May 1 2013

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From beaches to bad behavior: summer’s biggest travel trends

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Orlando, Florida

Orlando-bound? You’re not alone. It’s the top destination for summer travel. Photo: iStockphoto

Now that most of the country has thawed from this winter season that—let’s be honest—seemed to last through most of spring, it’s finally time for sunshine, shorts and, ahhhhh…summer vacation. And while it may not surprise anyone that Orlando reigns as the America’s top summer destination, Orbitz uncovers some more interesting trends about where Americans are going—and what they’ll be doing—when they hit the skyways and the byways for their long-awaited trips.

When it comes to desirable destinations, nothing beats the beach, as 42 percent of consumers say all they want is to bask in the sand, surf and sun. And according to Orbitz.com bookings, they don’t mind going far to get it, with Cancun, Honolulu and Maui all ranking as Top 10 destinations. Yet, while the rebounding economy may be affording travelers bigger vacations such as these, there are still options for the more budget-minded. In a ranking of “most affordable summer destinations,” Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Los Angeles and San Juan, Puerto Rico all topped the list for beachgoers.

Travel costs overall look similar to summer 2012, with airfares taking a dip in nine of the top 10 hotspots, but rising hotel rates signal strong demand in the top markets. And as most travelers plan to keep their vacation budget under $2,000, they’ll look to locales like Las Vegas and Denver for the deals, which are the only major cities seeing hotel rates drop.

Speaking of hotels, it’s the free amenities that mean the most, with the majority of guests seeking out free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and, of course…a great pool. Orbitz also found that travelers had no problem admitting to a little bad behavior while on vacation. Most (40 percent) simply indulge more than normal in fatty foods and spirits, while 10 percent wear more revealing swimwear and clothing, and eight percent say they are more likely to flirt with a stranger. While this indicates quite the relaxed agenda, others may need a little help disconnecting. Even though most will try to do it in secret, one in three vacationers will check in with work this summer. Talk about naughty!

All in all, it’s going to be a busy summer travel season, with 77 percent of consumers planning to head to the beaches, mountains, cities and beyond…and likely 100 percent having a great time doing it.

More About: Jeanenne Tornatore

Jeanenne Tornatore has spent 14 years as a communications professional working with high-profile companies in travel, technology, and consumer products, currently serving as a senior editor for Orbitz.com. Learn more about her here.
View More Posts By Jeanenne Tornatore

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