December 14, 2023

New Survey Reveals Americans are Willing to Compromise their Budgets Rather than Forgo Travel Plans

More than half of Americans (61%) have made budget cuts and more than a third (37%) have gone into debt to afford a trip

As the holiday season approaches and consumer cost of living increases continue to outpace wage growth, putting a continued financial strain on U.S. families, a new survey reveals that Americans are prioritizing their travels at the expense of curbing spending on other important purchases. The national survey of 2000 Americans commissioned by justfly.comâ„¢, a leading online travel agency, sought insight into how Americans are managing travel expenses with rising costs. The survey showed that 61% of Americans have tightened their budgets in order to afford a vacation while 37% have gone into debt to pay for their travels.

"Americans will make travel accessible at all costs. Even during challenging economic times, the majority of those surveyed were willing to make financial concessions to make their planned trip possible by choosing to spend less on groceries and going out to altering their travel dates and accommodations than to not go at all," said CEO Henri Chelhot.

How Inflation is Affecting Travel

Three-quarters of Americans (75%) surveyed have had to make tangible concessions in the current economy to make ends meet. Travel is a key area for spending cuts. Nearly 46% of survey respondents said they would have to cut their travel budget 'somewhat' or 'a lot.'

Other findings showed that Americans who made travel plans were willing to make other concessions in their budgets to afford to take the trip. Over 70% cut spending on eating out and entertainment and more than 60% cut spending on clothing and gifts. A sizable percentage of Americans also cut spending on essential items like groceries (36%) and household supplies (32%) as well as transportation costs (22%).

How Different Generations Fund their Getaways

When it comes down to paying for a vacation, the survey results revealed differences in how each generation finances their vacations.

Respondents from Gen Z admitted to working more hours (52%) and even taking on a second job (24%) to afford a trip in the past. Millennials were significantly more likely to have used their credit cards (46%) or taken out a loan (12%) to cover travel expenses, and half (50%) shared they worked more hours to pay for a trip.

However, the research found Baby Boomers were the least likely to cut their travel budget (41%), yet this generation made the biggest cuts in eating out (80%) and entertainment (81%) to maintain their travel budget.

Staying Close to Home for the Holidays

When asked specifically about holiday travel, 53% of respondents expressed that they did not have concrete travel plans for Q4 2023 while 40% said they do have travel plans and expect to spend the same this year as last. The results showed that 24% of Americans that do have travel plans are planning to take national flights within the U.S.

Adapting Travel Plans to Be More Budget Friendly

In an effort to cut the costs of traveling, Americans are making concessions in how they travel too. Two-thirds (64%) of respondents have adapted the way they travel to make it more affordable with 67% using discounts to cut costs, 57% changing their travel dates and 57% downgrading their accommodation, dining out, and other activities. Interestingly, 11% of Gen Z travelers looked for a good cash back option when booking their trip.

"Travel is powerful. It creates memories and enriching experiences. At we are committed to providing travelers with the tools and information they need to craft cost-effective and flexible itineraries. We believe that with the right support, consumers can still find a way to fit travel into their budget" added Chelhot.

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