BOSTON, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Quick. Conjure up a picture of the next vacation you want to take. Thanks to today's stream of content and our ever-connected lives, you probably have a picture in your head of the dream beach, countryside or cityscape that you're dreaming of visiting. Technology's impact on how, when and even where we plan our travel is only accelerating. To tap into what this means for our travel planning habits, Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, surveyed over 1,000 Americans on everything from the primary reason they travel to the events in their lives that trigger them to look for a flight. The findings reveal Americans have big travel aspirations but are amazingly practical in much of their planning.
Underscoring that we're a country of travel dreamers, 64 percent of those surveyed reported having a "bucket list" of destinations they hope to visit one day. For women, in fact, that number is 68 percent. But we are drawn to travel for a mix of reasons. The biggest driver was "adventure and exploration" (27 percent) followed closely by "rest and relaxation" (25 percent). Other top choices were "new experiences" (16 percent) and "time away with family and friends" (15 percent).
Showing our practicality as travelers, a good deal has triggered an overwhelming majority (73 percent) of those surveyed to search for a flight. Other than a deal, our wanderlust is most often sparked by others, with 30 percent reporting they have searched for flights after hearing about someone else's trip. Additionally, a TV show or movie with a cool setting has inspired 18 percent of Americans to research flights.
On a more personal level, a bonus or raise has sent 19 percent of us looking for flights while 9 percent have searched for flights while still on vacation. And, in an unlikely parallel, six percent have looked for flights both when they've fallen in love and when they've had a bad day at the office.
Technology has changed not just how we dream about travel but also how we find and book our trips. In today's mobile world, flight searches can and do happen anytime and anywhere. Places respondents have searched for flights include: while watching TV (72 percent), while eating lunch at their desks (38 percent), in the bathroom (20 percent), at a bar or restaurant (14 percent), on the way back from vacation (12 percent), commuting to and from work (9 percent), in a work meeting (8 percent) and in class (7 percent).
"We've witnessed a massive shift in the last few years to a mobile-centric world," said Amanda Festa, editor at Cheapflights.com. "By offering up everything from an endless Instagram feed of travel inspiration to text alerts for fare sales to full-featured app and mobile sites for finding and booking flights, hotels and other travel offerings, our phones and tablets have become our de facto travel agents. The ability to imagine and the opportunities to explore are now, literally, in the palm of our hand."
When digging deeper into the data, we found a number of interesting demographic trends as well. Noteworthy observations include:
- For men, "rest and relaxation" is the top reason for travel while, for women, it's "adventure and exploration."
- In a study of contrast, the percentage of men who've searched for flights after a good day in the office is double that of women (6 percent to 3 percent), while the percentage of women who've searched for flights after a bad day in the office is double that of men (8 percent to 4 percent).
- 11 percent of men report having searched for flights while still on vacation while 7 percent of women say they have. A full 75 percent of women flight search while watching TV compared to 68 percent of men.
- West Coasters are the most tuned into deals, with 79 percent of them reporting they'll search for a flight when they catch wind of a bargain. By contrast, 69 percent of Midwesterners, 71 percent of Northeasterners and 72 percent of Southerners go searching when they hear about a deal.
- It's also those on the West Coast whose flight search is most affected by work. They lead the pack in searching for flights when they get a raise or bonus (21 percent), when they have a bad day in the office (8 percent) and when they have a good day at the office (6 percent).
- Midwesterners are the romantics with 8 percent looking for flights when they fall in love.
- Those in the Northeast are most likely to hunt for their next flight while still on vacation with 11 percent reporting they have done so.
- Southerners make the most of being able to search wherever life takes them. The share of Southerners who've searched for a flight in a work meeting is three times higher than for those in the Northeast (12 percent vs. 4 percent). Likewise, eight percent of Southerners have looked for a flight while on a conference call and 23 percent while in the bathroom.
- Perhaps because they are opportunistic and prefer to search on the go, Southerners are the least active at searching while watching TV (69 percent). Tops in that category are Midwesterners, with 75 percent.
- Northeasterners top the list for those who've tried to find a flight while commuting to or from work (12 percent).
- Lastly, the main reason for travel varies quite a bit between the coasts. The West is, by far, home to the most adventure seekers, with 31 percent naming "adventure and exploration" as their prime motivation for getting away and only 18 percent citing "rest and relaxation" as their goal. For those in the Northeast, "rest and relaxation" is the aim for 34 percent while "adventure and exploration" was the key for 23 percent.
Findings are based on an online survey of 1,016 Americans conducted in a 48-hour period between February 4 and 6, 2017.
For the complete results of Cheapflights.com's Modern travel: A survey of when, where and why Americans search for travel go to www.cheapflights.com/news/modern-travel-survey-americans-search-travel.
About Cheapflights.com, part of the Momondo Group
Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform. It is now a market leader in the UK, U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating over $3 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes. The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from over 120 travel businesses – for whom it has driven more than $65 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.
In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.
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