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Kayak.com User Survey Reveals Consumers Still Traveling Despite State of the Economy

Kayak.com User Survey Reveals Consumers Still Traveling Despite State of the Economy (Forimmediaterelease.net) Choice of Destination and Type of Transportation Most Affected By Economy
'Search By Segment' Launches; Offers Another Way to Compare Hundreds of Search Results
Kayak.com, the world's largest travel search engine, asked more than 3,800 users how the struggling U.S. economy has influenced their summer travel plans. Kayak.com found that while the economic downturn has caused an overwhelming 79% of travelers to alter their vacations, users still intend to get away this summer.
To help travelers find the perfect itinerary at the best price, Kayak.com launched “Search by Segment," which enables users to build an itinerary compatible with a preferred departing or returning flight. Unlike other travel sites that offer only one option, Kayak.com is the first travel search site that allows users to search by their preferred method: build by segment or search by roundtrip.
“While talk of a recession has put a damper on most people's summer travel plans, Kayak.com users have found thrifty ways to head out of town," said Drew Patterson, Kayak.com VP of Marketing. “Searching for the right deal is even more important when prices are high and budgets are tight, and Kayak.com's filtering and sorting tools make it easy to find the best option. In addition, tools such as Flexible Search, Fare Alerts, Best Fare Trend Chart, Kayak Buzz, Weekend Search and the new Search by Segment make finding the most affordable dates of travel fast and easy."
When asked what was most influential in planning a summer vacation, 41% cited cost-conscious factors including choosing a destination with affordable airfare (18%), bunking up with friends or family rather than checking into a hotel (16%), and opting for destinations within driving distance (7%). Dozens wrote in complaining about the price of Europe this summer, and most plan to avoid the continent until the dollar improves against the euro.
According to survey responses, economic softness is affecting both the destinations travelers are considering (for 78% of respondents) and transportation to those destinations (for 64% of respondents). Of those who altered the destination of their summer vacation — more than a quarter (28%) said that they'll stay closer to home, 23% will drop a star from their usual standard and 20% will choose a location where friends and family can offer room and board.
Despite the tough times, most Americans are preserving their summer vacation rituals. Over 90% of respondents plan to spend more than five days on vacation this summer. Only 23% of Kayakers plan to play hooky from work by calling in sick.
The most painful part of summer travel? Forty-two percent of Kayakers dread receiving the credit card bill the following month, while 23% cite airline delays as the biggest aggravation, followed by weather and traffic woes, each with 15%.
The travel experts at Kayak.com suggest the following tips to recession-proof your summer vacation:

— Flexibility is key. Airfares can vary several hundred dollars by day
of the week. Traveling while most people are still at work will save
time and money so try booking your ticket for a Tuesday, Wednesday or
Thursday to save some cash and aggravation. Use Kayak.com's Flexible
Search tool to compare prices up to three days before and three days
after desired dates of travel.

— Deals do exist. Tons of deals abound online - travelers just have to
know where to look. Subscriptions to travel deals newsletters are the
best bet and are delivered directly to your inbox. Kayak.com sends out
a Weekly Deals newsletter, delivering the best and cheapest deals on
land, in the air and by sea.

— Off-season destinations. The Caribbean is hardly inexpensive but
summer is the most affordable time to visit. Choose an island
accepting the U.S. dollar or pegged to the greenback including
Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts
and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Avoid St.
Martin and St. Barts, pricey islands dealing in euros.

— Europe by sea paid for by the Greenback. Cruise prices are set more
than a year in advance, so enjoy a European cruise with last year's
stronger dollar. Plus, tours, onboard spa treatments and drinks are
priced in dollars, not euros.

— Consider alternatives closer to home. Can't afford France? Consider
Montreal which offers the food, architecture and culture of Paris
without a long, expensive flight or terrible exchange rate. Walk
between the countries and continents at Orlando's Epcot Center. Spend
your morning in Japan with a bowl of noodles and be in Italy by noon
for a bowl of penne and end your day with a margarita in Mexico.

— Domestic beaches might surprise you. If airfare to your annual
Caribbean trip has you hot under the collar, consider one of the
country's best beaches — several of which are ranked among the world's
best. Consider the Outer Banks of North Carolina where the beaches are
never crowded; Destin, Florida for the world's softest sand; Cape May,
NJ for Victorian charm and romance; Coronado Beach, San Diego for
quality time with your pooch; and Hermosa Beach, California for the
quintessential beach town.

— Head South. Europe isn't the only option for culture seekers. Keep
the Southern neighbors in mind and take a trip to Central or South
America. Explore the Amazon in Ecuador, which has U.S. dollar-based
economy, save turtles in Suriname with currency pegged to the dollar;
and divide time between the beach and nature in Belize where currency
is also linked to the U.S. dollar.

“Search by Segment" Tool Launches

For those planning a summer getaway, Kayak.com launches yet another way to compare flight results to find the perfect itinerary. “Search by Segment" allows users to filter results by a preferred segment, such as a departing flight that arrives in time for a wedding or a return flight that provides enough time to pick up the family dog from puppy daycare. Simply hover over the segment of choice and click. Kayak.com saves this choice to the top of the results page and instantly reorganizes to display travel options that include the desired flight.
“Users and our own Kayak.com employees have been requesting this tool for some time and initial feedback is extremely positive," adds Patterson. “Search by Segment is so popular, that we're adding the option to the homepage which is real estate we reserve for our top-performing tools."
About Kayak.com
Kayak.com, the largest Travel 2.0 site in the world, is a global Internet media company operating Kayak.com, Sidestep.com, TravelPost.com and TravelSearch.com. Kayak.com and SideStep.com display results from more than 400 travel sites, providing prices and itineraries for hundreds of airlines, more than 100,000 hotels, all leading rental car companies and 18 cruise lines. Kayak.com has won more awards since launch than any other travel site including “100 Best Products of 2007″ by PC World; “25 Sites We Can't Live Without" by TIME Magazine; “Best Search Engine" by the Associated Press; and “Best of the Web" by BusinessWeek, Forbes.com and US News&World Report. Launched in 2005 by co-founders of Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia, Kayak.com's investors include General Catalyst Partners, Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Trident Capital, Oak Investment Partners, Lehman Brothers Venture Partners and America Online, Inc. Kayak.com has sites in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. For more information, visit www.kayak.com/.

Kellie Pelletier of Kayak.com, +1-203-899-3111, kpelletier@kayak.com; or Tiffany Fessler of Edelman, +1-404-832-6359, tiffany.fessler@edelman.com, for Kayak.com Web site: www.kayak.com/

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