A case-based approach to understanding vacation planning

Susan I. Stewart, Christine Vogt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    87 Scopus citations


    Vacations provide an opportunity to make many choices, and even for travelers who want their vacations to be spontaneous, planning is often an important part of vacationing. Although descriptive studies of travel planning have sketched out the elements of the vacation plan, these elements have not been drawn together in a conceptual model of the consumer planning process. The theory of case-based planning offers a plausible conceptual structure for travel planning. In an exploratory study of the travel planning process, a panel of independent travelers was contacted via destination information packets mailed to information requesters. Travelers who agreed to participate in the study were surveyed repeatedly during vacation planning and travel. A comparison of pretrip plans and on-site behavior showed that travelers developed plans before their trip, but these plans often were changed, especially with regard to on-site activities. Travelers tended to overplan, actuating fewer elements than they planned, and repeat visitors made more congruent plans than first-time visitors. Results suggest that casebased planning is a useful conceptual framework for organizing and extending travel planning research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)79-95
    Number of pages17
    JournalLeisure Sciences
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 1 1999


    • Decision Making
    • Tourism Information
    • Travel Planning

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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