Kayak.com Survey Finds That Despite Economy, Scrooge Won't Be Stealing Christmas Travel Cheer This Year, But Meaning of 'Family' Travel Is Changing
Accessibility of new travel price tracking tools is enabling more people to play Santa and personally deliver presents to loved ones
To demonstrate the importance of family during the holidays for Kayak.com users, 39 percent of those will not sacrifice their plans due to the current economy. Twenty-nine percent of holiday travelers will trim their travel budget in addition to the tree by cutting the trip short by a few days or sacrificing a direct flight or desired times/dates for a cheaper price with layovers and early morning departures. Only 18 percent reported feeling too strapped financially to travel anywhere.
"Travelers have definitely become savvy shoppers as more than 43 percent of Kayakers indicated they monitored fares longer than in years past using Fare Alerts," said Drew Patterson, VP of Marketing. "Our search data shows that people are spending more time on the site, returning more often, and using tools such as Flexible Search, Buzz Calendar and others before making a purchase. Consumer patience, diligence and willingness to embrace these tools has truly paid off, as 42 percent told us they were able to keep their total trip cost between $200-$399."
Being savvy may also come in handy for last minute holiday shoppers looking for the perfect gift. Respondents said that a surprise romantic break in a European city (38 percent) or a White Christmas of the sandy kind (34 percent) is the perfect holiday present.
For those last minute planners, the travel experts at Kayak.com offer the following tips for snagging a last minute deal:
- Avoid rush hour in the skies. Flying on off-peak days around the holidays can be more than $100 cheaper per ticket, which really adds up for a family of four. You can save a bundle by traveling on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Avoid returning over the weekend and opt for flights on Monday or Tuesday.
- Flexible travelers can save hundreds of dollars. Use Kayak.com's Flexible Search tool which displays prices up to three days before/after desired dates to find the most affordable dates of travel.
- Forget customer loyalty. Frequent flier miles aren't as valuable as they used to be, so book with another carrier if it means a deal. Many low-cost carriers fly into less-expensive airports like Burbank or Long Beach instead of LAX. What they save in airport fees, they pass on to the consumer.
- The total cost of a flight doesn't always end with the ticket purchase. To help travelers calculate how much their trip will really cost, Kayak.com provides an Airline Fee Chart on the results page that allows travelers to easily view and compare an airline's policy for luggage, in-flight food/beverage and other fees in one location.
- Avoid the pull-out couch. Kayak.com's hotel search feature makes it easy to find an affordable hotel that's as close to - or far away from - the in-laws' house. Simply input the holiday host's home address and instantly view several hotel options on a Google map for easy selection.
Editor's Note: Results of Kayak.com's first Christmas survey can be found in the newsroom: .
About Kayak.com | Kayak.com, the largest Travel 2.0 site in the world, is a global Internet media company operating Kayak.com, Sidestep.com, TravelPost.com and TravelSearch.com. Kayak.com and SideStep.com display results from more than 400 travel sites, providing prices and itineraries for hundreds of airlines, more than 100,000 hotels, all leading rental car companies and 18 cruise lines. Kayak.com has won more awards since launch than any other travel site including "100 Best Products of 2007" by PC World; "25 Sites We Can't Live Without" by TIME Magazine; "Best Search Engine" by the Associated Press; and "Best of the Web" by BusinessWeek, Forbes.com and US News & World Report. Launched in 2005 by co-founders of Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia, Kayak.com's investors include General Catalyst Partners, Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Trident Capital, Oak Investment Partners, Lehman Brothers Venture Partners and America Online, Inc. . Kayak.com has sites in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, India, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. For more information, visit .