Cheaponomy: The term describes an economic cycle in which consumers are embracing lifestyle changes to live "on the cheap" in order to afford the things that enrich their lives, whether it be travel, fashion or dining out.
CheapTickets and SmartMoney.com Survey Reveals Consumers are Changing the Way They Think, Live and Spend Due to the Economy, but are Still Looking to CheapTickets.com (www.cheaptickets.com),
a leading online travel company that knows "the less you pay, the better it feels®," today announced the results of a survey which illustrates that Americans are living in a new era of consumerism, "The Age of the Cheaponomy."
Cheaponomy(SM), a term coined by CheapTickets, describes the ways in which many Americans are managing within the tightened U.S. economy. The term describes an economic cycle in which consumers are embracing lifestyle changes to live "on the cheap" in order to afford the things that enrich their lives, whether it be travel, fashion or dining out.
To better understand consumer behavior within The Age of the Cheaponomy, CheapTickets recently partnered with SmartMoney.com to field a survey of more than 1,000 SmartMoney.com users which confirmed that consumers are, in fact, making changes to be more frugal. With 95 percent of consumers concerned about the current economic situation, the majority (63 percent) are also making changes to their spending habits.
The survey also confirmed that consumers are changing their spending habits in order to still afford the things that enrich their lives, such as travel. Among the leisure activities consumers are trying to afford, travel ranks No. 2 behind No. 1 dining out. And, while two-thirds (61 percent) of those surveyed are lowering travel expenses, they are more likely to cut back on many other areas of their lives first, including electronics/gadgets, personal luxuries, fashion and cars, proving that consumers are still looking to travel.
"Cheaponomy is the reality of how the economy is affecting consumer behavior in every area of life, including travel," said Marita Hudson Thomas, a Cheaponomist(SM) from CheapTickets.com. "At CheapTickets, our customers are inherent deal-seekers and understand what it means to search for travel deals and be economical. We are committed to helping the rest of the world learn how to adapt to this lifestyle -- especially in the world of travel."Top Cheaponomy Destinations (1)
According to the Cheaponomy survey, cutting back on spending at the destination is the No. 1 way that travelers save on a trip. Proving that consumers can still travel despite the current state of the economy, CheapTickets is unveiling the top inexpensive destinations to travel to during the Age of the Cheaponomy. These hidden gems offer affordable hotel rates and an array of free activities and attractions once you are there.1. Austin, TX
With an Average Daily Hotel Rate of $78.70 and dozens of free activities, Austin ranks No. 1 as the best city to travel to during the Age of the Cheaponomy. Known for great music, this colorful city offers many ways to experience its energetic vibe at no cost. On any given night, one can catch a live show or musical act for free. Visitors can stroll down trendy 6th Street, tour the Governor's Mansion (schedule a tour in advance), jump on "The Dillo," a series of trolley cars that will take you around the city or visit the Paramount Theatre, which dates back to pre World War One -- all for free.2. St. Louis, MO
With an Average Daily Hotel Rate of $83.63 and a wide-range of free attractions, St. Louis ranks No. 2 on the list of the best cities to travel to during the Age of the Cheaponomy. Ideal for cheap family travel, this Midwestern city is home to one of the best free zoos in the country. In addition, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Laumeier Sculpture Park -- one of only two in the U.S., the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site and the Boeing Space Station all offer free family fun.3. Denver, CO
With an Average Daily Hotel Rate of $109.85, Denver ranks third on the list of the best cities to travel to during the Age of the Cheaponomy. Known for nearby outdoor attractions and many city hotspots, Denver is home to countless free activities and sites. Visitors can take in the beautiful natural landscape and learn about the musical history of Red Rocks Park or visit Dinosaur Ridge, where you can see pre-historic animal tracks. Then, vacationers who are at least 21 years of age can cool down by taking a free tour through the Coors Brewery and sample complimentary beer tastings.
CheapTickets is committed to helping every consumer -- the inherent deal-seeker or frugal-in-training -- learn how to travel and live "on the cheap." Consumers are thinking and acting differently because of the economy
Consumers still want to travel.
- 95 percent of consumers are concerned about the current economic situation.
- 81 percent are changing the way they think about purchases.
- 63 percent are making changes to their spending habits in all areas of their lives.
- 55 percent of consumers consider themselves a combination deal-seeker and saver, and 80 percent of travelers are going online to search for deals.
Consumers are getting creative to cut costs while traveling.
- Travel ranks No. 2 among the leisure activities that consumers are still trying to afford (behind Dining Out).
- While two-thirds (61 percent) of consumers are lowering travel expenses, they are more likely to cut back on many other areas of their lives first, including electronics, gadgets, personal luxuries, fashion and cars.
Consumers are being frugal in order to travel this holiday season.
- Cutting back on spending at the destination is the No. 1 way travelers save while vacationing, followed by taking shorter trips, lowering the bar when it comes to amenities and using means of transportation other than flying, respectively.
- Cutting food expenses while traveling is the No. 1 way to cut back on spending at the destination.
(1) Top Cheaponomy Destinations Methodology
- Eighty (80) percent of consumers are planning on cutting back this holiday season.
- Forty (40) percent of consumers are planning to travel during the holidays but are cutting back in order to do so.
CheapTickets' Top Cheaponomy Destinations were selected by CheapTickets staff according to the number of free attractions and activities in the market, the destinations were ranked on 10/15/08 from the least to most expensive average daily hotel rate. Average Daily Hotel Rate was calculated on 10/15/08 by taking the average price for all hotel bookings made on CheapTickets.com to the listed destination for travel from October 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008.(2) Survey Methodology
CheapTickets fielded the study from October 7-10, 2008 to SmartMoney email registrants. 1,011 U.S. adults aged 18 or older were surveyed.