July 23, 2024

Olympia Travel Tips

Maniac Travel Update

80{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} Of Summer Vacationers Are Changing Their Plans Due To Inflation

80{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} Of Summer Vacationers Are Changing Their Plans Due To Inflation

This summer, American adults are doing what they can to afford well-earned vacations, even if the economic climate means they may be rethinking their original plans.

The majority (80 percent) of likely summer vacationers are changing their plans due to inflation, according to a new Bankrate survey.

Americans who are taking at least one vacation this year are expecting to use cost-saving strategies like traveling for fewer days (26 percent), traveling a shorter distance (23 percent), driving instead of flying (26 percent) or engaging in cheaper activities (28 percent).

This year, as prices and interest rates continue to push higher, we’re seeing more signals that vacationers are adapting their plans. Many are still going somewhere, but they’re being more thoughtful about how they’re spending.
— Ted Rossman, Senior Industry Analyst

Bankrate’s key insights on summer travel in 2023

  • More people are going on vacation this year than in 2022. 63{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} of U.S. adults are likely to take a summer vacation this year, up from 61{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} in 2022.
  • Affordability is stopping many people’s ability to go on vacation. 58{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} of those unlikely to take a summer vacation say they can’t afford it. That’s up from 2022, when 48{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} of those unlikely to take a summer vacation said they couldn’t afford it.
  • Inflation is cutting into budgets. 62{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} of those who can’t afford a summer vacation this year say it’s due to inflation or rising prices.
  • People plan to adapt to rising costs. 29{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} of vacationers are saving money by selecting less expensive accommodations or destinations, closely followed by 28{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} who plan to engage in cheaper activities. 26{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97} of vacationers will cut costs by either traveling for fewer days, taking fewer trips (26{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97}) or driving rather than flying to their destination (26{0b5b04b8d3ad800b67772b3dcc20e35ebfd293e6e83c1a657928cfb52b561f97}).

Nearly 2 in 3 adults plan to take a summer vacation this year

Whether jetting away on a luxury vacation or staying home in their pajamas on a staycation, 63 percent of U.S. adults are likely to take a summer vacation this year. The number of vacationers will increase since 2022, when 61 percent of people told Bankrate they were likely to take a summer vacation.

Source: Bankrate survey, March 29-31, 2023
*Including a “staycation” in which you take time off from work but don’t travel anywhere

One in three U.S. adults (33 percent) are very likely to take a summer vacation in 2023, while 30 percent are somewhat likely, 16 percent are not too likely and 20 percent are not at all likely.

Unsurprisingly, income makes a substantial impact on whether a household goes on a summer vacation. Households with an annual income of $100,000 or more are most likely (81 percent) to be planning on taking a summer vacation this year, compared to 65 percent of those who make between $50,000 and $99,999 and 54 percent of those earning less than $50,000.

Younger Americans are more likely to get away

Younger generations are more likely to be planning on taking a summer vacation this year, according to Bankrate:

  • 76 percent of Gen Zers (ages 18-26)
  • 70 percent of millennials (ages 27-42)
  • 62 percent of Gen Xers (ages 43-57)
  • 54 percent of baby boomers (ages 58-77)

In 2022, 72 percent of Gen Zers and 65 percent of millennials were likely to take a vacation. A similar percentage of Gen Xers were likely to take a vacation in 2022 (61 percent), but more baby boomers were likely to take a vacation (58 percent).

Beaches remain the most popular summer vacation destination

Americans are dreaming of sand and waves this summer. Nearly two in five (39 percent) of vacationers plan to go to the beach this summer, according to Bankrate. That’s similar to 2022, when 37 percent of likely vacationers planned to go to the beach.

Source: Bankrate survey, March 29-31, 2023
Note: Percentages are of U.S. adults who are likely to take at least one summer vacation this year.

A little over a quarter (28 percent each) of vacationers plan to either go to a city or don’t plan to go anywhere at all, instead electing to have a home-based vacation, or staycation.

Other popular vacations include outdoor destinations such as a national park (23 percent), campground (19 percent) or an amusement park (19 percent).

Compared to affordable spots like the beach, relatively few (14 percent) people plan to go on an international vacation or cruise (14 percent each) this summer.

