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Kayak Upbeat on Summer TravelMay 12, 2009 By: George Dooley
Despite the economy, 95 percent of the more than 4,100 consumers who participated in Kayak’s Annual Summer Travel Survey plan to travel this summer. More than 41 percent said the recession did not affect their summer plans in any way, which is double the number from Kayak’s 2008’s survey.
“Thanks to an abundance of travel deals, last year’s staycation trend appears to be over as we’re seeing consumers using savvy cost-saving strategies to once again embark on a traditional summer vacation,” said Brian Harniman, Kayak’s executive vice president of marketing and distribution. “According to Kayak’s survey, our users plan to take advantage of historically low airfare and hop on a plane in search of culture and nightlife with trips to domestic and European cities topping the list of destinations being considered. This is a major change from last summer when 64 percent told us they would avoid flying because airfare was too expensive.”
Savvy cost saving tactics replace last year’s staycation, Kayak says. Thanks to low prices and deals, last year’s trend of vacationing in the backyard or close to home has subsided with a renewed wanderlust for history, culture and beaches. The most popular destinations under consideration include a major American city (65 percent), Europe (42 percent), domestic beaches (34 percent) and the Caribbean (20 percent).
Kayak’s survey shows that people are also employing several cost saving tactics including: crashing with friends or relatives instead of booking a hotel (62 percent), taking advantage of off-season pricing (50 percent), trading down for a less fancy hotel (42 percent), booking a shorter holiday (34 percent), choosing a destination closer to home (32 percent), booking accommodations with a kitchen and eating in (30 percent).
“The cost of travel is much lower compared to last summer’s weekly fuel increases so people can more easily afford to travel,” said Harniman. “We’re seeing more people use our cost-saving tools such as flexible search, airfare history and fare alerts.”
Kayak has also launched new tools, including a new Baggage Fee Calculator, a new Hotel Rate Calendar and Custom Airports.