Travel booking trends revealed in let’s-book-it moments

You’ve been there as you prepare to click “reserve” for that cruise or last-minute flight hotel room. The destinations are being explored. The research has been completed, and now you can make your reservation.

In these moments of book-it-now, people are ready to make their money a part of their choices. They often use the internet to find these tiny moments. The behavior of consumers is changing in these instances, which influences the trends in the travel industry at large as well as corporate travel patterns.

94% of leisure travelers change between their devices as they plan or book their vacation.

People looking to book usually have narrowed their search and may have chosen the destination and the brand they’d like to work with. When they are in this situation, people tend to search for “[brand name] + [location].” In fact, nearly half of these searches occur via phones. 

In these book-it-now moments on mobile phones, it’s more than just looking at what’s happening. The majority of travelers book their travel through smartphones. Most leisure travelers have booked trips via a smartphone, and 53 percent of business travelers do the same.3 In the case of those looking to book hotels, We see that nearly 50% of Google Hotel Ads bookings come from mobile devices, growing by nearly 2.4X year over year.

Omnichannel shoppers: An emerging retail reality

A snapshot of a true traveler’s journey to make a decision

Internet interactions are now shaping the way people plan for their next travel. New data on clickstreams from Luth Research’s opt-in panel (illustrating the pages that a user visited, as well as in what the order) gives a glimpse of the actual traveler’s time-to-plan instances were like. When we analyze this traveler’s search and clicks, visits to websites, and video views as she was planning her next trip and travel plans, we can understand what digital was involved in influencing her destination.

Meet Kendra. Kendra is a single mom of three who travels for pleasure and business. Over five months, she organized travel for business to Amarillo and Kerrville, Texas, and explored vacation destinations like San Antonio, Whistler, and Puerto Rico.

Look over Kendra’s travel moments in micro-moments over five months.


The trend of booking travel on mobiles, specifically

While bookings and research on mobile devices have increased, most travelers, particularly those on personal trips, book their travel on a desktop or laptop. Ninety-four percent of leisure travelers change between their devices when they plan or book their vacation. 6 And 46% of people who use smartphones say they decide to book their trip on mobile, only to book their trip on another gadget. 7

What is the reason for this? Two reasons are anxiety and the limitations of mobile booking websites and apps.

The fear factor when booking travel via mobile

Sixty-nine percent of leisure travelers are worried about not getting the best deal or making the best choice. In addition, only 23% of those who travel for leisure believe they can locate all the details about flights and hotels on their smartphones as they do on their desktop. 8 

The majority of people double-check their purchases more precisely on desktops or laptops. About two-thirds of leisure travelers double-check the prices on their computer after buying flights on smartphones, and over half double-check the hotel’s prices. 8

Mobile booking sites have limitations and apps.

Five-fourths of leisure and 69 percent of business travelers claim that mobile restrictions or usability are the primary reasons for booking using a different gadget. 9

In addition to the risk of people switching devices, you could lose customers to rivals. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of people who use smartphones are likely to switch to a different website or app if the one they’re using doesn’t meet their requirements.


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