SOURCE: Hipmunk

Hipmunk

February 02, 2015 08:05 ET

Travel Company Hipmunk Celebrates First Annual Hipmunk Day

Hipmunk Predicts the Year's Top Destinations and Travel Trends

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 2, 2015) - Every year on Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his hole to predict the weather for the remainder of winter. But these days we have weather apps for that. So today, Hipmunk's very own furry mascot, the Hipmunk, emerged from its burrow to offer predictions travelers really want. By surveying 1,000 American travelers, reviewing historical travel data, looking at 2015 flight search data, and evaluating current events, Hipmunk determined the top destinations and trends for summer 2015 and beyond.

2015 Travel Predictions*

  • Curiosity about Cuba will continue to build.
    • With relaxed travel policies from the U.S. to Cuba for the first time in nearly 50 years, U.S. travelers are excited to visit a Caribbean island that was forbidden for so long. Until commercial flights are available, Americans will still need to fly by special charter flight or catch a connecting flight to Cuba at a foreign airport.

  • Americans will use their vacation days.
    • 54 percent of the respondents of Hipmunk's first annual Hipmunk Day survey plan to use 10 or more vacation days in 2015 and 31 percent plan to take four or more trips this year.

  • Millennials will out-travel Generation Xers internationally.
    • 58 percent of millennials are most likely to visit a foreign country this year, compared to 33 percent of Generation Xers.

  • Americans will cross Europe off their bucket list.
    • Europe is the most popular dream destination, with 39 percent saying they'd take a European vacation over other types of trips if budget issues didn't keep them from fulfilling their travel bucket list. But American travelers are in luck. Now that the dollar to euro conversion rate is at the best it's been in years, purchases within the Euro Zone are essentially 20 percent lower than six months ago. Travelers are encouraged to book early to ensure they can get on a flight in the midst of increased demand.

  • The new wave of travel gadgets won't be adopted quickly.
    • Although travel gadgets were all the rage at CES 2015, interest from survey takers was relatively low. Only 22 percent are likely to try a smart backpack, 19 percent to try smart luggage, 18 percent to try waterproof and wi-fi enabled earbuds, and 9% to try a Bluetooth selfie stick.

  • More international travelers will visit Milan than any other city in the world.1
    • Expo Milano 2015 takes place from May through the end of October in Milan. With the theme, "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life," visitors will have the chance to sample the food and experience the traditions of people from all over the globe. More than 20 million visitors are expected in Milan just for the expo, which could make it the most visited city by international travelers in the world in 2015.

Summer 2015 Most-Searched Destinations**

Europe/UK

  • London
  • Dublin
  • Paris
  • Barcelona
  • Rome

Hipmunk Insight: With relaxed marijuana laws in the U.S., domestic travelers may skip a trip to Amsterdam and head to Colorado or Washington instead. Amsterdam fell from the #2 international spot in 2014 to the #7 international spot in 2015.

Asia

  • Bangkok
  • Manila
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo

Hipmunk Recommendation: Tokyo has the reputation of being a very expensive city, but it can be affordable now that the exchange rate from dollar to Japanese yen is more than 14 percent lower than it was a year ago. Hipmunk's Tokyo city guide offers additional cost-saving tips.

North America

  • Orlando
  • LA
  • Honolulu
  • Seattle
  • Las Vegas

Hipmunk Insight: There's no surprise that Orlando is the most searched-for domestic destination for summer 2015 dates. Two words: Disney World.

South America/Central America/Caribbean

  • San Juan
  • Lima
  • Punta Cana
  • Aruba
  • St. Thomas

To learn more about Hipmunk's travel predictions or book your 2015 vacation, visit the Hipmunk Day homepage. To plan travel on the go, download the Hipmunk Flight and Hotel App for free from the App Store and Google Play.

Methodology
*Hipmunk surveyed 1,000 American travelers regarding 2015 destinations, travel trends and preferences.
**Hipmunk analyzed searches for travel dates within the summer 2014 and summer 2015 months.

About Hipmunk
Hipmunk is the fastest, easiest way to plan travel. The site and mobile apps help save time and money by comparing top travel sites to show the perfect flight or hotel at the cheapest price. Hipmunk offers the most comprehensive travel search, from commercial flights, trains, and charter flights to hotels and vacation rentals through Airbnb and HomeAway. The unique display makes it easy to visually compare results to choose the best option.

1 2014 Global Destination Cities Index, MasterCard, http://newsroom.mastercard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Mastercard_GDCI_2014_Letter_Final_70814.pdf

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