Infographic: Americans Will Spend $84 Billion On Summer Hotel Stays

This summer, Americans are expected to spend a whopping $84 billion dollars on summer hotel stays, with the average traveler booking just over seven nights this season, states new data from Room Key.

What are travelers seeking? Price (72%), hotel amenities (58%) and brand (43%), as well as the ability to earn points and rewards (31%), something we’ve previously seen travelers pay less attention to. Room Key’s survey finds that leisure stays will average $1,134, and most state that this is about what they spent last year. The infographic below details other key facts about summer travel.

Are you in line with the average American’s summer travel plans? Leave your thoughts below. summer travel infographic

Airlines, airports and passengers: nothing but gains this year [INFOGRAPHICS]

airlines, airports, passengersThere are a whole lot more of us flying this year: 4.3 percent more, to be exact. That’s the increase in domestic air traffic from September 2009 to September 2010, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. In that month, U.S. airlines had 57.3 million passengers, leading to the largest year-over-year gain since September 2007. Meanwhile, international passenger traffic on U.S. flights surged 9.4 percent year over year.

For the first three quarters of 2010, scheduled domestic and international passengers were up 1.5 percent, suggesting that the recovery has gained momentum throughout the year. Domestic passengers gained 1 percent, with international passengers up 5.3 percent. Relative to 2008, though, passenger traffic is off 6.8 percent.

So, who wins? Of course, the airlines have had a relatively fantastic year, especially the worst of them. Delta, considered bottom of the barrel, surged from #3 in September 2009 to #1 in September 2010, with more than 9 million enplaned passengers, up 68.6 percent year over year (but don’t forget that the Northwest merger plays a role in this. Delta‘s also the top dog for the first nine months of the year for the same reason, followed by Southwest, American Airlines and United Airlines.


Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport remains the busiest in the United States by a considerable margin. Close to 32 million passengers passed through in the first nine months of 2010, an increase of 1.1 percent year over year. Atlanta led Chicago O’Hare, which came in second, by more than 9 million passengers so far this year. For the greatest gains, look to Charlotte: it was eighth on the list but posted a growth rate of 6.5 percent YTD.

Las Vegas was the only airport in the top 10 for the first nine months of 2010 to post a year-over-year decline. The number of enplaned passengers dropped by a rather substantial 3.6 percent year over year, hardly surprising given the fact that the Las Vegas tourism business has been slammed by the recession. Also, outbound traffic from Las Vegas is likely constrained by the local economy, which has been battered pretty badly (as real estate prices indicate).


Even though the number of passengers increased for airlines and airports, the number of flights operated slipped 1.2 percent from the first nine months of 2009 to the first nine months of 2010. Likely, the airlines were tightening up their flights, making better use of available seats and cutting expenses.

[photo by Yaisog Bonegnasher via Flickr]

Check historical on-time ratings – Airlines tip

The uncertainty of flight delays can be nerve-wracking. Will you make that 40 minute layover… or will you be stuck in Newark for half the day? An alchemy of time of day, current weather, and the airports involved determine your fate.

You can obsessively check, but can’t really predict, weather. The other factors, however, are a little easier to figure out ahead of time. Sites like the well-regarded FlightStats.com offer historical on-time performance for most routes. Punch in your flight info, and you’ll be rewarded with average delays and details on past performance.

Maybe, now, you can relax.

Maybe.

State Department website lists where American travelers have died abroad

The LA Times recently linked to a tool on the US State Department website that allows you to search by date range and country to find out where around the world Americans have died of “non-natural” causes.

The information goes back to 2002. No names or details of the deaths are disclosed, they are only reported as suicide, drowning, drug-related, homicide, disaster, or vehicle, air or maritime accident, and listed according to date. The disclaimer on the site states that the stats may not be entirely accurate however, as they only represent those deaths disclosed to the State Department.

So can this tool tell you where you should or shouldn’t go based on your likelihood of drowning, getting into an accident, or being killed as a tourist there? Not really. Circumstances of the deaths are, of course, not disclosed and there is no distinction between expats or people who have lived in the country for many years and those who are tourists visiting on vacation.

Even countries with high numbers of deaths shouldn’t automatically be crossed off your list. Mexico, for example, lists 126 American deaths in 2009. 36 of those were homicides. Sounds like a big number, but not as big compared to the 2.6 million Americans who fly to Mexico every year. As the LA Times points out, “the odds overwhelmingly suggest that your vacation will be nonfatal.”

Americans still spending everywhere else

Last year, 63.6 million Americans traveled abroad, a 1 percent drop from 2007, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. This was the first fall since 2002. Nonetheless, spending grew fro the fifth year in a row to $112.3 billion – up 7 percent from 2007. Americans spent $79.7 billion in foreign countries, with the balance ($32.6 billion) coming from air transportation.

Mexico bucked the trend in 2008: travel from the United States grew by 4 percent. Travel to Canada, the other nearby destination, dropped 7 percent, and overseas excursions were off 1 percent.

In addition to being the top destination for Americans abroad, Mexico led in spending. Americans dropped $11.1 billion with its neighbor to the south, followed by the United Kingdom ($10.5 billion), Canada ($7.3 billion), Germany ($6.3 billion) and Japan ($5.2 billion). U.S. travelers set spending records last year in Germany, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, the Netherlands and Argentina.