U.S. Travel Trends

19% of Americans Never Go on Vacation

FatWallet.com announced results from its annual Vacation Spending Survey* (TNS Global) where 81% said they regularly go on vacations and 58% going every year, 25% saying they go on two or more vacations per year.

HTrends FatWallet.com announced results from its annual Vacation Spending Survey* (TNS Global) where 81% said they regularly go on vacations and 58% going every year, 25% saying they go on two or more vacations per year. Of those surveyed, 60% book vacations at 1-6 months ahead (up 25% from 2014) and 14% book vacations at least 6 months in advance (up 30% from 2014). When booking, 74% use a laptop while 14% do so via mobile devices (up 56% from 2014) and that number rises to 21% for those under age 30.

A couple vacationing in LondonSurprisingly, 19% said they never go on vacation. According to the US Travel Association, U.S. firms have at least $224 billion of unused vacation time on their books, accounting for an average liability per employee of $1,898. FatWallet's vacation survey reveals that 42% will spend more than $1,500 on their next vacation (down from 46% in 2014), while 10% will spend more than $3,000 (down from 13% in 2014). To save money, 74% of vacationers said they look online for travel deals, or use miles, points, cash back rewards and credit card offers. Clothing and souvenirs are by far the most popular items they will purchase while traveling and prepping for vacation.

Key vacation survey results:

  • Frequency:  Total of 81% of Americans go on vacations (91% for those who earn +$75k annually), of those, 25% go more than once a year, 33% once a year, 6% every other year, 17% every few years and 19% never go on vacation (39% for those who earn less than $30k annually).
  • Booking:  60% book 1-6 months in advance, 14% more than 6 months ahead, 12% wing it (do not book ahead and just go and take what's available. 50% say their biggest influence on vacationing comes from family and friends while only 7% use a travel agent for this. Nearly 62% said they will book online with 30% through online travel agents (Priceline, Orbits, Expedia, etc.), 22% directly through a travel site (American, United, Hilton, Marriott, etc.) and 10% through a coupon or cash back site.
  • Spending & Saving:  58% will spend less than $1500 on their next vacation (71% under the age of 30), 32% will spend between $1,501 and $3,000 and 10% will spend more than $3000. Vacationers look to special online offers and deals (39%), points or miles (16%) and cash back rewards (13%) the most to save when booking travel. Most important hotel amenities were free WiFi (69%), free Parking (65%), free Breakfast (64%) and free pool/spa (46%).
  • Shopping:  To prep for vacation, Americans buy wearables (55%), health & beauty products (28%) and swimwear (26%) the most. On vacation they shop most for souvenirs (55%), clothes (34%) and jewelry (13%) and more than 1 in 4 will shop for local coupons to use and save on their vacation activities.
  • Sharing:  Facebook is the most popular way vacationers share vacation updates and photos (50%), while 42% use email, 14% Instagram, 6% Twitter, and 5% each for YouTube and cloud services. NOTE: For those under the age of 30, 70% use Facebook, 42% Instagram and 14% use Twitter.
"Late April is prime for consumers looking to save while booking summer vacations," stated Brent Shelton, FatWallet spokesperson. "FatWallet members will stack cash back from more than 100 of top travel sites with hundreds of the most current vacation package offers and hotel deals." The more savvy consumers look to FatWallet Travel Discussion forum for insider information and hot travel tips for finding the best domestic and international vacation rates.

About FatWallet: The one-stop shopping resource for millions of smart consumers, FatWallet.com publishes thousands of current store discounts and coupon codes that stack with Cash Back rewards from 1,700 online retailers, including Kohl's, Amazon, Walmart, and Ebay. The much celebrated FatWallet forums represent the pulse of an evolving online marketplace where smart consumers gather to share and learn. The new FatWallet Express is the "easy button" for online shoppers to assure cash back on every purchase, and FatWallet Deal Hunter app helps mobile shoppers compare thousands of current deals on-the-go. Contact: Brent Shelton for additional survey data at bshelton@fatwallet.com.

*The national survey conducted online by TNS on behalf of FatWallet.com in April 2015 was fielded among 1,000 adults ages 18 or older.

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