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Vacation Planning - US - April 2019

Covered in this report

This report uses the STR Global classification terms for hotel tiers, which are defined as follows:

  • Luxury
  • Upper Upscale
  • Upscale
  • Upper Midscale
  • Midscale
  • Economy

"Seven in ten (72%) of US consumers went on an overnight vacation in the last year. Their love of travel meant an estimated $499.7 billion dollars in revenue for companies in the vacation travel industry, a number that is expected to grow steadily in the next five years. This report focuses on the people that plan vacations, from what they look for in a destination to concerns, to what makes them return to an old vacation spot."
- Mike Gallinari, Travel & Leisure Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • There’s too much information
  • Travelers want to visit a variety of destinations
  • Vacationers can be distracted and disloyal

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
            • Figure 1: Vacation planning segments, February 2019
          • The issues
            • There’s too much information
              • Figure 2: Sources of travel inspiration, February 2019
            • Travelers want to visit a variety of destinations
              • Figure 3: Attitudes toward vacation destinations – Nets, February 2019
            • Vacationers can be distracted and disloyal
              • Figure 4: Effects of a good deal on vacation plans, by generation, February 2019
            • The opportunities
              • Families are eager to travel
                • Figure 5: Attitudes toward vacation destinations – Any agree, by segment, February 2019
              • Vacationers are willing to spend more on vacations
                • Figure 6: Spending on domestic vacations 2014-18
              • Vacation planning is fun!
                • Figure 7: Attitudes toward trip planning – Nets, February 2019
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Total vacation market has a steady but cautious outlook
                  • Domestic vacations are grand
                    • The two-generation approach
                      • Takin’ PTO they’re given when they’re workin’ for a livin’
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • The vacation market steady, but may underachieve
                          • Figure 8: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of vacation and tourism market, at current prices, 2013-23
                          • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of vacation and tourism market, at current prices, 2013-23
                      • Market Factors

                        • GDP decelerating
                          • Figure 10: GDP change from previous period, Q1 2007-Q4 2018
                        • DPI currently in a good place
                          • Figure 11: Disposable Personal Income change from previous period, December 2012-18
                        • Volatile sentiment injects uncertainty
                          • Figure 12: Consumer Sentiment Index, February 2015-February 2019
                        • Fuel prices
                          • Figure 13: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-December 2018
                        • Millennials and Boomers are big shares of the population
                          • Figure 14: Population by generation, 2018
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Per-vacation spending is high
                          • Figure 15: Spending on domestic vacations 2014-18
                      • Market Perspective

                        • More frequent short trips are gaining appeal
                          • Figure 16: Preferred vacation length and frequency – Nets, by age, 2017-18
                        • Americans using more vacation
                          • Figure 17: Percentage of US workers with unused vacation days, 2015-17
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Suppliers may not be spending enough on mobile advertising
                          • Offers are more reactive
                            • Travelers look to check all the boxes
                              • Planners are drowning in options
                                • Advertising that’s like being there
                                • Digital Advertising Tactics

                                  • OTA ad spending
                                    • Figure 18: OTA online ad spending overview, January 2018-19
                                    • Figure 19: OTA online ad spend and impression share by device, January 2018-19
                                  • Airline spending
                                    • Figure 20: Airline online ad spending overview, January 2018-19
                                    • Figure 21: Airline online ad spend and impression share by device, January 2018-19
                                    • Figure 22: Airline online daily ad spend and daily impressions, January 2018-19
                                  • Hotel spending
                                      • Figure 23: Hotel online ad spending overview, January 2018-19
                                      • Figure 24: Hotel online ad spend and impression share by device, January 2018-19
                                  • What’s Happening?

                                    • Pushing hotels via push
                                      • Aquatica Orlando caters to special-needs children
                                        • Making a list and checking it off
                                          • Getaways on layaway, in a way
                                            • Figure 25: American Express No Plan It direct mailer, December 2018
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Travelers are overwhelmed by options
                                            • African-American travelers are concerned about racial profiling
                                              • Venice introduces tourist fee
                                              • What’s Next?

