Travel Marketing

4 Reasons Non-Travel Brands Need to Know About Travelers and Their Path to Purchase - By Ashley Proceviat

According to Phocuswright, travelers tend to have higher disposable incomes and a greater propensity to spend more in general. In fact, heavy travelers are super consumers.
A woman using a smart phone
4 Reasons Non-Travel Brands Need to Know About Travelers and Their Path to Purchase


They are, on average, highly-educated and affluent. In essence, they are basically a dream consumer to get in front of, whether you’re a travel brand or not! 

As such, here are four things non-travel brands need to understand about travelers and their path to purchase.

Travelers are people first

It may sound obvious, but it’s a key mindshift for marketers considering tapping into this audience. Travel is just one portion of a person’s life. The same person planning the family vacation is the same individual buying groceries for their kids, deciding which car to buy, and making a myriad of other decisions with how they want to spend their money. But, travel habits often reflect a person’s interests more generally. Therefore, it’s a direct indication of the types of purchases and offers they might be open to.

In our recently released Path to Purchase report, we look at “Tony”, an anonymous, but real traveler who plans a couple’s ski getaway. Using Sojern’s proprietary algorithms and predictive technology, non-travel brands can find people like “Tony”, and create ideal audiences for ski equipment companies or for campaigns featuring outdoor apparel—things they may need to prepare for their trips. Understanding how travel habits reflect people’s wider interests can help marketers tap into new audiences, and zero in on those with higher intent. 

Travel is a direct indication of lifestyle and purchase behavior 


Travelers often have higher affinities toward brands. In fact, 3 in 4 heavy travelers believe brand is important when making purchasing decisions. So, travelers are often receptive to upscale brand ads. 

In the “Felicia” path to purchase, we know she stays in upper-upscale hotels for business, looks at the same luxury brand for her beach vacation, and uses high-end credit cards. “Felicia” and people like her make ideal candidates for other upscale purchases, like cars or luxury goods and services. 

Travelers buy all kinds of products and services before their trip

Almost all travelers make purchases leading up to their trip. Weather-appropriate clothing and accessories, or reservations for restaurants and attractions are a few examples.

Here’s a good example of how travelers and non-travel brands go together like peanut butter and jelly. Sojern can identify who has booked a week-long summer holiday in Spain. We can show these travelers ads for swimsuits, sunscreen or high-end sunglasses in the time between booking and when they actually depart. These goods aren’t necessarily travel purchases, but travelers will certainly look to buy them ahead of their journey.

They are often open to and looking for help in-market

Travelers often open their minds and wallets while away. In fact, travelers spent $2.7 billion dollars a day in the US alone last year. Shopping, fine dining, and attractions making up 3 of the top 5 things they spent those dollars on.  

Travelers are arguably even more receptive to relevant ads when traveling. A recent Huffpost article points out, “Neural pathways are influenced by environment and habit. New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain and… can revitalize the mind.” 

Add to this the ability for brands to serve these tailored ads and offers, in real-time on mobile devices—and you may have the ideal audience for travel and non-travel brands alike.

“Tony”, our anonymous skier, has his mobile device—and is searching while he’s away. Brands can reach “Tony”, and others like him, using a combination of geofencing and proximity targeting. “Tony” will therefore receive relevant local offers related to skiing, activities, shopping, and more—while he’s in-destination and looking to buy. 

Make sure you check out our latest Path to Purchase report for more tips and tricks to reach travelers, whether you’re a travel brand or not!

About Ashley

Ashley is Sojern's Marketing Manager, EMEA & APAC and works in the London office. Originally from Canada, she's been living in London for over four years, and is actively trying to fill all the pages in her passport. She has never met a cheese she didn't like.

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