Long weekend trips are in. Nearly three quarters of Americans are planning to take a long weekend trip this summer, according to data released today by Travelzoo (NASDAQ: TZOO). The Travelzoo® Summer 2017 Travel Trends Survey also found that half of travelers said they were likely to take more long weekend trips than they did last year.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
When it comes to a long weekend trip, defined as an extra day added to a weekend, Americans aren't afraid to go the distance. A majority of travelers are willing to travel three or more hours from home for their long weekend. Americans taking domestic long weekend trips will overwhelmingly travel by car. For those whose destinations are over five hours from home, 40% of survey respondents say they will swap their car for a plane or train.
Weekend in Paris, Anyone?
Travelers are showing an interest in long weekends to Europe, especially when the price is right. While only 9% of respondents are planning a longer vacation (five days or more) to Europe in 2017, just over half would take a spontaneous long weekend trip. With new low-cost carriers like WOW air and Norwegian, fares to Europe are more competitive than in recent history. More than 65% of respondents would travel to Europe for a weekend if the airfare was $500 or less. In line with findings from Travelzoo's Spring 2017 Travel Trends Survey (Feb. 2017), the latest survey also finds that nearly 60% of Americans will travel domestically for their primary vacation this year.
A Season of Reasons
With the average American getting just two weeks of vacation time annually according to data from the U.S. Travel Association's Project: Time Off, it's surprising that one of the least cited factors in planning a long weekend trip is taking advantage of a national holiday-even with three opportunities to do so between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Regardless of the timing of their trips, the majority (85%) of travelers named visiting family and friends as their main reason to take a long weekend trip.
Life's a Beach
This spring and summer, more than half of respondents would prefer beach getaways. Most travelers surveyed said they would spend their time on rest and relaxation combined with touring and dining. Ultimately, summer vacations, whether short or long, are just not enough for most travelers. Nearly half of those who travel for business have taken a "bleisure" trip-combining business with pleasure by adding extra time at a destination at the beginning or end of a business trip.
Mike Stitt, Travelzoo's President of North America said, "Long weekend trips are in, and the good news is that there are more options now with lower fares to Europe and the increasing availability of last-minute deals. Even with the ongoing headlines about safety and security, Americans are still eager to get out of town this summer."
Concluding, Stitt said, "It's a known fact that Americans don't use all of their vacation time. But it's encouraging to see Americans' increasing interest in long weekend trips, whether that means combining business and leisure or a quick jaunt to Europe. This trend could ultimately mean more trips and more travel experiences overall for American travelers."
About the Research
*The Travelzoo Summer Travel Trends 2017 Survey was completed by 1,367 consumers in the United States who responded to an online questionnaire distributed by third-party research agency Toluna. The questionnaires were completed April 3-4, 2017.
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