The college experience is a time where students learn the importance of researching quality information. Often the stresses can be overwhelming, but every student understands the value of a great vacation. Nationally recognized travel expert Kendra Thornton lays down the 2017 travel trends and College News magazine is intrigued. Revealing the results of a new travel trends survey conducted by Choice Hotels, Thornton speaks on the best US and international destinations for 2017 and includes how to save during your next vacation. She discusses travel trends, the benefits of a well-planned trip and where you can find the best places to stay on spring break. The travel trends survey also revealed which travel experiences are among the most valued and why you should plan and be prepared for your next trip.
College News: Kendra Thornton, you have a new travel trends survey that was just released, what can you tell me about it?
Kendra Thornton: Hello from Key Largo, Florida! I’m here at the Dove Creek Lodge which is a part of Choice Hotels Upscale Ascend Hotel collection. They conducted this survey to figure out what’s on the hearts and minds of Americans for their travel in the new year. One interesting finding was when presented with an all-expenses paid dream vacation, most Americans would say they would take that trip even though they had to give up coffee forever. Another sweet finding said that they would travel for a first date, which is very nice.
CN: Did the survey offer a breakdown in demographics, such as college students?
KT: The survey was not broken down specifically by college students, but I can tell you one thing that was interesting, was when looking ahead to the new year, people were asked if they planned to travel more. While they said they were too busy to travel more in the new year, they do plan to travel as much as they did this year. The big difference is that they plan to spend more on their travels. Budgets are up about 40 percent and that’s because people want to maximize the travel time that they have. Most budgets are going toward their lodging and toward their food and beverage experiences.
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CN: What are your pics for top US and international destinations?
KT: I always pick a beach because I love the sunshine and everyone is happier when they are on a beach. Of course, there are great ones here in Florida or along the west coast in California. Also urban destinations are popular! There are lots of arts and culture in the city. Whether its New York, Boston or Washington D.C. Off the beaten path destinations are also gaining a lot of traction. People like to visit places like Nashville, Tennessee, Santa Fe, New Mexico or Tucson, Arizona. Lots of options around the county. The mountains are still popular. We had the sentinel for the national parks last year and people are still very intrigued by visiting the national parks! Internationally, about one third of Americans that were surveyed said that they do plan to visit Europe in the new year and their top picks on where to go would be Paris, London and Rome.
CN: Are there indicators that people act differently on vacation versus everyday life?
KT: There’s always been research about the health and wellness benefits of travel and this survey certainly saw that as well. Americans say that when they travel that they feel better about themselves, feel more attractive, get better sleep, and are more willing to do things on vacation that maybe they didn’t have the time or the interest in doing back home. There is a lot more interesting survey findings and more than 6,000 properties that you can peruse on choicehotels.com. That is the best website to go to get more information.