More than half of U.S. adults not taking a 2023 summer vacation cite affordability

Among the 37 percent of U.S. adults unlikely to take a vacation this year, most — 58 percent — say a reason is that they can’t afford to. That’s 10 percentage points more than in 2022, when 48 percent of those unlikely to take a summer vacation said they couldn’t afford one.

Source: Bankrate survey, March 29-31, 2023
Note: Percentages are of U.S. adults who aren’t likely to take at least one summer vacation this year.

Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of Americans also said they aren’t interested in taking vacations currently, while 15 percent cited their health or age. Three years after pandemic lockdowns, 9 percent of people said they aren’t likely to take a summer vacation due to COVID-19 concerns.

Among gender lines, more women than men said they would be unlikely to take a summer vacation due to not being able to afford it (62 percent and 54 percent, respectively).

Gen Xers were also most likely to say they couldn’t afford a summer vacation this year compared to other generations:

  • 69 percent of Gen X
  • 59 percent of baby boomers
  • 52 percent of millennials
  • 47 percent of Gen Z

Inflation is having major impacts on how people will spend their summers this year

Inflation has made most consumer goods and services, from flights and hotels to food and clothing, more expensive. The majority (62 percent) of those who say they can’t afford a summer vacation cite inflation, according to Bankrate.

“There’s a cumulative toll to both inflation and the higher interest rates that are meant to combat it,” says Bankrate senior industry analyst Ted Rossman. “Prices were rising much faster last year at this time, but fewer travelers were adjusting their plans. Last year was also notable for the tremendous pent-up demand that was unleashed as COVID-19 restrictions and concerns began to ease.”

Source: Bankrate survey, March 29-31, 2023
Note: Percentages are of U.S. adults who aren’t likely to take at least one summer vacation this year as they cannot afford it.

Similar to those who cite inflation, 59 percent say that insufficient income is why they can’t afford a vacation this year. Other reasons include being focused on other financial priorities (36 percent), debt (30 percent) or something else (5 percent).

Nearly 1 in 3 vacationers are choosing less expensive locations/accommodations due to inflation

Due to inflation, the largest percentage of likely vacationers (29 percent) plan to select less expensive vacation accommodations or destinations. In addition, 28 percent of vacationers plan to engage in cheaper activities.

Source: Bankrate survey, March 29-31, 2023
Note: Percentages are of U.S. adults who are likely to take at least one summer vacation this year.

Other changes included taking fewer trips (26 percent), traveling for fewer days (26 percent) or driving instead of flying (26 percent).

These figures are up from last year, when 22 percent of vacationers making changes to their plans due to inflation chose less expensive accommodations or destinations, 23 percent engaged in cheaper activities, 19 percent traveled for fewer days and 16 percent drove rather than flew to their destinations.

Nearly one-quarter of vacationers are choosing to forego travel completely and are instead taking a staycation. The lowest percentage of vacationers are planning to use reward points to cut costs (20 percent) or plan to fly instead of driving to their vacation (11 percent).

3 ways to maximize travel deals

1. Plan early and pay over time. Planning your vacation early (or even starting the year before) can allow you to spread out your purchases and pick the best time to book flights, hotels and more. Depending on the destination and dates, it’s most affordable to book flights 70 days ahead of time, according to CheapAir.com. However, according to Skyscanner, it’s most affordable to book hotels one to two weeks ahead of when you check in. However, try to avoid making purchases through a credit card and paying it over time — high interest rates can lead to particularly high credit card payments over several months.

2. Consider credit card rewards. Only 20 percent of likely travelers plan to use credit card rewards points to cut costs this summer, according to Bankrate, but Rossman advises people to consider travel credit card rewards, frequent flier miles and other perks. “These represent real value, and too few travelers are planning to redeem them this summer. Your rewards won’t get more valuable over time — use them before you lose them,” Rossman says.

3. Use packages and deals. If you’re one of the 28 percent of vacationers traveling to a city or taking a staycation in your own city, consider bundled tourism deals. Packages available in most major cities allow you to hit its most popular museums, parks and other attractions in a single day or a weekend. Or, consider online trip builders that allow you to build your own vacation, complete with airfare, for a lower price.

  • Bankrate commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,461 U.S. adults, among whom 1,554 are likely to take at least one summer vacation this year. Fieldwork was undertaken on March 29-31, 2023. The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.