Stats: 62% of Americans Want Experiences Over Gifts, a travel booking platform, is releasing a new study that revealed Americans are making up for last year with more travel and experiences planned for the remainder of 2021 and early 2022. In addition, people are making travel and gifting arrangements earlier this year, and both men and women agree that experiences are the preferred gifts this holiday season.   

Below are key findings from’s holiday survey and insights around what to expect for the upcoming holiday season and into early 2022.

Consumers Opt for Experiences

Industry experts have been warning that shipping delays and supply chain challenges may impact holiday shopping. Consumers are planning their gifting strategies earlier than ever and are already feeling the impact of shipping and supply obstacles.

That said, shipping delays aside, 62 percent of respondents prefer experiences over physical items when it comes to gifting. Gift-givers can “wow” everyone on their list this year by helping them explore new places in a new way. Just about half (49 percent) of all respondents shared items on their wish list are already out of stock or backordered as of early November. As a result, consumers are looking for alternatives, preferably digital options that don’t rely on shipping or supply chain.

Gifts for Him and Gifts for Her

When looking at how men and women approach gifting, the survey revealed both groups prefer experiences, with the most popular experiences being travel-related. The best gift-givers this season are giving the gift of unforgettable memories.

More than half of male respondents (60 percent) prefer experiences as gifts over physical items. Also, 68 percent of men said physical items on their wish lists are already out of stock. Men, according to, find the following experiences to be the best gifts: Outdoor adventures (50 percent), food or culinary tours (44 percent), and water activities (42 percent).

As for women, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 percent) prefer experiences as gifts over physical items, and 35 percent of women said physical items on their wish lists are already out of stock. In place of out-of-stock items, women find the following experiences to be the best gifts: Outdoor adventures (35 percent), food or culinary tours (34 percent), wine or beer tastings (32 percent).

Americans Are Booking Travel Early

Last year, more than half of those surveyed (52 percent) were unable to travel home for the holidays—likely due to pandemic travel restrictions and safety guidelines. Now, with the vaccine and travel restrictions having been eased, many are eager to make it home for the holidays this year. To that end, more than half of respondents (58 percent) have already booked their holiday travel. Of those that have already made their travel arrangements, 42 percent booked within the last month and one-third (33 percent) booked more than three months ago.

According to internal data from, in 2021 Americans were booking excursions on average 58 days in advance of their holiday travel date, in comparison to 2019 when they were booking on average 15 days prior to their holiday travel date (December 1 through January 1).  

Travelers continue to closely watch COVID-19 numbers with a majority of respondents (81 percent) willing to change their travel plans based on safety guidelines and recommendations. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) have a backup plan in the event their holiday plans get canceled due to COVID-19. For those that are traveling this holiday season, 41 percent are staying within the state.

Planning Is Underway as Travelers Book Winter 2022 Getaways

Travelers are wasting no time planning their winter trips beyond he holidays. Outside of the holidays, 60 percent of respondents are already planning trips for the winter season; according to’s internal data, the top five locations currently being booked by Americans include New York, Paris, Hawaii, Dubai and Rome.  

International travel is ramping back up, but 36 percent of people are planning to stay within the U.S. this winter, sticking to domestic flights. Additionally. consumers are budgeting for travel in the new year, with 24 percent of respondents planning to spend less $1,000 on travel and 26 percent planning to spend between $1,000 and $3,000 on travel in 2022.

This study included over 1,000 Americans between the ages of 16 and 56 and was conducted during the month of November 2021.


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