Expedia’s “Air travel outlook for 2016” found that economy-class tickets declined globally about 8 percent between October 2014 and October 2015. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

With 2015 coming to a close, travelers are looking ahead and making vacation plans for the coming year. Travel companies are wondering: Where are people headed, and how much do they plan to spend? And consumers are trying to find the best bargains.

TripAdvisor, Travelex and Expedia surveyed and analyzed travel habits to predict trends in the new year. Here are some of the highlights to keep in mind when booking your next trip.

Best air ticket deals

Expedia’s “Air travel outlook for 2016” advises that the best time to buy an economy ticket for travel within North America is roughly 57 days in advance, based on prices from the first 10 months of 2015. For travel from North America to Europe, buy 176 days in advance, for about 11 percent savings. Buy 77 days ahead of your departure date if you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean from North America.

The company predicts the best ticket bargains by analyzing 8 billion searches on all of the company’s websites, in addition to Airlines Reporting Corp.’s information on more than 10 billion passenger flights and other industry data sources. The report found that economy-class ticket prices declined globally about eight percent between October 2014 and October 2015. July and August experienced the biggest dips in price of this year.

2015 was a great year to travel to Europe and visit different countries within a stay; intra-Europe flights were on average 17 percent lower than in 2014. Because of the current strength of the U.S. dollar against the euro, the trend should continue at least for the beginning of 2016.

North America to Asia-Pacific travel economy ticket prices also experienced a decline, falling 13 percent from the previous year.

Travelers are committed to finding the best deals and base travel plans on ticket prices. Before booking a flight, they search an average of 48 times on eight sites.

Global spending on travel

One in three travelers plan to spend more on travel in 2016 than they did the previous year, according to TripAdvisor’s 2016 TripBarometer, an analysis of 44,782 survey responses from travelers and hoteliers worldwide in October 2015.

Forty-nine percent of participants who plan to increase their budgets responded that they will do so “because I or my family deserve it.”

The annual online survey conducted with research company Ipsos found baby boomers will budget an average $8,736 for travel — three times as much as millennials ($2,915).

What nationality spends the most? Australians took the top spot from the Swiss with an average 2016 travel of $10,800. Americans have the third largest travel budget worldwide ($8,400).

American travelers

Travelex’s “Where Americans plan to go in 2016” found that almost two-thirds of the surveyed 2,262 adults in October 2015 are not planning a vacation abroad next year. West Coast residents are more likely to travel overseas than other U.S. regions, with 29 percent planning a trip. (These results contrast with TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer, in which 85 percent of global participants plan on international travel.)

Among those traveling out of the country, many aren’t going too far. Mexico, Jamaica, Canada, the United Kingdom and Italy were the five most popular foreign locales.


Americans plan to spend $500 to $1,000 during their trip.

The No. 1 reason for planning a trip is to relax and rejuvenate for ages 18 to 54, while respondents 55 and older want to explore a different culture.


What are your travel plans for 2016? Let us know in the comments.

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