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More Americans plan to take long weekends this spring and summer, according to Travelzoo. Beach destinations are the most popular trips. Most plan to travel by car to destinations. Many will opt for planes or trains for destinations further away.
Long weekends are becoming increasingly popular with American vacationers, who historically have not used all of their paid time off.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans surveyed by Travelzoo plan to take at least one long weekend vacation this summer, and 50 percent of those surveyed said they plan to take more long weekend trips than they did last year.
Travelzoo, which offers deals on hotels, travel packages, restaurants and destination experiences, defines a long weekend as at least one day off from work added to Saturday and Sunday.
“Long weekend trips are in, and the good news is that there are more options now with lower fares to Europe and the increasing availability of last-minute deals,” said Mike Stitt, Travelzoo’s president for North America. “Even with the ongoing headlines about safety and security, Americans are still eager to get out of town this summer.”
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The long weekend questions were part of Travelzoo’s Summer Travel Trends 2017 survey completed by 1,367 consumers who responded to third-party, online research in early April. While the sample may be small statistically, the findings can provide encouragement for those of us who have not yet committed to a summer vacation. After all, it’s easier to miss one day of work than an entire week’s worth. Think of a long weekend as conditioning yourself to take time off.
“It’s a known fact that Americans don’t use all of their vacation time,” said Stitt. “But it’s encouraging to see Americans’ increasing interest in long weekend trips. … This trend could ultimately mean more trips and more travel experiences overall for American travelers.”
TRAVELZOO’S LONG WEEKEND FINDINGS
· A majority of respondents are willing to travel three or more hours from home for a long weekend.
· Car travel is the most popular form of transportation for long weekends within the U.S.
· 40 percent of respondents said they would travel by plane or train for destinations more than five hours from their homes.
· More than 65 percent of respondents would travel to Europe for a long weekend if the airfare were $500 or less.
· More than 50 percent of respondents prefer beach getaways for spring and summer.
· Nearly half of those who travel for business report taking a “bleisure” trip, one that combines business with pleasure by adding extra time at a destination before or at the end of a business trip.
Follow Candyce H. Stapen on Twitter: @FamilyiTrips