Domestic travel may get a boost this summer. Travelers are planning a remarkable average of 2.8 one-week trips throughout the summer months, with 43 percent planning to travel over long weekends and holidays, such as Memorial Day and Fourth of July, up from 36 percent in 2011, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.
Key trends according to AmEx:
To fly or not to fly: Many travelers (84 percent) plan on vacationing to U.S. cities this summer, with 44 percent heading down south and 27 percent heading out west. An impressive 73 percent of travelers plan to keep the prices down and travel by car, train or bus – with only 39 percent looking to fly, a flat percentage from 2011. But while driving may be more cost effective than flying, almost half (48 percent) stated that rising gas prices will affect their driving plans.
Leave the kids at home: With the kids out of school, it’s peak travel season. Although family travel is still on the rise, 19 percent of families plan to send their children to an overnight camp during the summer months, and 65 percent plan on traveling without their children during the summer.
Take a plunge in the points pool: A total of 40 percent have a credit card rewards or frequent flier point’s card membership, with 58 percent reporting success redeeming their points to pay for travel. For example, American Express Charge Cardmembers have the option to book using Pay with Points for flights, car rentals, and hotels with no blackout dates.
Not so digital detox: With all this travel during the summer months – travelers still find a way to stay connected while out of the office. Once at their destination, 83 percent of travelers plan to stay connected and nearly two thirds (64 percent) plan to check their work email daily over their vacations. Fewer travelers are also less concerned with the price they pay for internet service while traveling (65 percent vs. 72 percent in 2011), AmEx reports.