Vacations play out differently for everyone. Some of us might like bumming on the beach like I do when I’m planning most of my vacations. Others might like a vacation where they can live it up at nightclubs and bars. And those of us with kids might want a vacation that offers museums and theme parks. Whatever our respective fancies, different preferences lead to different spending habits. These, in turn, tell us very different things about who is vacationing.
In a nutshell, this was the concept behind the latest of Expedia’s research initiatives: A study that chronicled how people save for vacation, how they spend on vacation, and how they feel about those expenditures. The study, dubbed the 2014 Vacation Spending Index, surveyed 11,165 people in 24 countries across five continents. It was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a strategic insights consulting firm.
Specifically, the survey determined that globally, 71 percent of travelers save for vacation in the year prior to their vacation.
If that’s not enough, results from the 2014 survey indicated that, across the board, the most aggravating travel expenses are the hidden ones such as taxes, baggage fees, and booking fees. Other expenditures that made the “most aggravating” list included seat-selection fares, resort/hotel fees, in-room WiFi, and insurance.
Survey findings also uncovered that when travelers look to splurge on vacation, they see “hotel in a desired location” as the optimal expense, and that only 7 percent of travelers were willing to splurge on a first class or business class flight.
Additional survey data of note:
- New clothes are the most common purchase when travelers are getting “vacation-ready,” with a “new do” and phone packages also ranking high on the list.
- Beach vacations are perceived as the vacation possibility with the greatest value, with 40 percent of respondents citing them as cost-efficient.
- Nearly 60 percent of travelers believe it is “critically” or “very” important to buy medical insurance when traveling abroad.
Finally, the survey found that most vacationers expect to tip the service providers they meet on vacation, though 23 percent of global travelers indicated that they do not tip at all. (It is important to note that it is not customary to tip in every country.)
Overall, the 2014 Vacation Spending Index reveals that spending on vacation is a completely personal thing. Whether travelers consider themselves big spenders or value-seekers, they’re going to vacation when they want, where they want, and the way they want.