Summer travel is on the rise, particularly within the United States, according to Generali Global Assistance’s Travel Insurance division’s annual survey of vacation plans for U.S. travelers. The new survey found that more U.S. travelers will be packing a bag and heading out on a summer vacation – 68 percent up from 61 percent in 2016. Americans were tied with Brazilians as the most likely to travel, ahead of the Chinese (67%) and Europeans (64%).
This year, budgets for U.S travelers declined modestly by one percentage point to $2,643, while average trip duration increased modestly to 1.5 weeks. Nearly half (46%) of U.S. travelers will book their trip at least four months in advance.
In a written statement Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance said, “After a significant dip in 2016, summer travel has rebounded over the past two years. With budgets remaining relatively flat, unsurprisingly 46 percent of vacationers will stay within the U.S. this year, up five percentage points from 2017. Of the preferred foreign destinations for U.S. travelers, Canada was the top, followed by Mexico – with the Bahamas, Italy, and France locked in a three-way tie for third place.”
Beaches and cities once again topped the list for U.S. travelers in terms of preferred location. As for preferred activities while on vacation, for Americans:
- Spending time with family and friends was the most desired (48%)
- Followed by discovering different cultures/getting a complete change of scenery (45%)
- And relaxing (39%).
Relaxing tops the list (54%) which explains why they are much better than Americans at unplugging completely from work – 66 percent of Europeans vs. 55 percent of Americans.
Americans are also more likely to stay connected to social media with only 40 percent saying they will use it less than usual, compared to:
- 56% of Europeans who will spend less time on social media
- And the Chinese who will be the most connected group, with only 31 percent spending less time than usual on social media.
- Hotels remain the most used form of accommodation this summer at 55 percent, down slightly from last year (57%). But new forms of lodging are on the rise, especially with Millennials:
- 59 percent said they would rent an individual’s private house/apartment (vs. 38% of the general population)
- 37 percent said they would rent a room in a private house (vs. 20% of gen pop)
- 29 percent said they would engage in a free home exchange (vs. 16% of gen pop).
The top three decision-making factors for where U.S. travelers will stay are:
- Location (63%)
- Value (57%)
- Online reviews (33%) – which increased from 31 percent in 2017.
For Americans, Paris and London topped the list of cities they would most like to visit at least once. Europeans would most like to visit New York and both the Brazilians and Chinese have Paris atop their wish list. The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo was the most attractive sporting event to attend, followed by the Super Bowl and the U.S. Open (tennis).