Posted by Outer Banks Blue

Tripadvisor Predicts Summer Travel

Tripadvisor,  the worlds largest and most popular on-line travel site recently released results of a poll conducted of more than 1200 U.S. respondents regarding their opinions related to travel this summer.  The results indicated that a whopping 86% of respondents are planning some sort of summer retreat this year, a 6% increase over results of the same poll of one year ago.  The survey also reveals that beach travel destinations top their list of places they want to visit!

Relief at the Pump
According to 93 percent of Memorial Day trekkers and 87 percent of summer vacationers, gas prices will not have an effect on plans this summer. As national average gas prices continue to decline year-over-year, so does the impact of gas prices on leisure summer travel plans among TripAdvisor survey respondents:
Average National
Gas Price mid-May¹
Gas Impacting
Summer Travel Plans
                      According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, national average per gallon for regular gas

Steady Summer Spending
Fifty-three percent of those traveling this summer said they will spend the same on their trip this year, while 25 percent expect to spend more. Travelers are also looking for savings - 71 percent said they would take a spontaneous trip if they found a last-minute deal.  Keeping this in mind anyone who hasn't made plans for their summer vacation yet are encouraged to visit Outer Banks Blue's specials page where limited time promotional pricing is listed for select properties.

Hitting the Road
Cars are the most popular mode of transportation for leisure travel this summer, followed by air travel and train. Three in four (74 percent) summer travelers will be traveling by car, 64 percent will take to the skies and 11 percent will opt for the train.
Of those that traveled for Memorial Day, 56 percent drove to their destination and 36 percent traveled by plane. The greatest amount of travelers (29 percent) indicated they drove between 100 and 200 miles to their weekend getaway spot, 21 percent went go 50-100 miles and 11 percent drove more than 500 miles.
Summer Settings
The top five most popular summer destination types this year, according to U.S. travelers: :
  • 1. Ocean
  • 2. City
  • 3. Countryside
  • 4. National park
  • 5. Lake

According to respondents, New York City tops the list again this year for the most popular U.S. destination for summer travel. Boston and Washington, D.C. took second and third, beating out Las Vegas and Chicago, which made the list in 2012.

The majority of travelers (70 percent) surveyed will stay in hotels for leisure trips this summer, followed by 27 percent that will stay at the home of family or friends and 20 percent who will spend their time in a vacation rental home.  This particular statistic is something that the vacation rental industry has been working hard at trying to change.  Awareness of vacation rentals among the travelling public continues to be extremely low in the United States as compared to other parts of the world.  For instance Europeans vacation rental awareness is a whopping 67% as compared to Americans with just a 23% awareness.

Shopping Tops Summer Activities
Perhaps a reflection of increased consumer confidence, the most popular vacation activity this summer will be shopping, according to more than half (51 percent) of respondents.
Other top activities for this summer vacationers:
  • 45 percent plan to go swimming
  • 42 percent plan to go to a museum
  • 37 percent plan to visit a national or state

Zip-lining, paddleboarding and renting a bike from a share program are three of the most popular activities for travelers planning to try something new.

Summer Pros, Cons and Indulgences
Twenty-two percent say their favorite thing about summer is spending time outdoors, 22 percent most prefer the extended daylight hours and 18 percent appreciate the warmer weather. Larger crowds are respondents' biggest aversion (44 percent) to summer travel, followed by high travel costs (19 percent).

When it comes to favorite summer food indulgences, 33 percent will splurge on ice cream, 13 percent will reach for a lobster, and nine percent look forward to fried seafood. To wash it down, the top summer beverage indulgences are margaritas (15 percent), beer (12 percent), and iced tea (nine percent).

"The survey indicates that more people are planning leisure trips this summer, notably as prices at the pump continue to decline year-over-year," said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. "Whether they plan to shop, swim or just enjoy the great outdoors, prospects of sunshine and warmer weather have U.S. travelers looking ahead to summer trips."

By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services

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