1 in 10 Americans Plans European Travel in 2015

More than 11% of Americans say they plan to visit Europe next year, according to a new survey by Choice Hotels International.

More than 11% of Americans say they plan to visit Europe next year, according to a new survey by Choice Hotels International.

London, Rome, and Paris are the most popular destination choices for Americans, the survey found. More than half said they wanted to visit Europe in order to see the historic sites. Nearly 40% said they wanted to go in order to “immerse themselves in European culture.”

Overall, Americans told Choice Hotels they plan to spend about 8% more on leisure travel in 2015 than they did in 2014. The biggest jump came among senior citizens, who said they will increase their leisure travel spending by 33%.

Still, just because travelers are willing to spend more doesn’t mean they don’t want deals, said Patrick Pacious, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Choice Hotels.

“Choice Hotels’ 2015 travel trend survey revealed the desire for greater value as Americans take more leisure trips, and it’s important that hotels stay abreast of the wants of American travelers in order to grow their loyalty base,” said Pacious.

What travelers want first and foremost in a hotel, according to the survey, is free parking. Free wi-fi and free hot breakfasts also rank high.

For those travelers not heading overseas, the top US destinations were the western national parks followed by the Grand Canyon. New York City came in third.

Asked what event they would most like to attend in 2015, Mardi Gras in New Orleans was the top choice, with 25% of the vote. The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC and the Super Bowl were close behind in second and third place, respectively.

July was the most popular month for travel, according to the survey.