Why More Americans Are Opting for International Vacations This Summer

Why More Americans Are Opting for International Vacations This Summer

By Somewhere Beyond Vacations, Jun 28, 2024

MMGY has released updated findings from its quarterly research study, “Portrait of American Travelers,” shedding light on the preferences and behaviors of U.S. travelers. The report reveals that international vacations are on the rise among Americans, with 8 in 10 expressing interest in a trip abroad in the next two years. Other key takeaways include insights into travel intentions, road trips, popular domestic destinations, cannabis tourism, and generational differences.

“With traveler interest and intent holding steady into summer, it’s evident that Americans are eagerly making their plans to travel and escape in the near future, despite—or because of—world events and financial burdens,” said Chris Davidson, executive vice president of travel intelligence at MMGY. “While it’s encouraging to see strong interest in international outbound travel, we’re also cognizant that the national political climate and global tensions could temper this enthusiasm as the year progresses. That said, we remain quite optimistic about the overall travel forecast based on what consumers are telling us.”

Key Takeaways from the Report:

Travel Intentions Remain Strong: Compared to last year, travel intentions have increased across almost all household incomes. Travel spending intentions for the year ahead have reached the highest level recorded by MMGY since the COVID-19 pandemic. This increase is mainly attributed to Boomers and those with household incomes of $100,000 or more.

Road Trips Reign Supreme: More travelers than ever say they took a road trip in the last 12 months (64 percent), nearly doubling the 33 percent who reported doing so in 2015. Younger generations and those with kids are most likely to take a road trip in the next 12 months, motivated by spontaneity and the ability to explore multiple places.

Hot Domestic Destinations: Hawaii (67 percent), Florida (64 percent), Colorado (59 percent), and California (59 percent) continue to be the top states drawing interest from leisure travelers, with Florida, Colorado, and California all displaying significant increases year over year.

Cannabis Tourism: More than a third of travelers are interested in participating in a cannabis-related activity while on vacation, with half of those travelers interested in visiting a cannabis shop. Surprisingly, a quarter of these interested travelers do not use cannabis regularly but are open to cannabis-related experiences while traveling.

Generational Differences: While other generations are either witnessing an increase in travel intentions or are starting to level off, Gen Z continues to steadily decline. This may be due to the increased pressure of inflation and trip costs on younger travelers, who have less discretionary income overall.

Now available for purchase, the “Summer Edition” of Portrait of American Travelers also includes new insights dedicated to travel advisors, the role of diversity in travel marketing, and the changing face of the luxury traveler, among other topics.


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