Summer Travel Soars; Many Americans to Spend More

Summer Travel Soars; Many Americans to Spend More

  • Information Overload Makes Travel Agents a Valued Resource

  • Expecting Parents "Babymoon" to Enjoy a Final Trip for Two Before the Big Event

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Summer travel plans are up 17% from last year, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, as more than two-thirds (69% vs. 59% in 2012) of consumers plan to get away in the next three months. Affluent consumers are leading the way, with 81% (vs. 73% in 2012) hitting U.S. roads and skies, and 38% (up from 29%) heading to international destinations. With more summer travel trips on the horizon, many Americans expect to spend more too. Thirty-one percent of travelers plan to spend more than $1,000 per person on their summer adventures (up from 27% in 2012) with the total expected summer travel spend averaging $1,145 per person.

View/Download:American Express Spending & Saving Tracker


Almost two-thirds of summer travelers (66%) are planning at least one week-long trip (up slightly from 64% last year), and 26% are planning a trip of two weeks or longer (vs. 24% in 2012). While away, more travelers are planning to open their wallets wider and more often, spending more to dine out (53% vs. 44% in 2012) and splurging on activities and experiences (44% vs. 37% in 2012).

"With Americans willing to spend more this year on summer travel, there's a bit more inclination to make each and every vacation moment count," said Claire Bennett, executive vice president at American Express Travel. "Whether it's a historical tour of Europe's capitals or a family beach vacation, consumers are spending the time or money it takes, and relying on expert resources like travel agents, to create authentic experiences with those that matter most."


When planning a vacation, many travelers are looking to incorporate their personal interests and passions into their travel experiences, including:

  • Immersing themselves into the local culture (36%)

  • Planning local shopping trips (30%)

  • Learning about the local food and cuisine (26%)

  • Partaking in learning/educational activities (24%)

  • Visiting historical sites and monuments (23%)


Thirty-four percent of consumers admit that they are overwhelmed by all the travel information and resources available online. To help sort through the clutter, more savvy summer travelers will turn to travel agents for help.

  • 10% of summer travelers, (14% of affluent consumers, up 40% from 2012) will use a travel agent to plan and book their trips this summer.

  • 25% admit they feel comfortable booking simple trips on their own, but seek advice from travel agents for more complex itineraries, unfamiliar destinations, and insider tips to make the most out of their vacations.

  • 27% do a bit of bargain-hunting research prior to connecting with a travel agent to ensure they receive the best deals.

Consumers will spend a great deal of time traveling domestically, with 44% of summer travelers planning to visit the Southern region of the U.S., 23% heading to the North and 27% fleeing West. Top destinations include:

  • Florida (21%)

  • California (15%)

  • Bahamas (11%)

  • New York (10%)


Many summer travelers will be making the most of their summer moments by hitting the road as a family (49%), while 36% will travel with a significant other and 11% with friends. While family travel is most popular, solo travel also continues to thrive. In fact, 15% of consumers are flying solo this summer, with 11% of these travelers from the affluent population.

A number of high-profile couples are popularizing the 'Babymoon,' a time for couples to travel alone right before baby arrives. In 2013, expecting parents are planning to enjoy each other's company before the baby enters the mix, with 37% of consumers with children aged 12 and under considering (or have already taken) a Babymoon. Babymoons have become especially popular among the affluent consumer, with 53% of an affluent audience with kids under age 12 investing in a pre-baby or post-baby getaway.

About the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of 1,505 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 Echo Research between April 18 and 22, 2013. Overall, the results have a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points (+/- 2.9 among summer travelers) at the 95 percent level of confidence.

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

Key links to products and services: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, business travel, and corporate card.

American Express
Melanie Backs
(212) 640-2164

KEYWORDS: United States North America New York


The article Summer Travel Soars; Many Americans to Spend More originally appeared on

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.