Sold on Summer Vacation: Travelers Largely Undeterred by High Gas Prices
and Costly Airfares, According to New HomeAway Survey

  • Eight in 10 people say they plan to take a vacation this summer, spending an average of $136 per person/night
  • 38 percent of travelers say they won’t change summer travel plans because of high gas prices and airfares, but 27 percent will vacation closer to home and 20 percent plan to cut back on other travel expenses
  • 56 percent of travelers who will fly to their summer destinations admit changing packing strategies because of airline baggage fees

AUSTIN, TX, April 27, 2011 — Despite high gas prices and increasing airfares, a new survey from HomeAway, Inc. – the worldwide leader in online vacation rentals – finds the majority of Americans still plan to take a summer vacation, but will adjust their plans in light of rising costs.

According to a special summer edition of the “HomeAway® Vacation Rental Marketplace Report,” 81 percent of respondents report they will take a vacation this summer. Of those who typically take a summer vacation each year, 38 percent will not change their vacation plans, saying increased gasoline prices and airfares will not affect their travel. The rest of those surveyed will alter travel plans in some way to counteract rising costs, including:

  • Vacationing closer to home (27 percent)
  • Cutting back on other travel expenses such as lodging, entertainment and dining out (20 percent)
  • Vacationing for fewer days (13 percent)
  • Making other changes to their travel plans (3 percent)

About 15 percent of those who typically take a summer vacation say they will not take one this year due to increased costs.

Airline baggage fees are also having an impact on the way Americans travel. According to the survey, 56 percent of respondents who will fly to their summer destination admit changing packing strategies because of baggage fees. Of those who now pack differently, 45 percent pack fewer items and do laundry as needed; 36 percent bring more of their belongings in a carry-on bag instead of checking their bag; 15 percent pack fewer items and buy what they need while on vacation; and 3 percent ship their belongings to their destination ahead of time.

“This survey shows that people still plan to take a summer vacation, but they also need to find ways to combat the high costs of traveling to a destination,” says Brian Sharples, chief executive officer of HomeAway. “For about half the price of a hotel, travelers can stay in a vacation rental home and reap additional savings from included kitchens, laundry facilities and on-site parking.”

The Thrill of Adventure: Exploring New Places

Nearly half of travelers (48 percent) want to experience a new destination each year. However, 37 percent report taking several vacations each summer – some of which are in the same destination year after year and others in new places. Just 14 percent of travelers prefer to vacation in the same destination each year.

Hawaii was picked as the top “dream” summer vacation spot, but Provincetown, Mass., on Cape Cod is the most popular vacation destination this summer on The rest of the top 10 most popular summer destinations are beach areas, with the exception of Las Vegas and New York City.

Once travelers find a place they love, some decide they want to try and stay for the long haul. In fact, 38 percent of people say they have looked at vacation real estate to purchase while on vacation.

Back to the Grind: Vacation Relaxation Quick to Wear Off for Many People

While vacations provide a time to unwind and connect with friends and family, the feeling of vacation relaxation can wear off quickly.

To see the 2011 Summer Travel Outlook Infographic, click here.  

About the HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report:
Data for the HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report was collected via surveys that poll travelers on vacation rental-and travel-related issues. Survey data collected from HomeAway, Inc. internal customer satisfaction research are based on 957 responses collected between April 7-10, 2011. Market trends were based on a combination of in-depth research of supplier and consumer markets from the HomeAway, Inc. database. In addition, some data included in the report was collected from a survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of HomeAway among 1,000 U.S. adults between April 7-11, 2011.

For information contact:
Eileen Buesing
Director of Global Public Relations
HomeAway, Inc.
Office- 512-493-0375

Summer Travel Infographic

Click on the image to see it full-size