Summer Travel Trends: The Who, What and Where

Planning a summer getaway this year? Then you’re part of the 56% of Americans who plan to take a vacation during the upcoming summer months. We know businesses and consumers alike rely on the revenue these summer jaunts bring, so we took a closer look into Americans’ spending habits during vacation season.


Of those who plan to take time off, 92% will go away, while 8% will stay home. For most, summer vacation means family time. 87% of married couples plan to travel together, and the same number will bring their children. Among non-married vacationers, 57% will travel with friends or family, and 24% will fly solo. According to research conducted by AP-NORC, 43% of Americans won’t be taking a vacation. The top reason for skipping a trip is the cost, according to 49% of non-vacationers. 11% aren’t able to take the time off work, and 3% said they don’t like to be away from work (these folks deserve a raise).


74% of Americans will be using credit to finance their next trip. According to a study by LearnVest, the average vacationer racks up $1,108 in debt to finance their trip. Half of those surveyed expect to spend less than $1,000 total for their summer holiday, while 50% plan to spend more than $1,000. Two-thirds of the respondents reported spending more on a week-long vacation than they do on a month’s rent or mortgage.


MMGY Global’s recent study showed that domestic vacations now make up 85% of American vacations, up 7 points from last year. 53% of domestic travelers plan to visit an attraction of some sort this year. While that might bring to mind an amusement park, the research indicates the top-ranking attractions are more educational, with 65% planning to visit an art or history museum, aquariums (59%) or  science museums (56%) coming before theme parks (55%).


While international tourism is growing at its fastest pace in seven years, the U.S. is experiencing its sharpest drop in foreign travelers since 2009. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in 2017 the number of arrivals to the U.S. from foreign countries was down 9.3% compared to 2016. The dip in tourism (perhaps caused by anti-foreigner rhetoric and immigration policies) has many travel and retail industries worried, as international travelers tend to stay longer and spend more than their domestic counterparts.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, including frequent travelers, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project.

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