A recent Expedia Group's Journey to Purchase study revealed the online travel habits of people seeking inspiration and planning their trips. The results show that people spend an average of 303 minutes, or more than 5 hours, viewing travel content in the 45 days before booking. Most of them visit an online travel agency's website before purchasing.
The study highlighted the sheer volume of the content that the travelers consult to decide when narrowing down their options in the 45 days before booking online.
Travelers, on average, tend to browse through 141 pages of travel-related content within 45 days of booking a trip. The number of page views is even higher for travelers visiting the United States, reaching up to 277 pages. These pageviews are spread across their entire buying journey.
The search rate is relatively low in the initial planning phase, at around 2.5 page views per day. However, as the booking date approaches, search activity increases rapidly, reaching up to 25 page views on the day of purchase.
According to the study, travelers rely heavily on certain resources. The top five resources include online travel agencies (80%), search engines (61%), social media (58%), airline websites (54%), and travel websites (51%).
Additionally, four out of five travelers visit an online travel agency's website before purchasing. This means travelers have likely visited other sites for inspiration, research, or trip planning, even if they book on another website.
Many travelers are unsure where to travel before planning their trips. According to a survey, almost 59% of travelers had no specific destination or considered multiple options when they first decided to travel.
According to the survey data, over 80% of Mexican and 62% of British travelers have not yet decided on their destination. This suggests that these individuals are open to suggestions and ideas. Additionally, many respondents reported being swayed by the content they come across on social media and through advertising.
Regarding making purchases, 77% of social media users rely on inspiration. A survey revealed that 19% of travelers were influenced by advertising when booking a trip. Interestingly, Mexican travelers were the most affected, with 40% saying ads played a role in their decision-making. Additionally, those who book vacation rentals (26%) and hotels (22%) are also more likely to be swayed by advertising.
The study was conducted between March 24 and April 19, 2023 across seven markets – Australia, Canada, the United States, France, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom. 5,713 consumers aged 18 and above who had booked travel online within the past six months were surveyed.