The spring break phenomena, like most experiences in our lives, has been fundamentally changed by the internet. Gone are the days when arduous planning was done months in advance; when travel agents were a critical source of knowledge for cheap fares, the best hotels, or top-rated excursions; and when a paper voucher was your ticket to ride.
The impact the internet and digital video has had on spring break travel is undeniable. We surveyed a panel of multi-generational “spring breakers” — including current college students — to find out exactly how their travel plans are influenced by digital video.
Video: where the journey begins
Video is one of many online tools that consumers are turning to regarding when, where, and how to travel. Today’s traveler turns to video across all screens, looking for inspiration and immediate answers to their travel-related queries.
Regardless of generation, travelers are source-agnostic and actually prefer ads over user-generated content:
- Online video ads
- Social videos (e.g., Snapchat Stories, Instagram videos, etc.)
- Professional, branded videos
- User-generated videos (e.g., YouTube, blogs, etc.)
On a smartphone, professional branded videos are the #1 content type considered when deciding where to go. On a tablet, travelers will turn to consumer-posted videos. Gen Xers, the infamous cord-cutters, find inspiration on CTV.
How to book?
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Travelers have more choices than ever before on where to go, and how to book.
- 40% of the general population will book through an online travel site
- 30% will make reservations directly with the airline or hotel
- 20% will book through a discount site
To book flights, trains, car rentals, packages, and activities:
- Desktop is the most-used screen among the general population and Gen Xers
- Mobile screens are 2X as likely to be used by Millennials
Don’t leave home without it
Everybody brings their smartphones with them while traveling, but Millennials may actually be better at disconnecting than older generations.
- Checking email is the # 1 activity on smartphones among the general population, followed by streaming full-length videos
- Millennials are most likely to stream full-length content or play games on their phones rather than check email
Ok video, what next?
Once at the final destination, video continues to play a role as concierge and tour guide: helping tourists decide what to do, where to go, and when to do it.
- Social videos are the most helpful type of content for over half of those surveyed
- Millennials are 25% more likely than the general population to find social video content helpful
All generations are tapping into their digital resources to find the best deals to visit the most buzzed about destinations. An amazing trip is just a few clicks, taps, or swipes away and with the transportive power of virtual and augmented reality video, we may soon be able to experience that spring break adventure from the comfort of our own homes.