Timeshare used to be much more “same week, same place” but with the boom of timeshare resorts and innovative ownership programmes, holidaymakers are using their points to travel more – and enjoy new experiences, from yacht holidays to safaris.
So have our holiday habits changed over the years? A new survey conducted in the US by InsureMyTrip reveals that 55% of holidaymakers do not want – or plan – to return to the same place they visited last summer, they’re looking for fresh experiences and new places to see.
The results were part of the 2015 Summer Travel Guide, a compilation of data-driven insights “to help consumers travel smarter” this year.
The survey also took into account travel planning styles and preferences – consumers were asked if they’d rather stay in a hotel or not (timeshare stays account for 4 out of every 100 resort bookings).
And the message that holidays are good for our health has been hitting home, with 82% saying they definitely will be going on holiday this year and only 6% saying they had no plans to take a break at all.
On the “travel worries” front, concerns included overspending, disruption of holiday plans or transport bookings due to ill health or weather conditions.
InsureMyTrip conducted a highly-targeted survey and restricted the respondent pool to a specific group of US travellers who had either researched or actually purchased travel insurance within the past 18 months.
The results are in! Here’s what the survey revealed about our holiday habits (…and guess which destination is the most popular outside the USA? The answer might surprise you. Scroll down to find out!)
Travellers prefer to visit new destinations
55% will visit a new destination this summer 24% will sometimes visit the same destination 22% do tend to visit the same destination
Most will go on a summer vacation this year
An overwhelming 82 percent said they were planning a summer vacation, while 12 percent said they had no plans yet. Six percent had no plans. Out of those polled, 67 percent will get to their destination by air.
Preference for hotels
42% will stay in a hotel 25% will go on a cruise 18% will stay in a vacation rental 10% prefer to stay with family or friends 4% will use a timeshare
Sightseeing is top summer travel activity
50% enjoy sightseeing the most during a summer vacation 23% like going to the beach or relaxing 13% enjoy spending time with family and friends the most 10% other 3% eating at restaurants
Travellers book well in advance
Most travellers prefer to book vacations in advance with 82 percent booking a trip more than 30 days in advance, 15 percent booking a few weeks prior to departure and three percent preferring spur of the moment trips.
Top travel concerns – money, health
The poll reveals that most summer travellers are concerned about overspending, health issues and bad weather affecting travel. Here is the list of concerns in order of popularity:
- Health issues before or during a trip
- Hurricane or bad weather affecting travel plans
- Missing a flight
- Bad experience with food or accommodations
The survey also asked how much travellers planned to spend on a vacation. Nearly half polled (47 percent) will spend over $1500 on a vacation budget. Thirty-one percent will spend over $5000.
Most popular international destinations
This list shows the most popular summer destinations for travel outside the US (June 2015 – August 2015). This information was pulled from internal customer data.
- United Kingdom
More interest in travel to Europe
InsureMyTrip teamed up with pricing app Hopper to research travel trends this summer. With the strong US dollar, it is not surprising to find more Americans booking trips to Europe this summer and taking advantage of a bargain.
According to Hopper, the cheapest times to fly to Europe this summer are in the beginning of May and the end of August.
- June is the most popular month for European travel
- Prices peak at the end of July
Top travel insurance needs
To gain insight on the travel insurance needs of summer travellers, the research team polled licensed travel insurance agents from InsureMyTrip. Here are the top reasons why travelers purchase travel insurance for summer travel, listed in order of importance:
- Hurricanes or bad weather affecting travel plans
- Concerns over coverage for a vacation rental
- Health issues affecting travel plans
InsureMyTrip estimates 80 percent of travel insurance consumers purchase a comprehensive policy. Comprehensive travel insurance provides a variety of benefits including medical coverage, emergency travel services, baggage protection, and trip cancellation and interruption coverage.
Tip: Travelers concerned about hurricanes should purchase travel insurance early. Once a storm starts forming, insurance is no longer available.