Cheap Hotels. You've seen the bad news in Lodging Facts that 60-70% of the American Vacation budget is spent on hotels! (I just have statistics for the U.S. - no slight intended to my Canadian and global readers! I doubt if global statistics are much different.)
According to AAA'sLeisure Travel Index for 2012, hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase four percent from a year ago with travelers spending an average of $164 per night compared to $157 last year.
What does that buy you? Unfortunately, according to the National Leisure Travel Monitor, 93.5% of Americans are ending up staying in far less than luxury accommodations for that $164 per night! The study showed that 43% stay in chain hotels/motels, 7.5% stay in independent hotels/motels, 9.5% stay in economy hotels/motels, 34% stay in moderate hotels/motels, and only 6.5% stay in luxury hotels.
And yet more and more families are trying to travel, which is a good thing! Today, the U.S. Travel Association defines “family travel” to include many types of traveling parties, including married couples traveling together, spouses traveling with children, grandparents traveling with grandchildren, single parents with children, reunion-goers, siblings with relatives and more.
According to the Ypartnership’s National Leisure Travel Monitor, the percentage of adults who are traveling with their own children has increased from 26% in 2000 to 38% in 2008. Wow! That's such a positive trend!
The 2010 Portrait of American Travelers revealed that nearly 50% of leisure travelers had taken one trip with children in the past 12 months, and that 41% had taken an average of 2.5 trips!
Members of Generation X (born between 1965 and 1978) are twice as likely to travel with children as any other demographic (see, I've never felt like Gen Xers get enough credit -- they have been painted as a "Don't Care" generation, but that's always from a corporate point-of-view.
I think they actually have their priorities straight and no longer buy in to their career being everything! See -- family is more important!) About 28% of leisure travelers are grandparents and, of them, 32% have taken one or more trips with children in the past 12 months (how awesome is that?!)
More families are traveling -- but having to settle for trying to cramp into cheap hotels! Well I happen to think that's just not right! It's your vacation! The study showed that 50% of leisure travelers are adults traveling with children. That means they are all trying to cram into a low-end hotel box in order to go on vacation!
Couples make up 61% and adults traveling alone accounted for 28% -- they may not be quite so cramped, but the "low-end" part isn't appealing no matter who you are.
You know how I know? Here's the "first class" test. Economy cars are rented the most, by far, but occasionally someone returns "your" car late, and the company has to give you a free upgrade to a luxury car in order to fulfill your reservation. Are you going to take the luxury car? Of course you are! Who wouldn't?
That's how you divide the "have to" do economy from "choosing to." No one would choose an economy hotel box if they could have a first class home-away-from-home for the same or less money, right? That's my whole point! We all deserve better! Review Timeshare vs Hotel to see how much less over time!
Where we're all going on vacation is interesting:
Now someone on the list is checking more than one category, because it all adds up to more than 100% (?), but every one of these vacations still deserve first class accommodations rather than cheap hotels. Okay, well a tent for camping, but the rest definitely -- first class!
Because Americans only have 13 days vacation on average, compared to 26 days in Canada and 42 in Italy, weekend getaways (52%) are about all Americans can manage. But they are still going, with 95% of all travelers in America taking at least one vacation during the last 12 months. The average traveler actually took four of these short getaways.
The desperate vacation situation in America of only having 13 days and feeling job insecurity if you even use those days has to change, of course. See Take Back Your Time to see how you can get involved.
I say the cheap hotel situation has got to change, too! Review Why Timeshare to see why I recommend this first class dirt cheap alternative!
Life is way too short, and vacations too few and far between to spend them in a cheap hotel box!
You and the people you love deserve better!