Expedia Travel Update: ‘Vacation Deprived’ Americans Starting Off 2006 With the Resolve to Vacation and Travel More

Expedia Also Shares Tips for Taking All of Your Vacation in 2006, Reveals What Destinations Are Hot for Early 2006 Travel, and Shares What Types of Trips Are Most Popular Among Expedia Customers

BELLEVUE, Wash., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ — Expedia.com, the world’s leading online travel site, conducted a survey of more than 1000 customers last week and when asked about their New Year’s Resolutions, 32 percent of the Expedia customers surveyed vowed to travel more in 2006; 16 percent plan to spend more time with their family; and 8 percent said that they’d like to use up all of their vacation in 2006. And 29 percent of respondents said that they’d like to make all three resolutions come true in 2006.

This perhaps signals a turnaround in the face of data uncovering a sad trend among Americans: Vacation Deprivation. Expedia recently discovered that Americans were projected to leave more than 421 million vacation days unused in 2005. (To view this previous Multimedia News Release, go to: http://prnewswire.com/mnr/expedia/21798/ ). This Vacation Deprivation epidemic has persisted in all five years of Expedia’s survey, with nearly a third (31 percent) reporting in 2005 that they do not always take all of their vacation days, despite almost half (48 percent) admitting that they return from vacation feeling rested, rejuvenated, and reconnected in their personal life. However, with each New Year comes a chance for change and last week Expedia uncovered hopeful signs that Americans may be adopting a healthier work/life balance in 2006.

“American workers receive the least amount of vacation days (12 on average) among all the countries that we surveyed,” said Kari Swartz, Expedia.com product manager for leisure travel. “Yet we still, unbelievably, don’t use up all of our days, with each American worker estimated to give back an average of 3 vacation days in 2005.”

The travel pros at Expedia came up with ten handy tips for how you can take all of your vacation in 2006. Tips include:

1. Plan Ahead. Sit down and pencil in ‘vacation times’ on a calendar
so the time doesn’t slip away without you taking a vacation.
Memorial Day — the kick-off to summer — is a great time to do this.
2. Build a Travel Fund. You need to have time and money to vacation.
So, when you do your scheduling, also consider setting up a separate
savings account just for vacations. Set up an automatic transfer
every paycheck — even if it’s just $25 a time — and you’ll quickly
see your vacation funds grow.
3. Turn Two Vacation Days Into a “Breakation.” Expedia calls 3-4 day
trips — breakations — short, frequent getaways that give you a
vacation glow while using up a minimum amount of vacation days. For
example, simply take off a Friday and a Monday, hop a short flight to
a vastly different location (think Seattle to Arizona), and enjoy
four days of vacation for the “price” of two.
4. Be Savvy About Booking Travel. Book early to get the best selection
and pricing, book a vacation package to save additional money, travel
during the off-season, etc. — the more money you save, the more you
can use on the next vacation.
5. Minimize Work Guilt. Make your vacation plans known early on to your
boss, colleagues, and clients; avoid scheduling major programs/events
around your vacation (if possible); and delegate work that is
unavoidable during your vacation time to co-workers (and be sure to
return the favor when it’s their vacation).
6. Leave Work at Work. Forget about packing the computer and Blackberry
on your vacation. Let your boss know how to reach you in the event
of an emergency, change your voicemail and email to refer people to
another colleague, and give yourself permission to leave the working
world behind … at least for a little while.
7. When On Your Vacation — Fun Is Your Only Concern. Overscheduled in
your day-to-day life? Then give yourself permission to avoid routine
at all costs and focus on making the most of your vacation. There
should be no rules or expectations while on vacation — just enjoy
yourself!
8. Don’t Over Do It. If vacationing is an infrequent activity for you,
you may go into hyper drive and end up back at work feeling even more
exhausted than when you left. So, if you haven’t vacationed in
awhile, be sure to build in plenty of sleep and relaxation, as well
as time at the end of your trip to decompress at home before going
back to work.
9. Give Yourself Time To Transition Back to Work. It may be difficult
to conjure up true excitement in getting back to work right after a
vacation. So take it easy on yourself: Block your calendar for the
first day back in the office and give yourself time to catch up on
emails, projects, and to send friends your favorite vacation picture.
10. Now That You’re Back From Vacation — Start Planning Your Next One!
If Americans are really going to change their vacation habits,
frequency is critical. The next time you’re working late or staring
at the number of days you’re considering rolling over, remember the
French and be inspired.

Heat is Hot in 2006

So, where will Americans vacation in 2006? Based upon customer bookings to date, the top ten destinations for travel between January – March 2006 include:

1. Las Vegas, NV
2. Orlando, FL
3. New York, NY
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
5. Paris, France
6. Maui, Hawaii
7. Jamaica
8. Puerto Vallarta
9. Rome, Italy
10. The Bahamas

The prevalence of travel to warm-weather destinations in early 2006 is not surprising, given that over 35 percent of the Expedia customers surveyed say that they are seeking a beach/sun getaway to places like the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii in early 2006. In fact, these warm-weather destinations, as well as places like Las Vegas and Orlando, are perennial favorites of travelers. Specific 2005 hotspots that were among the fastest growing destinations for Expedia customers include Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta, and the Dominican Republic, followed by Maui and Kauai. Other trip types that topped Expedia customers’ lists include:

— Ski/Snowboard/Snow vacations (9 percent)
— Family-friendly, e.g., Disneyland, family-focused all-inclusive resorts
(9 percent)
— Exotic/Adventure travel, e.g., Africa, Asia, World Heritage trips
(5 percent)

In order to help you get to wherever you’d like to go in 2006, Expedia has launched a special sale to help you easily find the perfect destination to get off the road to Vacation Deprivation and on to some well-deserved relaxation. For more information, please visit: http://www.expedia.com/january .

About Expedia.com: Expedia.com is the world’s leading online travel site, with more than 25 million travelers visiting each month to find the trip that’s right for them. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/ ) helps customers easily plan and book travel by utilizing the latest technology and the right selection of vacation packages, flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and in- destination activities, attractions, and services. With its Expedia Special Rate(R) Guarantee for hotels, Cruise Price Guarantee Plus, vacation package savings, and more, Expedia.com offers exceptional value to customers around the globe each and every day. Expedia.com travel specialists are available 24 hours a day to help customers with their travels — before, during, and after each trip. Expedia.com has won the “Brandweek Customer Loyalty Award” for six consecutive years. Expedia.com is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) CST: 2029030-40

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