Much has been said about America becoming a no-vacation nation. However, domestic travel trends reveal a surprisingly different picture. To better understand this seeming contradiction, Piplsay (powered by Market Cube) initiated research among 41,302 individuals and families across the US. Key tourism-related businesses such as airlines, hotels, vacation planners, and travel aggregator portals, can leverage this data for business decisions. For an in-depth analysis of survey responses, download the full document here.
They say Americans do not take vacations. While some working Americans hardly seem to take a break, over 50% of those who do opt to, do not utilize all of their allotted vacation time. Americans deal with a long list of woes, including holiday expenses, family obligations, and work guilt, before embarking on a rejuvenating break.
However, there is a twist: while vacations are becoming less common, holiday travel seems to be picking up. Piplsay dug deeper into this issue, inviting 41,302 Americans to share their vacation preferences. Here’s a summary.
Americans may be vacationing less, yet about 50% of them still take at least one domestic vacation each year. Those in the 35-54 age group seem to take the lead in vacationing. As only 42% of Americans have a valid passport, international travel remains far less common. Less than a quarter of Piplsay respondents said they travel abroad for a vacation every year.
Micro-Cations For Millennials
Contrary to popular belief, vacations are not getting any shorter. A good 58% of Americans vacation for at least a week, the Piplsay survey revealed. On the other hand, time-starved millennials seem to be leading the micro-cation trend, preferring shorter breaks of three to four days. Despite holiday options becoming more accessible and affordable, money continues to be the most important factor around which Americans plan their vacations. Tourist-friendliness and food, on the other hand, were farther down on their list of priorities.
Interestingly, despite America’s obsession with Facebook and Instagram, social media posts fail to ignite wanderlust. Nearly 40% of Americans today still prefer recommendations from their friends and family while planning their vacations.
Sticking Closer to Home
Beach vacations continue to remain the most popular. About 20% of Americans say they plan for their next vacation to be a sun-soaked one. Sadly, the famous all-American road trip seems to have lost its charm, as fewer people today prefer these long adventures. Shorter vacations are also killing the backpacking craze, as travelers focus more on relaxing breaks. As expected, holidays closer to home are becoming more common across all age groups. With close to two million domestic leisure trips* expected in the next few years, Americans certainly seem ready to go places. Even international vacations could see an uptake, as more Americans line up to get passports.
Survey Methodology: This Piplsay survey (powered by Market Cube) was conducted nationwide in the US in the month of September in 2019. We received 41,302 responses from individuals aged 18 years or older.