Tech giant Adobe has come out with its annual travel report, compiled by sifting through enormous amounts of data from travel booking sites and social media, and it has offered some tips for getting the best deals on summer vacation trips.
For example, Adobe says that travelers looking to save on air fares should book domestic flights 76 to 112 days in advance, and international flights at least 125 days out, “assuming potential flight changes are not an issue.” Also, booking Saturday flights can save an average of 11 percent, while trips scheduled for Mondays can cost 11 percent more.
The absolute busiest travel period this summer (just like every year) will be the four-day Fourth of July holiday, when U.S. consumers will spend $3.7 billion on travel, Adobe said. That’s followed by the Memorial Day weekend ($2.9 billion) and Labor Day weekend ($2.8 billion).
But interestingly, Adobe says that growth in summer travel is down compared to last year. The report says, “Overall spending on summer travel by US consumers will grow by +5.1% (66% lower than last year), totaling $98.02B. Slower growth is mainly coming from nearly flat air and hotel bookings, likely the results of significant price increases. Growth has slowed for airlines and hotels mainly due to nearly flat number of airline reservations and decreasing hotels, but is bolstered by an increase in prices.”
As of March 2017, year-over-year domestic air fare prices have increased by 4.8 percent. International costs have gone up 4.7 percent, Adobe said, with one big exception: Fares for travel from the U.S. to Europe dropped 6.2 percent.
Domestic hotel prices went up by 3.7 percent over the same 12-month period, the report notes, and it recommends booking rooms 33 days in advance for the best price. Because most hotels have lenient cancellation policies “consumers can book earlier, but cancel if a better deal is found at day 33,” Adobe said.
U.S. travelers making domestic trips should see less competition for flights and hotel rooms from foreign visitors, Adobe said, noting that the cost of a trip to the U.S. is about 10 percent higher than it was a year ago. That’s mainly due to a stronger dollar, although “confusion over (U.S. government) travel restrictions may also play a role,” an Adobe spokesperson said. In the first quarter of 2017, international flight bookings to the U.S. from abroad have fallen by 6 percent.
The eclectic Adobe report has some other interesting nuggets about travel trends – car rentals, for instance. It said that online car rentals in the first quarter of this year were down 14 percent over the same period a year ago, and it points a finger at car-sharing apps. From March to December 2016, Adobe said, social media mentions of Uber increased by 6 million, and during the same period, online car rentals fell by 28 percent – a 2 percent drop in rentals for each 10 percent increase in Uber social mentions.
Adobe also tracks destination trends by home market. For San Franciscans, the top domestic destination is Las Vegas, followed by Los Angeles and New York; and for New Yorkers, the top three are Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago.
And wherever or whenever you go, don’t forget to post something about your trip on social media – because everyone else does. Adobe said that every month, there are 14 million mentions of travel on social media – 1.7 times more than mentions of Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift combined.
Speaking of social media, check out Chris’s Instagram feed for some nice images of his spring break in Hawaii!