Study: U.S. consumers define vacation as ‘essential’

The overall price of lodging has climbed 23.6% over the last two years, but a new study from global accommodations search platform trivago reveals there is a continued desire to hit the road this summer, even if it means finding new ways to cut costs. Consumers across the U.S. won’t let rising prices stop them, with a majority (77%) planning to dip into their savings this year to travel.

Despite a looming recession and the rising cost of goods, U.S. consumers are still planning to travel this year. In fact, proprietary summer travel data from trivago for the upcoming travel season reveals the top destinations U.S. consumers are headed this year. At the top of the list is Honolulu, followed by Tokyo, Dubai, Istanbul, and Lahaina, HI.

Summer’s top destinations (U.S. travelers):
Lahaina, HI
Antalya, Turkey
Palm Beach, Aruba
Hong Kong
Belek, Turkey
Paradise Island City, Bahamas

There’s no stopping travel

Despite the current cost-of-living crisis, 36% view a vacation as essential, followed by 32% who view it as a luxury.

In a follow-up question from previous studies, trivago sought to find what travelers would be willing to give up to take a trip this year. Two-fifths (40%) would stop buying new clothes for six months to help save money to go on vacation. This was followed by using public transportation or walking to work instead of driving a car (38%), giving birthday presents to friends (37%) and not going to a friend’s bachelor or bachelorette party (37%). Additionally, 35% would give up their daily cup of coffee for the year, compared to only 21% last year.

Keeping things close

Travelers are searching for shorter stays closer to home this year, with almost three quarters (73%) of U.S. vacationers reporting they are more likely to consider a ‘staycation,’ booking stays closer to home, due to the cost-of-living crisis. When determining the budget for their trips, 37% are most likely to plan a low budget trip with 47% likely to plan a moderate budget trip.

Additionally, consumers shared they are discovering new ways to cut costs by traveling only with carry-on luggage (20%), opening or using a credit card that allows them to travel with points (28%), and booking trips during off-peak seasons (37%).

Compare, compare, compare

As consumers change spending habits, they are becoming smarter about how they spend their money. In fact, a majority indicated they compare hotel prices through different comparison websites (96%). Of these, over three-fifths (61%) have compared prices more over the last 12 months than in previous years.

When deciding where to travel, 61% consider hotel location to be one of the most important factors, followed by value for money (58%). In fact, if a lower-standard hotel had positive customer reviews, 80% would be more likely to stay there.