Last year, Americans took 1.9 billion trips for leisure and business purposes, generating more than $758 billion in direct expenditures. This number was expected to increase this year as more families ditched the "staycation" and took to the roads (and skies). The average family was projected to spend $1,704 this year on their summer vacation, up 9% from $1,567 last year, according to a survey by global travel company Mondial Assistance USA. Whether it was across the border to visit grandma or across the ocean for an enriching cultural experience, travelers were willing to spend their money if they could come close to planning the best trip possible. In one-on-one interviews with travelers in Washington D.C., Memphis and Los Angeles, a research team of USA Today employees and our Design and Innovation Group in summer 2010 found vast similarities between diverse demographics. From a woman taking her first trip abroad with her husband to a family driving through America in an RV, our research confirmed that they all wanted pretty much the same things -- comfort, fun and unexpected memories. Here are some of the key findings. Get the full story at MediaPost