Pack Your Bags, America: 8 in 10 to Travel This Summer

Americans Expect to Spend an Average of $941 on Summer Getaways; Of Those Taking Summer Vacations, 72% Plan to Travel Domestically vs. 15% Internationally

With spring in full swing, Americans are looking ahead to summer getaways, with 8 in 10 planning to travel this season. (Graphic: Business Wire)

NEW YORK--()--With spring in full swing, Americans are looking ahead to summer getaways, with 8 in 10 planning to travel this season. According to the most recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 80% of Americans, or 195.9 million people, plan to travel in the coming months and expect to spend an average of $941, per person, on their trips.

Millennials, in particular, plan to travel more this summer than the average American (89% vs. 80% general population), despite busy lifestyles and plans to save money in 2016.1 The small percentage of Millennials staying local (11%) attribute their lack of summer travel plans to experiencing major milestones in their lives, such as a new baby or a new job (18% vs 10% general population).

"More than any other season, Americans see summer as a chance to take a break from their everyday,” said Claire Bennett, Executive Vice President, American Express Travel. “Beach trips remain the go-to summer vacation, but we’re also seeing outdoor activities, such as visiting National Parks and historic landmarks, making a notable appearance on the list of popular summer travel plans.”

Work-Less Weekends & Walks in the Park

On average, American employees get 14 total vacation days a year. Of those working Americans, they plan to take an average of eight vacation days this summer, and to maximize their travel, among all with summer vacation plan many are considering weekend getaways (64%, on par with 2015). In fact, Americans are planning an average of three weekends away. Choosing among several long holiday weekends, many Americans will travel Fourth of July weekend (35%), followed by Memorial Day weekend (24%) and Labor Day Weekend (21%).

Most Americans (72%) are planning stateside getaways (vs. 15% looking to go overseas), and the most popular trips consist of:

  • Beach trips (40%)
  • Trips to see family (34%)
  • Road trips (31%)
  • Outdoor adventures like hiking, biking and camping (21%)
  • National Park visits (21%)

With the National Parks Service Centennial this year, perhaps it’s no surprise that trips to National Parks make the list of top five vacation plans this summer. A whopping 78% of Americans are interested in visiting these historical landmarks, with Yellowstone National Park (25%) at the top of the list, followed by the Grand Canyon in Arizona (22%) and the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island in New York City (22%).

More Planning Means More Savings

Traveling in general comes at a price, and Americans are prepared to tackle the expense:75% have set aside money for their summer getaways (vs. 81% in 2015). Additionally, 91% of Americans will use specific cost-cutting measures to save money, such as opting to drive instead of fly (38%), dedicating more time to finding deals (30%) and simply planning a shorter trip (27%).

Devoting more time to research and planning seems to contribute to a more affordable trip. Almost half (46%) of Americans, for example, plan their trips more than a month out, up significantly from 37% in 2015. In addition to planning well in advance, they’ll do their due diligence researching, visiting an average of six websites before booking trips. Americans also want to feel self-assured in the process, reporting the leading factor in booking summer travel is feeling confident they've found a great deal (46% vs. 42% in 2015).

About the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of 2,000 adults, including the general U.S. population, as well as an affluent demographic defined by a minimum annual household income of $100,000. Interviewing was conducted by Ebiquity between April 28 and May 4, 2016. The overall margin of error is +/- 2.5 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence; the results have a margin of error of +/- 2.4 among summer travelers and +/- 3.3 for millennials.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on,,,, and

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About Ebiquity, Plc.

Ebiquity are independent marketing performance specialists. Ebiquity enables brands across the world to make better informed decisions to improve their brand and business performance across integrated communications channels. Learn more at

1 Americans say saving more money remains the number one resolution for 2016, beating out exercising more, eating healthier and losing weight. (American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, January 2016)


Jane Di Leo, 212-640-8055


Jane Di Leo, 212-640-8055