After a year of highs and lows for the travel industry, Americans are back to booking trips this holiday season and look forward to splurging on more destinations in 2022.
Rakuten Advertising recently surveyed about 1,000 Americans to learn about their upcoming trips over the next six months and spending plans on travel. Respondents shared that they plan to spend on average $1,000 on travel this holiday season, and only one in five travelers plan to spend less on travel this year than in 2019.
Travelers planning long-distance vacations (100 miles or more) said they’re more likely to book expensive vacations (more than $2,000) in 2022. Nearly a quarter (23%) of them plan to spend up to $5,000 on their 2022 trips.
“At the tail end of a fluctuating year for travel, we’re seeing that many consumers are holding out hope to travel this holiday season and that they’re excited for travel prospects in 2022,” said Anthony Capano, North American managing director, Rakuten Advertising.
To reach consumers in key moments of their booking journey, marketers need to consider the following trends and changing behaviors of today’s traveler:
Consumers are still planning holiday trips despite emerging COVID variants.
Even with new surges in COVID-19 cases worldwide, most travelers (56%) will not change their holiday travel plans, regardless of their level of concern around emerging variants. While most of those trips are domestic, 31% of travelers plan to travel more during the holidays than in 2019. To encourage customers to book confidently, brands can offer cancellation flexibility and promote last-minute deals to alleviate some of the hesitation consumers are experiencing around booking holiday travel.
Travelers are hunting for deals across multiple channels.
More than 90% of Americans plan to seek out deals when booking their upcoming trips. Customer review sites and online search results were the top sources for deals. Sites and apps that show offers from multiple brands (22%), online ads (22%), and card-linked offers (21%) are popular among travelers when finding deals, rewards, and discounts related to travel as well. Rewards-driven incentives like cash back can also capture interest with authentic and personalized experiences proven to drive conversions.
Higher-income families are more responsive to deals.
Our survey showed that families with higher incomes (more than $100,000) are particularly drawn to deals than those with incomes less than $100,000, and most often find them on coupon sites. Marketers can consider planning marketing strategies based on income levels as higher-income customers respond well to email and credit card offers. In contrast, families with lower incomes are more responsive to online advertisements.
For more insights on travelers changing behaviors, download our latest report, ‘Insight the Minds and Moments of Travelers.’