NORWALK, Conn., Aug. 15, 2013 — R.I.P, staycation. In a newly released survey, 83% of Americans said they intend to fly the nest and take a vacation away from home this year. The results are a marked departure from past years of increased economic uncertainty, when some surveys cited up to 30%*, even 50%** of Americans choosing to vacation close to home. These new findings were compiled from priceline.com’s (Nasdaq: PCLN) annual Summer Travel Survey, conducted earlier this year.
“Staycations were popular between 2007 and 2010, when economic uncertainty had many Americans concerned about their finances and their jobs,” said Priceline’s Travel Ekspert, Brian Ek. “But anyone who’s tried a staycation finds out very quickly that it’s not very relaxing. There isn’t that clean break with everyday responsibilities and activities, like checking in at the office and doing household chores. A vacation away from home lets people truly disconnect from the daily grind and recharge.”
That’s not to say that vacationing Americans are throwing their checkbooks and bank accounts out the window. They’re keenly aware of escalating travel costs. Approximately 45% said that airfare has risen the most in the last five years, followed by gasoline (20%), hotel room rates (15%) and tickets to theme parks and other attractions (9%).
And they’re doing something about it. Here’s what Americans admitted to doing in order to save some money on their travels
- 31% have driven nonstop to their destination,
- 16% have packed a week’s worth of food into a suitcase and cooler,
- 12% have stretched the day’s food budget by smuggling free hotel breakfast items, and
- 11% have slept in their cars.
Why go to such lengths to save on vacation? Forget those travel movies with the stressed-out parents. A whopping 87% of families surveyed said they return relaxed after taking a family vacation.
The survey also found that Mom rules the roost when it comes to vacation planning and even more so when it comes to vacation spending. Mom is 30% more likely than Dad to determine what the family will do for vacation, and she’s 60% more likely than Dad to decide how the vacation money is going to be spent.
*Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2012, “Staycations Are On The Decline, Survey Suggests”
**ABC News, May 23, 2008, “Tips For Finding A Great ‘Staycation'”