43 Percent of U.S. Respondents Planning Trips to Escape the "Winter Doldrums," According to TripAdvisor Survey

NEWTON, Mass., Nov. 19, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the results of its winter travel survey of more than 2,600 U.S. respondents, revealing that 79 percent plan to travel for leisure this winter, up from 67 percent who did so last year. Forty-three percent are planning winter trips to escape the "winter doldrums."

Travelers Prefer Warm Weather Escapes During Winter

  • 84% prefer visiting warm destinations over cold locales during winter trips
  • The beach is the most popular trip type this winter (51%), followed by city escapes (37%), and cruises (12%)
  • Nine of the 10 most searched destinations on TripAdvisor for upcoming winter trips are warm-weather spots

"More Americans are planning winter leisure trips this year, with warm destinations topping their searches on TripAdvisor," said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. "Travelers looking for an affordable winter escape will do best to avoid traveling during the last two weeks of December. TripAdvisor data shows that travelers can save about 25 percent compared to the average winter travel rates if they take their trips during early December or mid-January."

Top 10 Winter Destinations, Average Costs and Most Affordable Time to Visit1


Avg. Cost of a
Winter Trip

Most Affordable
Week to Visit
1. Cancun, Mexico $235 $547 $2,192 Dec. 6 – 13: $1,625
26% savings
2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic $374 $653 $3,271 Dec. 6 – 13: $2,329
29% savings
3. New York City, New York $307 $444 $2,593 Jan. 17 – 24: $1,955
25% savings
4. Las Vegas, Nevada $155 $330 $1,415 Dec. 13 – 20: $943
33% savings
5. Orlando, Florida $216 $391 $1,903 Nov. 29 – Dec. 6: $1,585
17% savings
6. Key West, Florida $473 $668 $3,979 Jan. 10 – 17: $3,413
14% savings
7. Playa del Carmen, Mexico $299 $547 $2,640 Dec. 6 – 13: $1,901
28% savings
8. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico $398 $534 $3,320 Dec. 6 – 13: $2,592
22% savings
9. New Orleans, Louisiana $268 $381 $2,257 Dec. 6 – 13: $1,631
28% savings
10. Honolulu, Hawaii $282 $847 $2,821 Nov. 29 – Dec. 6: $2,350
17% savings

In nine of the top 10 winter travel destinations, the least affordable week to travel this winter falls over the New Year (Dec. 27 – Jan. 3), when the price of a one-week trip increases an average of 40 percent compared to the seasonal average.

Winter Travel Fast Facts

  • 73% plan to fly during their winter leisure trips, while 58% will drive
  • 64% are planning to spend more than $2,000
  • 61% will stay in a hotel, and one-in-four (25%) plan to rest their heads in a vacation rental
  • 56% have experienced a trip delay or cancellation due to inclement winter weather

An Early Look at 2015 Travel Plans

  • Compared to 2014, 33% say they plan to take more leisure trips in 2015, while 58% plan to take about the same and 9% plan to take less
  • Travelers are planning to take an average of 4.25 leisure trips in 2015, compared 3.97 trips in 2014
  • One-third plan to spend more on travel during the upcoming year, while 15% plan to spend less

1Notes to Editors

Top destinations for U.S. travelers during the upcoming winter travel period (December 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015) according to TripAdvisor site search data.

Average costs to visit the top winter travel destinations are representative of a one-week, Saturday-Saturday trip including roundtrip airfare and seven nights in a hotel between November 29, 2014 and March 28, 2015:

Avg. Nightly Hotel Rate includes the average nightly rate of a 3-4 star hotel in each destination, sourced using TripAdvisor Hotel Price Comparison.

Avg. Airfare includes the average round-trip airfare to each destination based on fares from the top 20 busiest U.S. airports: ATL, BOS, CLT, DEN, DFW, DTW, EWR, IAH, JFK, LAS, LAX, LGA, MCO, MIA, MSP, ORD, PHL, PHX, SEA, and SFO. Pricing information was sourced using TripAdvisor Flights and is accurate of fares found since October 1, 2014.

The most affordable week to visit each destination this winter highlights the least expensive one-week trip for the 17 Saturday-Saturday departure / return dates between November 29, 2014 and March 28, 2015, compared to the seasonal average.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 315 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 190 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.lafourchette.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, www.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, August 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q3 2014; does not include traffic to daodao.com

CONTACT: Julie Cassetina (617) 670-6529 jcassetina@tripadvisor.com