Summer Vacations: 44 Percent Have not Booked, 72 Have not Saved

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HomeAway shares science-based tips to make the best vacation memories even on a limited budget.

Nearly half of U.S. adults (44 percent) have not planned their summer vacations yet, according to new data from HomeAway®, the world leader in vacation rentals, and Radius Global Market Research. The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults also found 72 percent of Americans have not started saving for summer travel, with many planning on using tax refunds, work bonuses, or even income from taking on additional jobs to book their next getaway.

Luckily, prospective travelers may not need to save much money to plan their perfect trip, according to HomeAway’s Science of Memories study, which surveyed 700 summer travelers before, during and after their vacations, finding that more expensive vacations do not result in better memories.

“Planning an unforgettable trip doesn’t have to cost a fortune or be booked well in advance. One of the most interesting findings of our vacation memories study is that $5,000 vacations aren’t any more memorable than those that cost just $500,” said Melanie Fish, HomeAway family travel expert. “The study also found getting excited about taking a trip before you travel can increase its memorability by up to 73 percent, so now is the time to anticipate and daydream about summertime getaways.”

Additional findings from HomeAway’s Science of Memories provide travelers with helpful tips on planning more memorable vacations – including research to help those who have already booked their trips:

1. Snap those selfies: travelers who take photos and selfies are 40 percent more likely to remember their vacations well. Notably, Instagram users are 24 percent more likely to clearly remember how they feel during important vacation moments than Facebook users.
2. Don’t break the bank: HomeAway’s research showed that expensive vacations are not more memorable than economical trips.
3. Get excited: vacationers who report feeling happy and excited before their vacations are 73 percent more likely to remember their vacations well those who felt stressed, frustrated or calm.
4. Head to the mountains or hit the beach: mountain and beach vacations are the most memorable destinations. Cities ranked as the least memorable in HomeAway’s sample, coming in under amusement parks and small towns.

This is welcome news for HomeAway travelers as many are flocking to sunny destinations including the Florida panhandle, HomeAway’s most popular destination this summer. Other high-demand areas include Myrtle Beach, Maui and the greater Orlando area near Walt Disney World. For these top destinations, average rates for HomeAway vacation rentals range from $117 to $360 per night.

“If families haven’t planned their summer getaways yet, there’s no need to stress - there are still vacation homes available even in the peak summer weeks, especially if there’s a willingness to be a little flexible on location,” added Fish. “For example, travelers visiting the Florida panhandle can save almost $200 per night by renting a home in Panama City Beach versus the pricier South Walton area, based on average nightly rates for the region. Visitors to North Carolina’s coastal beaches can save $56 per night on their vacation rentals by opting to visit central coast beaches such as Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach versus the more popular Outer Banks area.”

About the surveys

The HomeAway Science of Memories study surveyed more than 700 travelers from six countries throughout the summer of 2016. Travelers were surveyed before, during, and after their trips with questions designed to measure memory recall. In addition to being the first survey of its kind to investigate the factors that create lasting vacation memories, the HomeAway Science of Memories study is one of the first surveys to investigate the impact of technology usage on vacation memory formation. This research study was designed and conducted by HomeAway and researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. Hanover Research aided in the fielding and analysis of the survey. For more information on what makes vacations memorable, check out the white paper.

HomeAway’s data on the summer travel planning habits of Americans comes courtesy of Radius Global Market Research. 1,135 U.S. adults aged 18+ were surveyed in early April 2017 to determine how many Americans have planned and saved for their summer vacations. Additional information on the top destinations of summer travelers was sourced from HomeAway internal data.

About HomeAway

HomeAway, based in Austin, Texas, is the world leader in vacation rentals with sites representing more than 1.2 million online bookable vacation rental homes in 190 countries, and is a part of the Expedia, Inc. family of brands. Through HomeAway, owners and property managers offer an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, often for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations. The company also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to advertise their properties and manage bookings online. The HomeAway portfolio includes the leading vacation rental websites,, and in the United States; and in the United Kingdom; in Germany; and in France; and in Spain; in Brazil; and in Australia; in New Zealand; and in Asia, The company also operates, the most comprehensive global site for finding bed-and-breakfast properties, providing travelers with another source for unique lodging alternatives to chain hotels. For more information about HomeAway, please visit

© 2017 HomeAway. All rights reserved. HomeAway and the HomeAway logo are trademarks of HomeAway. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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