More Than One-Third of Consumers Leaving Web for Travel Planning

Despite the economic downturn summer travel is a priority for the majority of Americans this year, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. But the best news from the survey remains that more than one-third (35 percent) of travelers are turning to offline resources, including travel agents, for planning and booking.

This American Express Spending & Saving Tracker surveyed consumers about their plans and spending intentions as they relate to summer travel and recreational activities.  The research sample of 2,000 adults included the general U.S. population, as well as two subgroups – the affluent and young professionals.

What They are Spending

For this summer, 51 percent surveyed are planning a vacation—even more so among affluents (73 percent) and young professionals (83 percent). Those surveyed plan to spend an average of $1,000 per person on summer travel, indicating that the average family of four expects to spend about $4,000 on their summer vacation. That figure jumps to around $4,800 among young professionals and nearly $6,400 among affluents. Parents, however, are planning more than summer vacations, as 58 percent are ready to arrange summer activities for their children and plan to spend an average of $600 per child.

What Trips They are Taking

While family trips will be most popular (52 percent), a variety of other vacation types are being planned, including:

*    Couples trips (26 percent)
*    Trips with friends such as girlfriend getaways and mancations (10 percent)
*    A staycation—intending to enjoy time off and attractions near home (11 percent)
*    Experiential or adventure vacations such as a culinary retreat or hiking trip (7 percent)
*    Educational vacations (4 percent)

Where They are Going

Of those taking a summer vacation, most (89 percent) will stay within the U.S., with destinations in the South (31 percent) and Northeast (29 percent) being the most frequented. A significantly smaller percentage of consumers (16 percent) plan to travel outside of the U.S., primarily to the Caribbean (6 percent), Canada (5 percent), and Europe (4 percent). Affluents (19 percent) are more likely to venture outside of the U.S. and young professionals (29 percent) are twice as likely as the general population to do so. 

Staying Connected

While on vacation, the majority (77 percent) of Americans intend to stay connected via Internet, phone, social media or other channels. Most consumers (65 percent) expect connectivity to be included in their vacation accommodations and are not willing to pay extra, but 35 percent would be willing to pay an additional fee.


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