TravelBoom, a leading data-driven digital marketing agency, has just released its 2022 Budget Travel Trends Study report, after surveying more than 2,000 travelers this year amid exhaustive research on the topic. By comparing their responses to those of the combined 90,000 participants in previous studies, the company has come up with a comprehensive picture of how the sector is changing.

The agency’s last major leisure travel study was conducted in 2019, so this year’s report reveals a lot about how leisure travelers’ planning and booking behavior has changed since before the pandemic. Currently, some of the most influential factors that are creating some surprising changes in consumer mindsets, preferences, and behavior are the rising cost of travel, the overall economy, ongoing concerns about COVID-19, and technological tools.


“Leisure travel continues to be one of the most impacted industries in the post-pandemic period and consumers are very aware of inflation, ongoing concerns of COVID-19, along with high expectations for destinations and accommodations,” Pete said. DiMaio, COO of TravelBoom. “Our annual Leisure Travel Trends study allows us to better understand the consumer mindset and purchase journey so we can tailor our marketing strategies for greater impact.”

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Key insights:

— High costs are affecting vacation plans.

Over a third of respondents said they may have to cancel existing vacation plans due to budget concerns. Fifty-six percent said high gas prices moderately or significantly affect their travel decisions. The top pain points that prevented respondents from booking travel in the first place were budget concerns (53 percent), transportation costs (48 percent) and accommodation costs (45 percent).

— Travelers are conducting more online searches than ever before.

Travelers are doing more deep dives online and investigating their options more thoroughly. The average traveler visits 5.5 websites during the process of planning and booking their vacation, which typically include a search engine, meta engine, OTA, review site, and the hotel website itself.

— Factors influencing travel decisions are changing.

In 2022, 46.3 percent of respondents cited price as their top consideration when planning a vacation, compared to 37.9 percent in 2019. Along with the price of their stay, transportation costs, amenities, and loyalty programs are some of the factors that can influence travelers’ choices.

— COVID-19 continues to affect travel.

The study found that 55 percent of people still consider the risks of COVID-19 before booking their travel. Among U.S. leisure travelers, only 13.5 percent said the pandemic still has a major impact on travel. But 45 percent of Canadian travelers answered the same, demonstrating the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on international travel.

— Reviews have never been more important in the traveler decision-making process.

The study found that 82 percent of travelers will not book their stay at a property without first consulting customer reviews. “Reviews and social proof are key points for a vacation booking,” the report says. In fact, reviews are an ongoing part of the shopping process, with nearly 40 percent of travel consumers referring to reviews at every step of vacation planning.

You can download a copy of TravelBoom’s full 2022 Leisure Travel Trends Study here.

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