June 23, 2021

Quicken Survey Finds Summer Travel Spending Gulf Between Men and Women

Women's lower spending points to their finances losing ground to men's, during the pandemic

Quicken Inc. shared survey results showing that people are planning on a major comeback in summer travel this year, with men, women and parents expressing different expectations for their travel and the related expenses. After a year of restrictions due to the pandemic, over 75% of survey respondents are planning to go on at least one vacation this summer, and half plan to take more than one trip.

Not only are more people saying they are planning to take vacations but, according to Quicken's survey, nearly half (43%) of those expect to spend more money than they did in previous years. Men are more likely than women to be preparing big budget trips. Parents with children under 18 also said they are planning to go big – spending more on trips that are longer and with more people.

Expect travel splurges. Quicken's survey found that, following the lockdown, those traveling are generally planning to spend more money this summer than they have previously. Of those planning increased spending:

  • More than 75% said it was in response to their experiences with COVID-19
  • 42% because they weren't able to go on vacation in 2020
  • 36% because they saved extra spending money during the pandemic, and
  • 25% because they are feeling the impact of inflation on the costs of travel as the economy recovers.

The unique impact of COVID on women. Quicken's survey shows women plan to spend significantly less on vacations than men. In addition to taking on more household tasks since the start of the pandemic, a significant number of women lost jobs as the economy shut down or were forced to quit their jobs to look after children or family members. In April of 2020, the unemployment rate for women was 16.1%, 2.5 points higher than the figure for men.

These trends may factor into the findings from the survey:

  • Of those planning to spend less than $1,000 on their vacations this year, 21% were men and 33% were women.
  • Of those planning to spend more than $7,500 on their vacations, 4% were women while 8% were men.
  • Some women are skipping travel completely – women are more likely to not be planning on vacation travel this summer or to be unsure (27% women vs. 18% men).

Quicken's survey also found that women are focusing on self-care this summer and traveling for different reasons than men. 29% of women are taking a vacation this summer to improve mental health and as an act of self-care, compared to only 17% of men.

"Clearly the Covid pandemic has created pent-up demand for travelling, and we are seeing people investing their money in some well-deserved time off," said Quicken CMO Linda Itskovitz. "But the transition back to 'normal' travel could take a negative toll on people's personal finances. It's important to plan for and set spending limits so you can enjoy these trips without getting a surprise hit to your bank balance."

How are travelers spending their vacations? In many instances, people want to focus on mental well-being and spending time with friends and family they haven't seen in a while, rather than go on the urban or cultural adventures they might have pursued in the past. When asked the type of vacation they'd like to take this summer, 24% of respondents said a relaxing beach or self-care type of break and about a quarter of men and women are planning to see family or friends. Only 6% of respondents are planning to go on a city or cultural vacation.

2021 will not be the summer of international getaways. Americans are planning to exercise caution in their summer travel. The survey shows this summer won't be the summer of international European vacations. Of those traveling, 70% of respondents are traveling only domestically, with 16% of those saying they would have gone overseas if things were more open. Another 11% are still unsure if they will venture outside of the US. Men were more likely than women to have international travel plans with 23% reporting they will travel either both internationally and domestic or only internationally.

Almost a quarter of respondents are either not traveling or are still unsure if they will be traveling. Of those who don't plan to travel, 41% cited reasons relating to the pandemic, with 28% saying they don't feel comfortable traveling with the pandemic still active.

... and what do parents think of traveling with children this summer? Parents who have dealt with the struggles of remote learning over the past year are even more prepared to get away, compared to folks with no kids. Of parents with children under 18, 42% are planning to go on multiple vacations compared to 34% of people without kids. Parents with kids under 18 are also more likely than those without kids to go on a longer vacation than in previous years (32% with vs. 26% without) and spend significantly more (20% with vs. 10% without).

Get an estimate for what your summer vacation will cost with Quicken's new vacation calculator.

Copyright 2021 Quicken. All rights reserved. From https://www.quicken.com.

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