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-]

Travel Dreams survey ranks cruise vacations tops

Virtuoso Life magazine readers, some of the world’s most sophisticated travelers, voted for travel options on their “wish list” for the 2011 Travel Dreams survey and the results are in. Spending time on the high seas emerged as a common theme. Taking a world cruise and sailing the Mediterranean by private yacht were the top two “Trips of a Lifetime,” while cruising was selected as the “Most Desired Travel Experience.”

“Virtuoso clients are some of the most sought-after travelers because of their strong desire for authentic experiences and their propensity to vacation longer and more frequently, and spend more,” says Elaine Srnka, editorial director for Virtuoso Life.

During the fifth annual survey, in addition to cruise vacations, the Virtuoso Life reader votes revealed other desirable trips and destinations ranging from blasting off into space to renting a private island and chose destinations from French Polynesia to Greece.

Top 10 trips of a lifetime

1. Setting sail for a world cruise
2. Sailing the Mediterranean on a private yacht
3. Calling on all seven continents
4. Renting a European villa
5. Visiting all seven New Wonders of the World
6. Photographing the “big five” on an African safari
7. Renting a private island
8. Blasting off into suborbital space
9. Chartering a private jet
10. Dining my way through Paris’ best restaurants

Top 10 dream destinations

1. Australia
2. Italy
3. South Africa
4. New Zealand
5. Greece
6. Antarctica
7. France
8. French Polynesia
9. China
10. Ireland

The “Travel Dreams” survey released this week and conducted between January 1 and March 31, 2011 yielded nearly 14,000 responses. Sixty percent plan to take three or more short vacations this year, while 63 percent will take an additional one-to-two longer vacations and 33 percent will take more than three longer vacations this year.

For complete survey results, visit

Flickr photo by spaceodissey