                                                • A travel agent renaissance begets the travel advisor
                                                  • Travel advertising will be an experience on its own
                                                    • Tech will allow for time travel
                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Vacation planning is fun and important
                                                        • Efficiency alleviates frustration, not time constraints
                                                          • Short-term bookings on the rise
                                                            • Trusted sources silence the noise
                                                              • Only one chance for a first impression
                                                                • Travelers aren’t feeling nostalgic
                                                                  • Younger travelers need help planning
                                                                  • Vacation Planning Segments

                                                                    • Vacation planning segmentation
                                                                      • Factors
                                                                        • Relishing Revisitors (RRs) (25%)
                                                                          • Extemporaneous Empty-nesters (EEs) (27%)
                                                                            • Family Forayers (FFs) (21%)
                                                                              • Generational Globetrotters (GGs) (27%)
                                                                                • Figure 26: Vacation planning segments, February 2019
                                                                                • Figure 27: Attitudes toward vacation planning, by vacation planning segments, February 2019
                                                                            • The Planning Process

                                                                              • Vacation planning is enjoyable
                                                                                • Figure 28: Attitudes toward trip planning – Nets, February 2019
                                                                              • A matter of time vs inclusiveness
                                                                                • Figure 29: Attitudes toward trip planning – Nets, by segment, February 2019
                                                                              • Booking experiences need to be seamless
                                                                                • Figure 30: Attitudes toward vacation booking – nets, February 2019
                                                                              • Safety and reputation are the top considerations
                                                                                • Figure 31: Special considerations taken when vacation planning, February 2019
                                                                              • Planners take a lot into account – TURF analysis
                                                                                • Figure 32: TURF analysis – Special planning considerations, February 2019
                                                                              • Varied activities for kids are most important among parents
                                                                                • Figure 33: Special considerations taken by parents when vacation planning, February 2019
                                                                              • Traveling with children is a skill
                                                                                • Figure 34: Attitudes toward children as travel companions – nets, by generation and parental status, February 2019
                                                                              • Parents have a lot to consider – TURF analysis
                                                                                • Figure 35: TURF analysis – Special planning considerations, February 2019
                                                                              • Relishing familiarity
                                                                                • Figure 36: Planning considerations, none of the above, by segment, February 2019
                                                                                • Figure 37: Special planning considerations, by segment, February 2019
                                                                              • Destination attitudes break with some predicted trends
                                                                                • Figure 38: Attitudes toward vacation destinations – Nets, February 2019
                                                                              • Kid-free couples seek relaxation; families look for energization
                                                                                • Figure 39: Attitudes toward vacation destinations – Any agree, by segment, February 2019
                                                                              • Minority travelers have safety concerns
                                                                                • Figure 40: Safety concerns when vacation planning, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2019
                                                                              • Hispanics most concerned about their pets
                                                                                • Figure 41: Pet concerns during vacation planning, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2019
                                                                            • Booking Timeframes

                                                                              • Last-minute booking has an audience
                                                                                • Figure 42: Vacation aspects booked ahead of time, February 2019
                                                                              • Planning is settled a month or more before the trip
                                                                                • Figure 43: Preferred lead time in booking vacation components, February 2019
                                                                              • Young travelers plan for the near future
                                                                                • Figure 44: Advance booking behaviors, by age, February 2019
                                                                              • Date flexibility is a big factor in lead time
                                                                                • Figure 45: Preferred lead time in select booking vacation components, February 2019
                                                                            • Vacation Inspiration

                                                                              • Inspiration comes from the people you know
                                                                                • Figure 46: Sources of travel inspiration, February 2019
                                                                              • Social channels have overtaken traditional media for inspiration
                                                                                • Figure 47: Travel inspiration sources, by segment, February 2019
                                                                              • Instagram – a burgeoning TripAdvisor?
                                                                                • Figure 48: Sources of travel inspiration, by generation, February 2019
                                                                              • Repeat visits rely most on first impressions
                                                                                • Figure 49: Reasons for revisiting a vacation destination, February 2019
                                                                              • Nostalgia is overblown
                                                                                • Figure 50: Effect of nostalgia on repeat visitors, by generation, February 2019
                                                                              • Revisiting destinations – TURF analysis
                                                                                • Figure 51: TURF analysis – Repeat visitation, February 2019
                                                                                • Figure 52: TURF analysis – Repeat visitation, parents, February 2019
                                                                            • Changing Vacation Plans

                                                                              • Time constraints limit experiences
                                                                                • Figure 53: Reasons for altering plans, February 2019
                                                                              • Millennials and Gen Z need help planning out trips
                                                                                • Figure 54: Reasons for altering plans, by generation, February 2019
                                                                              • Younger generations are also opportunistic
                                                                                • Figure 55: Finding better things to do than original plans, by generation, February 2019
                                                                                • Figure 56: Openness to changing travel plans based on a financial offering, by generation, February 2019
                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                • Sales data
                                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                      • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                            • Terms
                                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                              • TURF Methodology

                                                                                              Vacation Planning - US - April 2019

                                                                                              US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)