How Smartphones Impact Travel Plans

  • Published by Vedat
Expedia, Inc., the world's leading online travel company, released the results of a survey which was commissioned by Expedia® and conducted online by Harris Interactive in July among over 2,000 U.S. adults age 18+.

smartphonesU.S. adults were asked about what spontaneous activities they have done, what last-minute trips they're likely to take, and how their mobile devices play into their travel planning. By downloading the Expedia app, travelers have access to build a spontaneous trip on the fly; and for winners of the Trip-A-Day Giveaway, they'll have a $1200 Expedia voucher to help make their trip a reality.

Nearly all U.S. adults (92%) consider themselves at least a little spontaneous. Americans showed this in different ways over the last year: nearly half of U.S. adults went impulse shopping (49%), or "paid it forward" by treating someone else with something kind (49%). Approximately one third of Americans took last-minute trips out of town (30%).

Booking last minute trips continues to get easier, faster and more affordable as technology evolves. For example, Expedia culls over 65 billion potential flight options when offering flights between Los Angeles, CA and New York City, NY and presents clean, simple, beautiful options to customers so they can book a flight on the Expedia app in less than 60 seconds. Ease of use is even more important today, as Expedia is seeing a continuous increase in mobile bookings across its app and mobile site. The data from the Harris survey finds that that there is a large group of mobile bookers: 28% of smartphone owners have used their mobile device to book a hotel, and 34% indicated they haven't yet but they intend to.

Trips booked via mobile devices can also present more opportunities to save money, since last-minute hotel bookings often come with discounted rates. Of American adults who make travel reservations from their phone, 78% are fulfilled in less than one month. This is reinforced by data from Expedia's mobile bookings that demonstrates that more than half of hotel stays booked through a mobile device are for reservations beginning in the next 24 hours. Once on the go, travelers continue to rely on their mobile devices, with 84% of Americans who ever travel noting that using their smartphone makes it "at least somewhat easier" to be spontaneous while travelling.

Interestingly, while most Americans indicated they dream of taking a spontaneous trip to an exotic location (28%), only 7% indicate they would actually go; instead, the majority of Americans were found to be more likely to take a spontaneous trip to a beach (26%). This may be due to money and location – 47% of Americans indicated money was the biggest factor in planning a spontaneous trip, and only 5% of U.S. adults who ever take last minute trips indicated they travel out of the country on last-minute trips. However, if a trip was paid for by someone else, 93% of U.S. adults claim they would be "at least somewhat likely" to drop everything at a moment's notice to go on their dream trip.

To demonstrate how easy it is to use the Expedia app for local or international travel, Expedia approached people on the street to show off its app in a new television advertisement. If someone agreed to drop what he was doing to leave for his dream trip right away, Expedia would pay for the vacation. One lucky man took the offer and was given a free trip to see the Great Wall of China. In the spirit of finding your spontaneity, customers who download the Expedia app on their compatible Android or iOS devices will be entered into the Expedia® Trip-A-Day Giveaway. A winner will be selected each day and given a $1200 coupon to put towards any trip booked through Expedia. More information on this giveaway, including updates on winners, entry rules and information about the Expedia app, can be found at



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