SAN FRANCISCO - Sojern, the world's leading data-driven traveler engagement platform, released an analysis of the top U.S. summer travel trends, encompassing the months of June, July and August. The findings consist of the meticulous analysis of more than 520 million traveler data points, obtained through Sojern's exclusive partnerships with the world's most renowned travel brands.
Summer is the prime time for family getaways and the best chance for many to take an extended vacation. Leisure accounted for 57% of U.S. travel in the months of June, July and August, compared to 52% in Q2 and 43% in Q1.
Leisure travel indicators include longer trip duration, increased booking lead time, and multiple people in a travel party. This summer, 44% of travelers stayed at their destination for six days or longer, compared to 38% in Q2 and 36% in Q1. A whopping 62% of travelers searched for vacations with durations longer than six days, compared to 55% in Q2. As most business related travel lasts only a few days, extended stays are particularly indicative of leisure travel.
The number of family trips (four or more people in a travel party) doubled over both Q2 and summer 2012. Popular air travel and hotel search destinations were also a strong indicator of increased family travel this summer. Orlando was one of the ten most popular air travel destinations (#10) for the first time this year. In July, the most popular summer travel month in 2013, top hotel searches included a number of beach and family travel destinations, such as San Diego (#4), Orlando (#6), Ocean City (#9), Myrtle Beach (#10) and Los Angeles (#11).
Sojern's data also showed that travelers this summer booked vacations further in advance of their desired travel date. 35% of travelers booked their trips more than 30 days in advance, compared to 24% in Q2 and 25% in summer 2012. Longer booking windows are a typical characteristic of leisure travel, as travelers are often able to find better deals, a greater selection and more availability when planning well in advance of their travel date, something that business travelers don't tend to plan for. With more travelers in a party, families also tend to begin searching and planning well in advance.