According to a new survey commissioned by priceline.com, last-minute getaways are the favored trip type for the new year, and young Americans aren't afraid to open their wallets wide for that "special" vacation. Almost half (49%) of all Americans who didn't take a last-minute vacation in 2014 say they regret it. But it's the millennials who are most eager to do something about it.
Seventy-three percent of millennials say they are likely to take a last-minute vacation in 2015. In total, 58 percent of Americans surveyed say they agree that a last-minute 2015 getaway is in the cards.
Forget about waiting until summer. Forty percent said they'll most likely kick off their travel on the Valentine's Day long weekend (Feb. 14-16), with Easter running close behind (32%) and St. Patrick's Day (11%). With the year-end holidays barely in the rear-view mirror, only six percent said they planned to travel over the recent Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday.
And here's a warning to bosses. Sixty nine percent of millennials have no problem telling a "tall tale" (I'm sick, my kid's sick, my car got stolen, someone close to me died, etc.) in order to play hooky and get away from the office for a few days. This is in sharp contrast with Americans in other age groups, where less than half (45%) would fib to take a vacation.
Lovers in last-minute paradise. The survey also uncovered plenty of "triggers" to plan a spur-of-the-moment getaway this year. But, Americans would be most willing to plan a last-minute vacation for a romantic getaway (55%) – followed by a surprise celebration, such as a birthday (42%), a guys or girls getaway (25%), a wedding (19%) or to attend a sporting event (18%). Last-minute travelers will also spend more freely for these types of trips. For example, 56 percent said they will make reservations at an ultra-luxurious 5-star hotel for a romantic getaway, while 22 percent will splurge for someone's birthday.
Priceline.com said it believes that mobile services like the priceline.com travel app are helping fuel this wanderlust by making it easy to reserve everything from a hotel, to a flight and rental car, in a few touches on a smartphone or tablet. "As comfort levels with mobile travel reservations continue to rise in 2015, travelers will increasingly be on the lookout for last-minute travel ideas, deals and technology – we call this seizing the Travel App-ortunity," said John Caine, priceline.com's Chief Product Officer. "Last-minute travel is when priceline.com's relationships across the travel industry and our dedication to mobile app innovation really come into play. In fact, our exclusive mobile deals are so popular that we've partnered with hotels to add another 2,000 deals for our mobile customers."