Expedia Summer Travel Trends

Expedia Summer Travel Trends We Know What You’re Doing This Summer

Starring Expedia.com Travel Data


For more information, please contact expediapr@hlgrp.com. All data points referenced below are relevant as of April 2012 and prices are subject to change.




The US economy is picking up and people are looking to go on vacation this summer. Despite the higher gas prices, people are still taking to the skies. The desire for travel, particularly summer travel, is strong.

  • When we look at the types of vacations our customers are taking this summer, we see some interesting trends emerge. While our customers are opting for shorter stays (1-day stays are up 2.2% and 2-day stays are up 3.1% compared to a 7.3% drop in 4-day stays and a 2.2% drop in 7-day stays), more people are getting away this year.
  • So while our customers may not be spending 7 days on a tropical beach or touring a national park, many of them are opting for shorter getaways to recharge the battery and take some time to relax.


While ticket prices are higher, average ticket prices have not grown that drastically compared to previous years.

  • Demand for travel peaks in the summer and it’s no surprise that average ticket prices would be higher in the summer compared to the winter. A good way to put the change into a meaningful context is to compare the changes between quarters of the year to previous years’ quarterly performance changes.
  • Looking specifically at standalone, domestic, round trip flights, we see that average ticket prices are up 11.2% to $404 for travel booked for June/July in the month of April compared to average ticket prices for travels in November/December of 2011. Despite the increases in prices, average ticket prices haven’t grown significantly compared to previous years.


Expedia’s 2011 Vacation Deprivation survey found that Americans earned 14 vacation days and took 12 in 2011, a decrease from 2010.

  • This means American travelers are still leaving days on the table. And one fifth of the respondents said lack of planning was a main reason why they did not take a vacation.




Five Hot International Destinations for Americans in 2012:

  • Based on search results, in 2012, American travelers are showing strong interest in Cancun, San Juan, London, San Jose del Cabo and Punta Cana.


From coast to coast, travelers can save this summer and regardless of where you want to go, Expedia is bound to have great deals for you.

  • Expedia has some great deals across the state of Florida coming up this summer, so be on the lookout for those deals.
  • While we can’t share specific numbers, we know that roughly one-quarter of vacationers to Florida are from the Northeast corridor, encompassing markets from Baltimore north to Boston and Bangor.  Interestingly, almost 40% of those travelers to Florida are from the New York market.


  • On the west coast, Seattle and Portland are always popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts or purveyors of good food and wine.
  • We’ve noticed that the Northwest travelers tend to stay more local than their Northeast brethren. More than 5% of travelers to California are from the Northwest with most of the volume of travelers coming from within the state of California. In fact, more than 55% of travelers to the state of California originate from within the state.


This summer there is strong interest in visiting Ocean City (MD) and Myrtle Beach.

  • The key to finding a great deal in these hot summertime locations is to book early. A lot of the hotels, resortsand condos will fill up early as they are very popular in the summertime with a limited supply of room nights available. 



  • There’s no better way to save than to book your flight and hotel simultaneously. You can save up to $525 on the combined price. If you book them even a minute apart, that money is lost. This is a booking tip that is well known to travel industry insiders but not as well known to everyone else. Book your flight and your hotel at the exact same time and you will save.


  • On May 15, 2012, Expedia will launch its annual Summer Sale, marking an ideal time for travelers to book a summer vacations. With savings of up to 30% off thousands of hotels around the world, every kind of traveler is bound to find their perfect summer vacation and save.


Summer travelers aren’t just stopping at saving on flights and hotels.  There are more ways than ever to save on car rentals. In fact, some travelers found booking their hotel and car rental together yields a savings so great they offset the cost of the car.

  • A recent study by Expedia showed that, for the top 20 US destinations, one in five people got their car for free by purchasing their car at the same time they booked their hotel.  That’s to say that by purchasing the package together, they saved so much that the car was essentially free. It’s a great new tip to save big on car rental this summer or to upgrade to a convertible or SUV for the price of a compact or economy.


  • Another way to save is to purchase car rental insurance when you book your trip through Expedia, rather than at the rental car counter. In many cases, the coverage can be cheaper than what the rental agency offers for the exact same coverage.


This summer, travelers should consider the markets in which they wish to travel as well as the price points within those destinations.

  • By searching at regular intervals, travelers will have a good idea of how much their trip may cost. They should be sure that they modify their searches, changing their origin and/or destination to see how these factors may affect the price.
  • For instance, based on a recent search from Philadelphia to Germany over the summer, trips originating from Philadelphia ranged from $1,300-$1,500. Trips originating from the Baltimore-Washington also ranged from $1,100-$1,300, but by including the New York market, the trip prices ranged from $600-$800 out of New York.


When booking all of your summer travel with Expedia, remember that you should be rewarded for your savvy traveling skills to make the most of your trip!

  • The Expedia Rewards program, which just celebrated its one year anniversary, allows members to earn points on the hotels, flights, resorts, vacation packages and activities they book on Expedia.com. Members can earn up to two Expedia Rewards points per dollar spent on flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages that include a hotel. Points are maximized when hotels and flights are booked together as a package. So, imagine that family vacation you book, you could earn enough points to potentially cover another family getaway just by signing up for Expedia Rewards for free.


  • In addition to Expedia Rewards, the company features the Expedia Elite Plus Program, which gives members exclusive perks at select hotels. To qualify for Expedia Elite Plus, travelers need to stay 15 hotel nights or complete $10,000 worth of travel via Expedia in a calendar year. Once the traveler reaches either threshold they are automatically enrolled. Elite Plus travel benefits include free room upgrades, priority customer care and much more.


Even though prices are high, people still want to go on their summer getaways.

  • Knowing when to book is very important in the travel process. Typically the time period between 21-28 days out from the intended travel date is the best booking window. Airlines will release inventory around this time period and as the supply of tickets increases, prices tend to drop. As it gets closer to the intended travel date and the window of opportunity gets smaller and smaller, ticket prices will undoubtedly rise. If a traveler can book within this sweet spot, there are often opportunities to save some money in the process.


  • Don’t forget about Groupon Getaways with Expedia, another great way to save when booking travel. The deals follow Groupon’s voucher model, so travelers don’t have to travel immediately. Travelers can book a hotel room at an exceptional rate, then travel when they have time.


Booking a last minute summer getaway? Don’t worry. Expedia has you covered.

  • At Expedia, we understand that last minute travel is a fact of life. So we have recently launched a Last Minute Deals page to help people find the best deals for both hotels and flights for the upcoming two weekends. In essence, our customers help one another. The Last Minute Deals program relies on user-generated deals and user-informed travel trends to find the best near-term travel deals. Expedia Last Minute Deals effectively crowd sources the search process, by showcasing deals found by other customers.


Wait, you want to check out that big sporting event in London this summer and don’t have a hotel?

  • There are more than 4,000 rooms available per day on Expedia.com in the London and greater London area and many great deals still to be had. The most affordable rooms in a central location can usually be found in Paddington.


  • And if traveling to the UK isn’t in your plans but you still want to get to Europe, you’ll want to avoid airports in locations such as Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam as many travelers are flying through these airports as gateways to the UK. Try checking out Scandinavia this summer ... it is beautiful this time of year!


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