the top 10 markets. In 2016, US travelers plan to spend $8,400 on trips while Australians expect to spend $10,900 and the Swiss, $10,100.
• 96% of U.S. travelers plan a domestic trip in 2016 compared to the global average of 90%.
• 72% of U.S. travelers plan an international trip compared to the global average of 85%.
• Millennials budget about $5,300 for next year’s travel while Baby Boomers earmark $10,600 for 2016 trips.
Why Americans choose a destination
• 50% of respondents cite the culture.
• 36% go based on family and friends’ recommendations.
• 34% visit because of events.
• 27% book as a result of special offers and packages.
Top five things US travelers won’t leave home without
• Toiletries, 77%
• Smartphone, 74%
• Camera, 57%
• Clothing for special occasions, 56%
• Adaptor, 51%
TripAdvisor reveals that:
• 37% of U.S. travelers list hand sanitizer as a travel essential, compared to 23% globally.
• 13% tote their own pillow, compared to 6% globally.
Deal Breakers for US Travelers
American travelers will book elsewhere if a property does not have:
• Air-conditioning, 70%
• In-room WiFi, 42%
• Parking, 38%
• Safe deposit box, 25%
• Breakfast, 24%
Happy travels and happy New Year!