Data & Tech

Americans, especially boomers, are still vacationing this summer: report

Travelers are seeking “elevated and unique experiences” during their trips, according to a report from Deloitte.
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With prices (and temperatures) so high, marketers might be wondering if it’s even worth incorporating travel and vacations into their messaging for the summer.

According to Deloitte’s 2024 Summer Travel Outlook, while there are some caveats, intent to travel this summer among Americans is similar to last year, and travelers are looking for “elevated and unique experiences” from the brands they engage with while they’re vacationing or otherwise away from home.

PTO: About six in 10 Americans have plans to travel this summer, according to Deloitte’s survey of about 4,000 respondents that was fielded March 20–April 2. Another 42% said they’re not traveling, up slightly from 37% last year. For non-travelers, their biggest concern is cost, per the report.

  • About one-third (32%) of non-travelers said they passed on a trip because “travel is too expensive right now,” up from about one-quarter (24%) who said the same last year.
  • The largest share (39%) said they can’t afford it, while 19% said they’d rather spend money on other things.
  • Smaller shares said they’re concerned about health risks (7%) or potential disruptions to their travel (6%).

Boomer boom: The largest share of travelers this summer come from households with incomes over $100,000, thus driving up travel budgets, according to Deloitte. Last year, travelers were more evenly split among income groups. Among generations, boomers account for the largest share of the traveling public this year.

  • About a third (34%) of travelers are boomers, up from 28% last year.
  • About one-quarter (24%) are Gen X, 30% are millennials, and 9% are Gen Z adults.
  • Those shares are all more similar to what they were last summer.

Upgrade: Travelers are opting for more experiential lodging options over hotels, Deloitte found. The share of travelers intending to stay in private rentals increased this year over last, while the share intending to stay at a hotel took a dip.

Hotels are still the most popular lodging option this summer, but when it comes to people’s longest summer trips, they’re seeing a decline in booking as travelers seek alternatives, per the report.

  • Gen Z and millennials are contributing to increasing interest in accommodations like bed and breakfasts and campsites.
  • More high-income travelers are gravitating toward cruise ships and rentals, more mid-income travelers are choosing bed and breakfasts, and lower-income travelers are favoring camping.

Demand for RVs is up across income groups. With intent for road trips also up compared to 2022 and 2023, it could be another hot summer for out-of-home advertising.

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