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Increasing numbers of travellers make spontaneous trip decisions according to a survey by Expedia, while mobile devices are of growing importance in these last-minute travel planning scenarios.

In fact, the survey shows that almost all U.S. adults (92%) consider themselves at least a little spontaneous. Nearly half went impulse shopping (49%), or treated someone else with a gift or kind deed,  (49%), while approximately one third embarked on last-minute trips out of town (30%).

Ease of Booking Increases

As technology continues to evolve, travellers are able to book last minute trips with increasing ease. For example, Expedia's smartphone app analyses over 65 billion potential options when offering flights between various U.S. cities and presents the options to customers so they can book a flight on the app in less than a minute. For today's travellers, ease of use is extremely important, as the trend for mobile bookings continues to grow. According to survey data, 28% of smartphone owners have used their mobile device to book a hotel, and 34% indicated they haven't yet but they intend to.

Mobile Devices Useful for Last Minute Trip Decisions

Last minute hotel bookings often come at discounted rates, so the ability to book on the move using mobile devices offers travellers the chance to save money. Data from Expedia's mobile bookings shows that more than half of hotel stays booked through a mobile device are for reservations beginning in the next 24 hours. Once they are on the move, travellers keep their mobile devices close at hand and continue to rely on them. In fact, 84% of U.S. travellers say that using their smartphone makes it "at least somewhat easier" to be spontaneous while travelling.

Money Biggest Barrier to Spontaneity

While most people in the U.S. said they dream of taking a spontaneous trip to an exotic location (28%), only 7% indicate they would actually go. Instead, the majority of Americans were more likely to take a spontaneous trip to a beach (26%). Perhaps this is due to the twin factors of money and location, as 47% of Americans indicated money was the biggest concern in planning a spontaneous trip, and only 5% of U.S. adults who ever take last minute trips indicated they travel out of the country on those trips. But 93% of U.S. adults say they would be 'somewhat likely' to drop everything at a moment's notice to travel - if someone else was picking up the bill!

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