October 18, 2023

Majority of Americans Plan to Travel Again at Least Once Before Year’s End

Now that the peak summer travel period is over, we normally assume that people will slow down in terms vacation-going and trip-taking. While the autumn and winter months may typically be considered the “off-season”, this year is breaking the mould, according to new research from Forbes Advisor, which examined Americans’ travel plans between now and the end of 2023.

Given the phenomenal heat waves that sat over various parts of the planet this past summer, it seems that the combination of cooler temperatures, lighter crowds, and lower costs of travel during fall and wintertime is proving especially alluring this year. In fact, it looks like most U.S. households are giving into the desire to get away during the final quarter of 2023 and nearly half are taking on debt to do so.

Key Findings:

  • The vast majority of U.S. consumers will be traveling in the next few months. More than 83 percent of those surveyed by Forbes Advisor’s plan on taking at least one more trip before year’s end.
  • Actually, most respondents indicated they’ll be taking not just one, but two (38 percent) or even three (21 percent) trips between the months of October and December.
  • In terms of popular time frames for travel, 62 percent of participants said they plan to travel in November, 49 percent in October and 44 percent in December.

The broader trend of increased autumn travel appears to extend to all demographic groups. Of course, high-income households intend to travel more than those with lower incomes. A whopping 94 percent of respondents with total incomes of $150,001 to $200,000 will take at least two trips this fall, compared to just 24 percent of households earning under $50,000 per year.

Broken down generationally, Gen Z once again leads the charge, with 83 percent of between the ages of 18 and 26 planning to travel at least twice during the remainder of 2023. Among Millennials, that figure came in at 81 percent, compared 53 percent of Gen X, 35 percent of Baby Boomers and 35 percent of the Silent Generation. Meanwhile, At least 75 percent of families with children will be taking two or more trips between now and December—more than double the number of childless couples (37 percent) or single adults (32 percent).

Travel Motivations

Indications are that travel won’t slow during any of the year’s remaining three months. Although October isn’t typically considered busy as a holiday travel period, its popularity is increasing. Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said they plan on October travel for various reasons. In fact, Halloween destinations were shown to be this year’s third most popular trip type, with 45 percent of study participants bound for infamously spooky spots like Salem, Massachusetts. Another favorite fall, travel for leaf-peeping purposes is the motivation for 38 percent of respondents.

Then, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other end-of-year holidays will be largely responsible for a the year's final travel rushes, as is always the case. Other leading year-end trip types the survey uncovered include urban getaways (45 percent) and attending out-of-town sporting events (39 percent).

Money Matters

To fund their final getaways of 2023, the research showed that some consumers have made strategic budget alterations, including limiting or reducing at-home spending on dining, entertainment and other non-essentials. They’re also diverting money that might traditionally go into savings. Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents diminished or paused contributions toward their retirement accounts, while 42 percent stopped or lowered the amount they’re saving toward buying a home.

Many may have found ways to sock some money away ahead of time, but even more 46 percent) intend to take on credit card debt to make their year-end trips possible. In fact, 47 percent of those surveyed said they expect to open a new credit account to help handle high travel costs. Again, those with higher household incomes were more likely to open new lines of credit for travel purposes. Over half (53 percent) of respondents with an annual income between $100,001 and $150,000 indicated they would do so, as did 51 percent of those who bring in $150,001 to $200,000.

Copyright 2023 Northstar Travel Media, LLC. All rights reserved. From https://www.travelpulse.com. By Laurie Baratti.

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