New Expedia study finds that travelers are still venturing out, despite economy

Expedia‘s American Traveler Survey reveals that the economic downturn has not affected leisure travel as much as one might expect. Data collected in late February suggests that leisure travel has remained “business as usual,” particularly for those between 35 and 44 years of age (46%). A percentage of young men (13%) and women (14%) aged 18 -34 are taking more trips these days, perhaps because a down economy prompts travel destinations to sweeten deals.

“We believe that Americans are proving to be resilient in a down economy, by driving instead of flying and taking more frequent, shorter trips,” said Joe Megibow, vice president and general manager,

An old fashioned road trip
It’s interesting to note that a full 41% of Americans – and nearly one in two men (49%) – have driven across the United States at some point. Just under one in four Americans (23%) and one in three students (31%) are “at least somewhat likely” to travel internationally in the next year.

Eighty-one percent of Americans have visited at least one of twelve major U.S. landmarks in their travels. Approximately one third of people have visited the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Grand Canyon, while approximately one in four have visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Route 66, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Alamo.

Social media keeps travelers connected
Travelers are also social in nature – 75% use social media, while more than half stay connected while on a trip, although not surprisingly, this usage is higher amongst 18-44 year olds than those 45 and older.

Social media may, but is not likely to, decrease travel to visit family members, however, with only 12% saying that they are less likely to visit their family in person thanks to social media. In fact, 25% say they are more likely to visit family in person.

What about you? Planning a road trip anytime soon?

[Flickr via -snugg-]