Americans Set to Shatter Summer Vacation Spending Records as Pent-Up Demand Causes Vacation Confidence to Surge

Summer Vacation Spending Could Grow by 50% Over 2019 Levels

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, June 18, 2021 — Six in ten (60%) Americans say they are confident (32% very/28% somewhat) that they’ll take a summer vacation this year, up from just 26% last year and 42% in 2019, according to the annual Ipsos Allianz Vacation Confidence Index. A summer vacation is defined as at least one night away from home and at least 100 miles away. One in ten Americans say they’ve already traveled (2%) on their summer vacation or will travel at some other time this year (8%). Just three in ten (29%) Americans aren’t confident they’ll get away at all this summer.

Not only are more Americans intending to travel, but those who are traveling are anticipating spending more than ever. The average traveling American intends to spend $2,122 this year, which is up from $1,888 per traveler in last year’s COVID-dampened summer, and $2,037 on average in 2019.

This exuberance is translating into a record-breaking travel season in America, with the projected overall spend exceeding $153 billion, which is up from the $102 billion projection of 2019, and the $59 billion projection last year. This represents a roughly 160% increase over the summer vacation spend in locked-down 2020 and an impressive 50% increase over a robust 2019.

Not all Americans are equally likely to travel this summer: men (67%) express greater confidence than women (55%). Interestingly, this gender gap has grown from just 5 points pre-pandemic to a more significant 12 points this year, as women may be more cautious with traveling while COVID vaccinations are still underway. Those aged 18-34 (73%) are much more likely than Americans aged 35-54 (60%) or 55+ (51%) to say they’ll travel. Perhaps not surprisingly, those with household incomes of more than $100K a year are the most likely of all to travel (75%).

Among those unlikely to travel, some key barriers are evident: four in ten (38%) say they don’t want to spend the money, while others don’t want to take time off work (11%), consider the planning stressful or too time consuming (12%), or don’t want to take the time due to another personal obligation (8%). But four in ten (44%) also cite some other reason, which in this current context likely means COVID for many – which rises to 59% among non-travelers over the age of 55.

About the Study

These are the findings from an Ipsos poll conducted May 24-28, 2021 on behalf of Allianz Partners. For the survey, a sample of 2,009 adults ages 18 and over from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel (see link for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2018 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education. 

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=2,009, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval = +/-4.0 percentage points for all respondents).

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson
Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs
[email protected]

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The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs

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