Despite concerns over inflation and higher fuel costs, Americans still plan to travel across the country and globe, according to a recent study by Rakuten Advertising, which spoke to over 1,000 people about their upcoming travel plans, booking, and most-valued upgrades.

According to the report, titled, “Engaging Today's Travelers: Travel Trends Looking Into 2023,” most Americans will travel within the U.S. (75 percent) over the next six months. Of the quarter who are planning to travel internationally, the top destinations include: Continental Europe (38 percent); Canada (21 percent); Mexico (18 percent); the U.K. and Ireland (15 percent); South America (13 percent); Asia (13 percent); Africa (7 percent); and Australia (6 percent).

Looking towards the holidays, 11 percent of respondents have already booked travel with 32 percent strongly considering booking travel. As for 2023, 29 percent already have a trip on the books with another 34 percent saying they’re considering it.

Despite the intention to travel, cost increases have 89 percent of Americans looking out for coupons, cash back and rewards for booking travel. The report adds that seven in 10 of summer and fall travelers plan to spend under $2,000; however, as they plan for 2023, they’re open to spending up to and over $10,000.

Regarding travel insurance, four in 10 said they have never purchased any, but one-third said they would for their next vacation.

Social media also plays a huge role in how people travel. The top three platforms for Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials (in varying orders) were Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Only for Gen Z was Facebook less of a factor, instead replaced by TikTok (thus making Instagram and YouTube the only commonalities across all four generations).

In the last year, hotels have seen an increase in brand loyalty from their customers, with most travelers researching and/or booking accommodations with loyalty programs. When it came to booking, nearly half (49 percent) of Americans went directly through the brand’s website/app, while 39 percent used an online travel aggregator. On the cruising front, only 16 percent of those surveyed have one booked for 2022 or 2023. The Caribbean/Bahamas are the most popular cruise destinations.

As for flying, travelers are 15 percent more likely to purchase a premium seat than they were pre-pandemic. Eighteen percent of people with an annual household income under $60,000 say they are more likely to upgrade their cabin; that number increases as income does: Those making $60,000 to $100,000 are 39 percent more likely to upgrade their cabin, while more than half (53 percent) of those making above $100,000 said the same.

Source: Rakuten Advertising

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