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The U.S. residents majority would waste hundreds of dollars by booking travel a la carte

Theodore Koumelis - 04 March 2013, 10:52

More than 5 in 10 U.S. residents cite security as a major concern for a spring travel destination. Nearly half of consumers would be most likely to stay in a traditional chain hotel during their spring vacation (47%) versus an all-inclusive resort (23%), vacation rental (13%) or bed-and-breakfast (7%).

AUSTIN, TEXAS - RetailMeNot.com released the Spring Break Travel edition of its Shoppers Trend Report (STR), revealing results from a poll conducted by The Omnibus Company that found that a majority (58%) of consumers could be missing out on significant savings by booking spring travel (flight, hotel, car rental) a la carte instead of utilizing customizable package deals.

"It is interesting to see that affordability is the most important consideration for consumers when selecting a vacation destination, yet when it comes to booking travel arrangements, consumers are leaving hundreds of dollars on the table by not taking advantage of the discounts on vacation packages that pair flights, lodging and car rental," said Trae Bodge, senior editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot. "Online travel sites like Priceline, Expedia and Travelocity, indicate that consumers can save an average of anywhere from $200 to $5001 by booking a customized vacation package versus individual elements like flight and hotel separately."

According to Orbitz.com, while the early Easter holidays have created a smaller travel window, travelers can still find tremendous deals at Spring Break destinations with average daily hotel rates under $150 a night in three of Orbitz' top 10 destinations – Orlando, Las Vegas and Tampa.

The following are average daily hotel rates during the Spring Break period (March 1 - April 15) for top Florida destinations:

  • Orlando - $130
  • Tampa - $140
  • Ft. Myers - $176
Additional findings from the poll:
  • When it comes to selecting a spring vacation destination, affordability is important for more than 8 in 10 (85%) consumers, followed by security or safety (55%). Other popular considerations include the availability of activities, such as water sports or hiking (37%), whether the destination is located in the U.S. (35%) and it is family friendly (32%).
  • Women are more likely than men to consider affordability important (90% of women versus 79% of men).
  • Women are more likely than men to consider security or safety important (63% of women versus 48% of men), along with those who are 65 or older (65% versus 53% of 18- to 64-year-olds).
  • More than half (58%) of consumers would book a spring vacation a la carte from different sources instead of buying a package that offered a discount.
  • The tendency to book flights, hotels, car rentals, etc. from different sources and at different times instead of a package deal is more common among consumers 55 years of age and older than 18-55-year-olds (66% vs. 54%) and those who make $100k or more than those who make less than $100k (70% vs. 55%).
  • Only 20% of consumers plan ahead and book spring travel before January, and 45% wait until spring is already upon us in March or later. On average, consumers begin booking travel arrangements 45 days prior to departure.
  • 42% of consumers with access to a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, have used it to research or book a vacation.
  • More men than women use mobile devices to research or book a vacation (48% of men compared with 36% of women)
  • Nearly half of consumers are most likely to stay in a traditional chain hotel during their spring vacation (47%) versus an all-inclusive resort (23%), vacation rental (13%) or bed-and-breakfast (7%).
  • Some of the most popular spring vacation activities include visiting family or friends (51%), national landmarks (47%), amusement or theme parks (40%) and partaking in restful activities such as spa treatments or golf (40%).
  • 45% of respondents would leave those under the age of 18 at home most or all of the time when traveling.

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