Americans spent $814 billion on domestic travel last year, according to the U.S. Travel Association. As it happens, they're also spending a lot of time online planning that trip—with a little help from automated friends.
Nowadays, there are no shortages of options to find good vacation deals. Since moving away from travel agents, planning a trip has meant multiple searches on desktop sites, in addition to mobile and through apps.
A study found in the six weeks before actually booking a vacation, prospective travelers visit up to 38 sites. That search can include online travel engines like Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline, plus airline, hotel and review sites.
However, Kayak CEO Steve Hafner says new technologies are now starting to change how travelers plan and book their trips.
"It will be less point-and-click websites," Hafner told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview. More and more, potential vacationers will now be helped by "spoken work and chat bots."
Disruptive technology shifts have broad implications for the travel industry, Hafner explained. "What we're seeing is there's a whole generation of people who are more familiar with text messaging and voice via Siri who are looking for a different interaction with an online travel agency," he said, speaking of Apple's automated helpmate.