Mobile Driving Last-Minute Hotel Decisions Among U.S. Road Travelers

Published July 2013 Analyst: Marcello Gasdia


Mobile Driving Last-Minute Hotel Decisions Among U.S. Road Travelers

Road travelers in search of a last-minute place to lay their heads are still apt to scan the horizon for a billboard or that welcome Gas-Food-Lodging sign. But these days, they are even more likely to be looking down – at a smartphone, that is (although hopefully not while driving). Last-minute bookings make up a significant share of hotel stays during road travel – and many of those bookings are influenced by or transacted via a mobile device.

According to Phocuswright's Staying Local: A Study of the U.S. Road Traveler, nearly a quarter of U.S. adults took a road trip that included paid lodging within the past 12 months. And one in five hotel stays during U.S. road trips are unplanned and booked from the road. Mobile devices are a popular go-to in these last-minute situations. During the past 12 months, 21% of last-minute hotel bookers shopped via a smartphone, and 13% did so via tablet. By comparison, 18% rely on billboards or road signs.

"A smartphone outfitted with the latest travel apps is an indispensable tool for the road traveler. The ability to search, shop and book hotels on the fly can quickly lift travelers out of a bind caused by inclement weather, traffic or car trouble. Mobile devices also help the more spontaneous travelers hit the road with unprecedented freedom and flexibility to do more in-the-moment planning," says Marcello Gasdia, Phocuswright's consumer research analyst. "Last-minute hotel bookings represent a significant opportunity for the road traveler segment, and mobile is the new battleground for capturing them."

Phocuswright's Staying Local: A Study of the U.S. Road Traveler provides a comprehensive view of traveler trends within the U.S. domestic drive market. Key metrics, including driving distances, trip frequency and duration, travel party composition and travel expenditure explore the basics or road travel behavior, helping travel companies to track and understand this dynamic travel segment. The report also provides rich insight into the road travel planning process, including the destination decision, advance versus last-minute travel planning, the impact of local travel deals, mobile and more.

Topics include:

  • General road traveler behavior, including travel incidence, trip distance, frequency and duration, as well as travel party composition and travel spend
  • Purchase incidence and booking trends for car rental, lodging and destination activities
  • Road trip motivators and destination selection, including timing, influential factors and information sources
  • Advance versus last-minute planning trends
  • Shopping and booking channels/methods
  • Impact of local travel deals and mobile
Purchase Phocuswright's Staying Local: A Study of the U.S. Road Traveler to gain the insights you need to effectively target and influence the U.S. road traveler.