Travel Guard: End of year travel projected to increase

November 1, 2009 – Are you thinking about planning a trip sometime soon but not sure when? The end of 2009 or early 2010 may prove to be the best time yet to travel because of great deals and a recovering economy, according to a recent survey conducted by Ruf Strategic Solutions on behalf of Travel Guard.

More than 40 percent of travelers say the improving U.S. economic outlook makes it more likely they will travel before the end of 2009, and an overwhelming 70 percent say today’s historically low air fares combined with recent passenger benefit upgrades and service enhancements will motivate them to travel in the next few months.

Consumer confidence is building, according to the survey, suggesting Americans may be more likely to pursue vacation travel as the economy shows signs of bouncing back. Of those not planning travel in 2009, only 9 percent cited the economy as a factor.

In all, the largest group of respondents said they will travel in the fall and/or winter of 2009 (43 percent), and most who intend to travel are seeking extended journeys to an international destination or a cruise vacation (both about 20 percent). Less popular options were visiting family and friends or traveling to a U.S. city or destination and shorter getaways close to home. Whatever kind of vacation travelers are planning for this time period, most responded that they will spend between $1,000 and $5,000 all together for their trip.

The survey results also reflect travel’s importance to today’s consumers. For example, most consumers surveyed (30 percent) would not forego a vacation to make another significant discretionary purchase. Interestingly, the next-most popular discretionary purchase options after vacations were house/apartment remodeling, new car and apparel purchases (all around 20 percent).

Still, the survey revealed that travelers are concerned that routine travel mishaps could affect their vacation plans. For example, 38 percent were concerned with airline fees, while 36 percent were very concerned about airline delays and/or cancellations in 2009. Results seem to indicate that while there’s no doubt that consumer confidence is strengthening, unexpected travel problems may still impact a vacationer’s travel plans.

So go ahead and take advantage of the many travel deals out there this holiday season by calling your travel agent. And when you do, don’t forget to inquire about a  travel insurance plan to cover you on your next trip, or visit today.

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