Three-quarters of Americans are planning to go on vacation this summer but most of them won’t venture too far from home, according to the latest American Express Spending and Saving Tracker. Seventy percent of those that plan to travel will leave their passports behind and have adventures within the U.S. border.
More people than recent years will hit the road or take to the skies this summer. In the same survey in 2012, 59% of respondents planned a summer vacation. In 2013, that number rose to 69%. This year, it was up to 75%. Chalk it up to the harsh winter or an improving economy, but it seems folks are prepared to shell out more for summer vacation this year than last as well. The average amount people plan to spend, per person, was $1,246—and increase of 9% over last year.
That doesn’t mean people aren’t still looking for a bargain, though. Ninety-one percent of respondents are hunting for ways to cut costs, and 60% will make some sort of compromise to save money. Ways to save include driving instead of flying (44%), taking shorter trips (33%), finding a place to stay where they can cook their own meals instead of eating out (30%), choosing a cheaper destination (28%), and traveling during off-peak dates (24%).
How many vacations and how long
Just one vacation isn’t enough for some. On average, survey respondents said they’d take three weekend trips this summer, with many people taking off for all three major summer holidays: Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Sixty-seven percent of people said they would go away for at least one weekend this summer, versus 59% last year.
Longer vacations are in the works for many people. Sixty-nine percent of vacationers will soak up sun for at least a week, and 32% will stretch their vacation to two or more weeks.
Those vacations will largely take place near a body of water: 45% of respondents said their plans included visiting a beach, river or lake. To while away the days, 41% will spend time shopping, 32% will sightsee and visit museums and other cultural destinations, 32% will reconnect with family at a reunion, and 27% plan to visit a water park.
Although the majority of people said they’ll stay in America, 17% are planning to travel internationally, and 13% said they’ll vacation both in the U.S. and abroad this summer.
Summer vacations are a traditional time to bond with family members, and 78% of people report plans to travel with their immediate families. But 16% say they are vacationing with friends, and more than half (51%) will bring the family pet on vacation too.
The American Express Spending and Saving Tracker was conducted online between April 7 and 11. Results include responses from 1,500 adults.