Travel Leaders' new Spring Break report on travel trends sees Mexico and Florida as the top hot spots and demand and costs on the rise. Among the group's top findings: Nearly 68 percent of the participating agents said that international destinations are favored by clients taking land-based Spring Break vacations.
Travel Leaders also said increased demand could result in trips costing more compared to last year. The top challenge facing families traveling by air will be baggage fees. Travel Leaders experts also strongly recommend travelers interested in Spring Break travel make plans immediately, if they haven’t already done so, because of limited airline seat availability in many parts of the United States.
“It is very clear, based on the actual booking data from our Travel Leaders nationwide, that our clients are extremely open to traveling outside of the U.S. for Spring Break. The driving factors are value and sunny, warm destinations such as Mexico and Caribbean cruising,” said Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. “Because travel is such an investment, we recommend not leaving anything to chance, especially since our data indicates the majority of Spring Break vacations will cost more.”
Top Trends in Spring Break Travel for 2011:
• Nearly 68% of land-based Spring Break travelers are using their passports and choosing international destinations.
• Mexico is the top option for land-based Spring Break trips. Travel Leaders overwhelmingly named it as their top recommendation for value (70.4%) and five Mexican cities are included in the Top 15 International Destinations rankings (#2 Cancun, #4 Riviera Maya, #8 Playa del Carmen, #12 Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, and #13 Puerto Vallarta).
• The top choice for domestic land-based Spring Break travel is Florida.
• When asked "How would you compare your 2011 Spring Break bookings to the Gulf Coast to last year at this time?" 62.7% of Travel Leaders indicated they are the same or higher (19.8% indicated "Higher" and 42.9% indicated "Same").
• The top cruise itinerary for Spring Break travelers is Western Caribbean (53.9%) over Eastern Caribbean (22.6%).
• When asked to identify the biggest challenges for families traveling by air (any time of the year), Travel Leaders experts indicated: (Based on 392 Responses)
1. Baggage fees 80.4%
2. Overall cost 74.0%
3. Finding seats together 61.0%
4. Dealing with connecting flights 41.3%
5. Getting through security 20.9%
• Travelers looking for information on nonstop flights, hotel deals or pricing for Spring Break can anticipate:
- Nonstop flights will still be readily available and at decent prices- 8.3%
- Nonstop flights will still be readily available but at increased prices-19.9%
- Nonstop flights will be somewhat difficult to find- 37.2%
- Nonstop flights will be very difficult to find-33.3%
- Hotels and/or all-inclusives will still be offering lots of deals-7.4%
- Hotels and/or all-inclusives will still be offering some of deals-33.7%
- Hotels and/or all-inclusives will have availability but rarely any deals-27.9%
- Hotels and/or all-inclusives will have availability but no deals- 11.5%
- Overall prices for Spring Break trips will be significantly higher than last year-15.7%
- Overall prices for Spring Break trips will be somewhat higher than last year- 51.9%
- Overall prices for Spring Break trips will be the same as last year-10.6%
- Overall prices for Spring Break trips will be somewhat lower than last year-1.9%