Research by travel and social networking service dopplr suggests people share their travel plans so long before departure many have not booked a thing.
Two-thirds of travellers sharing a trip through dopplr have yet to book a hotel and half have not made any travel arrangements.
The dopplr study of the digital influence on travel, entitled How the Dopplr Community Travels, was carried out with market-research specialist m1ndset and combined interviews with frequent travellers at airports with an analysis of dopplr-user trends.
It suggests travellers are increasingly reliant on personal recommendations, with 56% strongly influenced by hotel recommendations, 60% by restaurant recommendations and 45% by recommended places to see.
Face-to-face recommendations remain the most-popular form of communication even for dopplr users, with 88% relying on these – followed by e-mail cited by 62%, twitter 28% and facebook 25%.
Dopplr users tend to be younger than average, half being between 26 and 35, and they earn above average – 29% making more than US$100,000 a year. They also travel more frequently, making an average 15 trips a year. They mostly work in the IT and telecoms industries, followed by marketing and the media.
The study will be used to develop the dopplr Social Atlas, launched in March, which allows users to record the places they have visited.