How to optimize your travel website to capture last-minute spring break bookings

Posted by Melanie Bernal on March 13, 2018
Spring break.001

Spring break is fast approaching, and many US travelers are making last-minute bookings, searching for deals, and packing their bags for one of the biggest vacation seasons of the year. This means travel websites need to keep a close eye on their online behavior to respond to all of their digital needs and habits to see maximum ROI.

One of the biggest travel trends this year is in the type of trips and vacations users are searching for and booking. Unique adventures and culturally enriching experiences are soaring in popularity. And, while families make up a large portion of the user profiles for online bookings, millennials seem to be doing the most traveling (and converting) overall.

In fact, AAA Travel says millennials will make up approximately 80% of spring break travel, so knowing the specific priorities and behaviors of this demographic is crucial for travel websites. Yes, price matters to the millennial traveler, but there are definitely other characteristics they value just as much when booking their escapes.

Read on for some last minute, quick tips your travel website can implement to get these millennials to convert and book their Spring Break getaway on your site.

 

Mobile! Mobile! Mobile!

When it comes to travel, Millennials like to do their research, and most are starting out their searches on their mobile devices. So if your site is not mobile-friendly, you’ll quickly be overlooked by these tech savvy travelers. 

Surprisingly, millennials aren’t the only ones relying on their smartphones to make travel plans. According to a leisure travel study from Google, users aged 35 and older are comfortable planning an entire trip on mobile, and in 2017, US mobile travel sales totaled approximately $75.85 Billion.

Ultimately, all users, not only millennials, are looking for a responsive design that’s easy to navigate, and the good news is you don’t have to redesign your entire website to accomplish this.

Here are a few last-minute quick fixes you could implement now to start capturing more spring break bookings asap:

  • Make sure users don’t have to pinch, scroll, or zoom to see any information
  • All photos and galleries should be optimized for mobile
  • Content should be kept concise, and the font should be easily readable for users. We recommend focusing in on-room and photo information, as these two elements are what users seek out the most when doing their research.
  • On average, millennials conduct an average of 5.1 research sessions and probably visit approximately 3 websites before completing a booking on their mobile device, which means you should be thinking about how you can make the research process easier for users. A quick way to do that is to make sure forms are auto-filled so that a users can quickly and easily reference previous search information.

 

Deals! Deals! Deals!

Millennials are all about getting the best value and with 49% of them taking last-minute vacations, offering them clearly marked last-minute deals will definitely be enticing! On your site, make sure savings are highlighted and that you’re showing users that they’re getting the best possible deal. Something to keep in mind is while millennials do frequently visit popular OTA’s like Expedia and TripAdvisor, they still like to book direct and the deciding factor comes down to convenience. Encourage these travelers to book direct with you by showing them the value and giving them obvious incentives, either in price, user experience, mobile offerings, or convenience.

 

Experiences

Millennials want unique travel experiences and are looking to have the most authentic, culturally enriching vacations possible. They don’t just want to see a place, they really want to experience it. A study by the Harris Group found that 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things. This means that your travel website should provide some inspiration for these travelers and show them things they can experience both on and off the property. For example, cruise lines should highlight the unique and popular attractions or shore excursions and educate users on what they can do both on and off the ship.

By applying any of these tips you’ll definitely see an increase in bookings, not only during spring break but all year-round!

Topics: Test and Optimization, Digital and Media Marketing, CTA, targeting, analytics, data, Optimization Tools, User Experience, E-Commerce, Optimization

Written by Melanie Bernal