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Summer Travel Heats Up

[Thursday, June 23rd, 2016]

Eight in ten Americans will be packing their bags for a summer vacation this year, according to a recent American Express survey.

They’ll be spending plenty of dough on the road, as well: an average of $941 per family. Most people will travel within the United States: 72% are keeping in domestic this summer, while 15% will pack their passports for an adventure abroad.

The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker found that 195.9 million people are planning to travel this summer. The most popular vacation was a beach getaway, while visits to national parks and other historic landmarks were also popular.

Young people are traveling more than other demographics

The most likely age group to travel is Millennials—those ages 18 to 34. Eighty-nine percent of them said they were planning a vacation, compared with 80% of the general population. The 11% of Millennials who said they weren’t going to travel cited new babies and new jobs as the reason for sticking close to home.

Survey authors said that any outdoor activity would be popular this year, though beach vacations are still at the top.

Number of vacation days from work play into plans

Most American employees get a total of 14 vacation days per year. Survey findings showed that the average worker planned to take eight of those days during the summer. Weekend getaways were popular with those trying to maximize their travel while still conserving their vacation days to use strategically. Sixty-four percent of folks said they were planning a weekend getaway.

Weekend vacation plans tended to center around the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. Thirty-five percent of folks said they’d travel over July 4, 24% planned Memorial Day getaways, and 21% were waiting until Labor Day, the traditional end of summer, to take a long weekend.

Where to go and how to pay?

Forty percent of vacationers were planning trips to the beach, while 34% were planning to visit family. Thirty-one percent said they’d be taking a road trip, while 21% were going on hiking, biking and camping adventures. Another 21% said they’d visit a national park. Top destinations included Yellowstone National Park (25%), the Grand Canyon in Arizona (22%), and Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (22%).

When it comes to funding the vacation, 75% have money set aside especially for vacation. Ninety-one percent said they’d employ some frugality, either driving instead of flying, taking a shorter trip, or doing some bargain hunting.

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