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Female Travelers Put Family First When Planning Summer Vacation

Best Western survey shows how women plan, book and spend for summer vacation.

“These results really drive home the many factors that women take into consideration when making travel decisions. And how important it is for them to book a summer travel trip that’s a fit for the whole family, including themselves,” said Dorothy Dowling

PHOENIX  May 13, 2014

Women may be the primary decision-makers when it comes to purchasing, but their needs and wants often take a back seat when planning their summer vacation according to a new survey from Best Western International and Wakefield Research. The Best Western Female Travel Summer Survey found that 90 percent of U.S
. women frequently put the needs and wants of others over their own when planning summer vacation.

Additionally, the survey shows that 79 percent of women let other people influence the location of where they travel for summer getaways. For the majority of respondents (52 percent) that top travel influencer is their significant other, followed by their kids (30 percent), their extended family (16 percent) and their friends (13 percent).

“These results really drive home the many factors that women take into consideration when making travel decisions. And how important it is for them to book a summer travel trip that’s a fit for the whole family, including themselves,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western International.

Significant others also top the list of who women would most want to bring on their “dream summer vacation” – with 55 percent choosing to bring their sweetie on their ideal getaway. Only 18 percent of respondents would most want to bring their children on that dream summer vacation and 6 percent would most want to take that dream summer trip by themselves.

Summer Travel Spending

When it comes to where their dollars go while traveling, the survey found women would rather spend on excitement versus relaxation. When asked what they are most likely to splurge on while on summer vacation, activities and excursions was the No. 1 choice (33 percent), followed by dining out (28 percent) and shopping (21 percent). Only 8 percent of respondents are most likely to spend extra on spa treatments.

Women are also unlikely to spend extra for travel upgrades, which could speak to the trend of expecting more value (and fewer extra charges) out of their hotel and airfare. Only 7 percent of respondents say they would be most likely to splurge on hotel upgrades and 3 percent would be most likely to pay more for upgraded transportation.

While they are unlikely to pay more for upgrades, hotel nights was the top choice (54 percent) for how women typically choose to redeem their travel rewards loyalty points. This was followed closely by airfare (52 percent), while 31 percent redeem their points for merchandise or other non-travel items.

Smartphones and Summer Travel

Nearly half (46 percent) of women with smartphones use their phone to find restaurants, attractions and shops when traveling, illustrating the growing freedom smartphones give travelers to make decisions once they’ve arrived at their destination. Female travelers are also using smartphones to share their vacation experiences, with 31 percent of respondents saying they share feedback and photos from trips on social media, while 13 percent share feedback about a hotel on user review sites.

Mobile also continues to grow as a tool for travelers on the go. Thirty-two percent of respondents use their smartphone to research their hotel options and 27 percent actually book their hotel stay via their smartphone.

Additional Survey Highlights: 

  • Five percent of respondents say their pet influences where they travel for summer vacation, while 3 percent would choose their four legged friend as their top choice to bring on a dream summer vacation
  • Only 10 percent of women would most want to bring a friend on their dream summer vacation, though that’s still ahead of their extended family (parents, in-laws, etc.) which is the choice for 6 percent of those surveyed
  • While significant other is the top travel influencer amongst survey respondents as a whole, when filtering for moms specifically, kids jump to the top of that list with 64 percent saying their children influence summer travel decisions
  • Nine percent of women who belong to a travel rewards or loyalty program typically redeem those points for charity donations

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