American Express has released its Travel Spending & Savings Tracker, which includes a detailed look at what consumers are spending and the kind of experiences travelers are looking for during the holiday travel period.
According to the research, 145 million Americans – or 62 percent of the U.S. adult population – would forgo presents for the gift of travel, and 90 million people will celebrate the holidays with a trip away from home. While these travelers are looking to save on the cost, they will splurge if the right opportunity arises.
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When asked for their reason for traveling during this year’s holiday season, 61 percent say it is to visit family and friends, while 30 percent say it is to treat themselves and their family to an end-of-year trip. Enthusiasm for travel is underscored by the fact that 28 percent of travelers (vs. 23 percent in 2011) say they will extend the duration of their trip. In addition, giving the gift of travel is also increasing, with 31 percent saying they have given travel as a present, compared to 27 percent in 2011.
More than half of consumers surveyed this year (53%) indicate that they will stick to a budget and expect to spend an average of $617 per person (nine percent decrease from 2011 at $678 per person). To offset the cost of travel, consumers say they are:
Being cost-conscious does not mean that cost is the sole factor consumers are taking into consideration when planning a trip. Consumers say that the destination is their priority when first booking a trip, followed by budget:
Consumers are willing to compromise so that they can maintain a budget, yet spend in other areas that matter the most. When asked, almost three-quarters of Americans (68 percent vs. 62 percent in 2011) say they will spend more on certain experiences this year:
Consumers cite the following accommodation preferences when traveling:
Among the hotel amenities that are most appealing to travelers are:
Americans are going to traverse the country and will mostly stay within the U.S. this holiday season. But for those who are venturing outside of the U.S. they are heading to the following destinations: