Gas Prices - Most People Still Planning Summer Vacations Despite Rising Gas Prices Says Survey

81% of Consumers Still Planning Trips Despite Concerns About Gas Prices According to New Orbitz Summer Travel Survey

Despite rising gas prices, 81 percent of consumers said they are still planning on taking a summer vacation this year. The majority of travelers surveyed aim to keep summer vacation budgets under $1,500. These findings, along with a list of the 10 most popular destinations for summer travel 2011, are a few of the highlights from the latest Orbitz Insider Index released today.

In terms of this year’s summer hot spots, Orlando ranks number one, thanks to affordable airfare ($290 average – the lowest average fare out of the top 10) and hotel rates ($94 – the second lowest average daily rate for hotels in the top 10). Others in the top 10 include Las Vegas, Chicago and Boston. Cancun is the only international destination to crack the top 10 list this year.

Other highlights of this year’s Orbitz Insider Index and survey include:

Year over year average airfare has risen to all of the cities on the Top 10 list, due largely to rising fuel costs and limited air capacity or lift into top markets.

Average hotel rates are down in traditional business travel locations like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, compared to 2010.

63% of survey respondents said gas prices are a factor in how and where they will travel this summer, but 81% said they’re still planning to take a summer vacation.

60% are planning to keep their summer travel budget under $1,500; while 74% are aiming to spend $2,000 or less.

“Even with gas prices skyrocketing, Americans still see summer travel as a necessity, especially for families that may have cut back in the past few years due to the economy,” said Marita Hudson Thomas, Orbitz Travel Insider. “This year, more than ever, people are taking measures to ensure they travel within a budget by comparison shopping online and by taking advantage of price guarantee programs like Orbitz Price Assurance, which guarantees an automatic cash refund if another Orbitz customer books the same flight or prepaid hotel for less.”

Top 10 Destinations for Summer 2011

The Orbitz Insider Index top ten summer destinations were ranked based on all air bookings made on Orbitz.com for travel between June 1 and August 31, 2011. The year over year percentage change in average airfare and average daily hotel rate was calculated based on the difference in average air and hotel pricing in each destination in 2011 vs. 2010 for travel between June 1 and August 31.

Orbitz Insider Index: Top Ten Summer Destinations 2011*

1 - Orlando
2 - Las Vegas
3 - Seattle
4 - Los Angeles
5 - Denver
6 - New York
7 - San Francisco
8 - Chicago
9 - Cancun
10 - Boston

*The Orbitz Insider Index top ten destinations were ranked based on all air bookings (standalone air and air as part of a package) made on Orbitz.com by April 18, 2011 for travel between June 1 and August 31, 2011.

Orbitz Summer Travel Survey

In addition to analyzing booking data, Orbitz fielded a survey(3) of nearly 1,000 U.S. travelers to ask about their summer vacation plans. Additional highlights from the survey include:

70% of respondents said they would not feel guilty if they took a summer vacation without their children. What’s more interesting, women were slightly more willing than men to travel without the kids.

71% of women said they wouldn’t feel guilty about traveling without their kids, while 67% of men said the same.

62% said they will not stay plugged in to work during their summer vacation (e.g., checking e-mail, taking calls, etc.)

Surprisingly, nearly 35% claim that packing is the least enjoyable part of summer travel. Crowds and flight delays/cancellations nearly tied at 15% and 14%, respectively.

Three Tips for Saving On Summer Travel

For those looking to take a trip this summer without breaking the bank, here are few of Hudson-Thomas’ best tips:

Consider packages instead of booking a la carte. Air plus hotel package deals often lead to significant savings over standalone bookings because hotels with excess inventory give sites like Orbitz rooms to sell at discounted rates.

Take advantage of off-peak rates where possible. For some warm-weather spots like Las Vegas or Cancun, summer is considered the “off-season,” meaning you can grab great air and hotel deals during the hot months like July or August. Conversely, other places like Colorado peak during the winter ski season, meaning you score summer savings to mountain resorts near Denver, especially in June and September.

Visit a business travel city. This year, we are seeing hotel deals still available in places like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Boston only experienced a nominal 1% increase in hotel room rate growth. With summer festivals, theater discounts and other tourist attractions, these cities will prove they represent more to consumers than being a place to conduct business.

(1) The 2011 average airfare and average daily hotel rate data is based on all air (standalone air and air as part of a package) and all hotel (standalone hotel and hotel as part of a package) bookings made on Orbitz.com for travel between June 1 - August 31, 2011 as of April 18, 2011.
(2) The year over year percentage change in average airfare and average daily hotel rate was calculated based on the difference in average air and hotel pricing in each destination in 2011 vs. 2010 for travel between June 1 and August 31.
(3) Orbitz.com fielded a summer travel survey via insightexpress from April 19-22, 2011 of 952 U.S. travelers 18 and older that have taken a trip in the last twelve months.

About Orbitz.com

Orbitz.com (www.orbitz.com) is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and book a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its Web site to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz.com has become one of the largest online travel sites in the world and has led the industry with innovations including Flight Price Assurance, Hotel Price Assurance and Total Price hotel search results. On Orbitz.com consumers can search more than 80,000 suppliers worldwide including airlines, hotels and car rental companies. Orbitz.com is owned by Orbitz Worldwide. Stay connected to Orbitz.com with sale alerts, exclusive promotions and engaging conversations by following Orbitz on Facebook (www.facebook.com/orbitz), Twitter (www.twitter.com/orbitz) and the Orbitz Travel Blog (www.orbitz.com/blog).

About Orbitz Worldwide

Orbitz Worldwide is a leading global online travel company that uses innovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to research, plan and book a broad range of travel products. Orbitz Worldwide owns a portfolio of consumer brands that includes Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com), ebookers (www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (www.hotelclub.com), RatesToGo (www.ratestogo.com) and the Away Network (www.away.com). Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Worldwide Distribution (http://corp.orbitz.com/partnerships/distribution) delivers private label travel solutions to a broad range of partners including many of the world’s largest airlines, and Orbitz for Business (www.orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed corporate travel solutions for corporations. For more information on partnership opportunities with Orbitz Worldwide, visit corp.orbitz.com. Orbitz Worldwide uses its Investor Relations website to make information available to its investors and the public at http://corp.orbitz.com/investors. You can sign up to receive email alerts whenever the company posts new information to the website.

CONTACT: Marita Hudson Thomas, +1-312-260-8304, [email protected]

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