Nearly Half of Americans to Travel This Winter: Stats

Vacasa, a vacation rental home management platform, has released results of a new survey, which reveal that 47 percent of Americans are planning to travel for a vacation or getaway during the 2023 winter season, with 64 percent of these travelers planning on traveling more frequently than they did last winter.  

According to the data, on average, Americans will be taking five trips throughout this winter, with quick weekend trips (71 percent) and long weekend trips (64 percent) being the most common—even more so than those who indicated so in a similar winter 2022 question (67 percent and 60 percent, respectively). 

Budgeting is a huge factor in making travel decisions, with 88 percent of travelers having shifted their travel plans and planning behaviors to be more budget conscious—whether that be by driving instead of flying to a destination (34 percent), looking out for special promotions (27 percent) or planning on spending less money when they get to their destination (27 percent).  

According to the survey results, four in five winter travelers (79 percent) are staying in the United States this season, a slight increase from a similar question asked in winter 2022 (75 percent). Sixty-five percent of travelers are planning on traveling to a destination within the United States, away from their town of primary residence, and 30 percent taking a local staycation. Among other highlights, 44 percent of travelers are heading to an urban/city destination this winter, while leisure destinations (e.g. vineyard, small town, etc.) (37 percent) and beach destination (36 percent) will also be popular. This is a slight seasonal shift from the fall, when consumers were still leaning into beach destinations more than any other (43 percent). 

In terms of how the travelers are getting to their destinations, more than two-thirds are driving to their winter destination(s) (67 percent), with 51 percent planning on flying. Cooler weather is also bringing more train rides, as a quarter of winter travelers are planning to take a train this season (24 percent), which has trended upwards since the summer (18 percent) and fall (21 percent) 2023 seasons.  

In terms of purpose of travel, 61 percent of travelers are planning to travel for Christmas this winter, followed by New Year’s Eve/Day (42 percent). While 25 percent of those traveling this winter are traveling for seasonal sports activities such as skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling. 

Looking ahead to 2024, domestic travel plans are on the uptick, as more than one in five Americans plan to travel within the United States more frequently in the upcoming year (21 percent).

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