|Orlando ranked No. 1 as a destination favorite in Orbitz' latest Insider Index findings.|
Despite rising gas prices, 81 percent of consumers said that they are still planning on taking a summer vacation this year, Orbitz reported. The majority of travelers surveyed by Orbitz said that they aim to keep their summer vacation budgets under $1,500. These findings, along with a list of the 10 most popular destinations for summer travel 2011, were released by the latest Orbitz Insider Index.
In terms of this year’s summer hot spots, Orlando ranks number one, thanks to affordable airfare (an average of $290, making it the lowest average fare out of the top 10) and hotel rates (an average of $94 per night, the second lowest average daily rate for hotels in the top 10). Other destinations in the top 10 included Las Vegas, Chicago and Boston. Cancun was the only international destination to crack the top 10 list this year.
Other highlights of this year’s Orbitz Insider Index and survey included:
Year-over-year average airfare has risen to all of the cities on the Top 10 list, due largely to rising fuel costs and limited air capacity or lift into top markets.
Average hotel rates are down in traditional business travel locations like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, compared to 2010.
Sixty-three percent of survey respondents said gas prices are a factor in how and where they will travel this summer, but 81 percent said they’re still planning to take a summer vacation.
Sixty percent are planning to keep their summer travel budget under $1,500; 74 percent are aiming to spend $2,000 or less.
”Even with gas prices skyrocketing, Americans still see summer travel as a necessity, especially for families that may have cut back in the past few years due to the economy,” said Marita Hudson Thomas, Orbitz Travel Insider.
The Orbitz Insider Index Top 10 summer destinations were ranked based on all air bookings made on Orbitz.com for travel between June 1 and Aug. 31. The year-over-year percentage change in average airfare and average daily hotel rate was calculated based on the difference in average air and hotel pricing in each destination in 2011 vs. 2010 for travel between June 1 and Aug. 31. Destinations included Orlando, Las Vegas, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Cancun and Boston.
In addition to analyzing booking data, Orbitz fielded a survey of nearly 1,000 U.S. travelers to ask about their individual summer vacation plans. Additional highlights from the survey include:
Seventy percent of respondents said they would not feel guilty if they took a summer vacation without their children. What’s more interesting, women were slightly more willing than men to travel without the kids.
Seventy-one percent of women said they wouldn’t feel guilty about traveling without their kids, while 67 percent of men said the same.
Sixty-two percent said they will not stay plugged in to work during their summer vacation (e.g., checking e-mail, taking calls, etc.)
Nearly 35 percent claim that packing is the least enjoyable part of summer travel. Crowds and flight delays/cancellations nearly tied at 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively.
Hudson-Thomas also said that travelers seeking to save on their summer vacations should consider off-peak rates where possible, and visiting a business travel city over the summer.