Travelers making other sacrifices to save for vacations, study finds

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Travelers are making sacrifices in other areas of their lives to ensure they have enough money for vacations, according to a new TripAdvisor survey. The TripBarometer by TripAdvisor found that 88 percent of American travelers say it’s worth making sacrifices to make memories:

Factor Percentage of respondents who will make sacrifices on the following factors in order to save money for travel
Global                                           U.S.
Nights out 51%                                               54%
Meals out 43%                                               48%
Clothes, etc. 39%                                               42%
Cigarettes 31%                                               33%
Gifts 28%                                               29%
Home improvements 19%                                               23%
Charity 16%                                               18%
Groceries 13%                                               15%
  • For some travelers, vacations take priority over child-related commitments:
    • 7 percent of global travelers and 11 percent in the U.S. cut back on child care costs
    • 7 percent of global travelers and 10 percent in the U.S. cut back on child-related activities
    • 5 percent of global travelers and 8 percent of U.S. travelers cut back on children’s education

The study, which is conducted twice a year, also found:

  • Travelers vary considerably in their economic outlook, with those from emerging markets far more optimistic about the global economy
  • While U.S. travelers aren’t planning to increase travel budgets next year, they are planning to travel more frequently and closer to home to discover the sights America has to offer
  • Despite the lack of confidence many travelers feel about the global economy, U.S. hoteliers remain confident about future profitability
  • Travelers are using credit to fund their holidays, particularly in emerging markets

“The TripBarometer has revealed useful insights into the travel economy based on varied consumer confidence and industry perspectives,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor. “While the majority of Americans aren’t planning to increase their travel budget, U.S. consumers are committed to taking more trips this year, which is good news for the travel industry.”

Travelers Plan to Lower their Budgets

  • Only onethird of U.S. travelers are optimistic about the economy
  • Americans are the least likely to spend more on travel in 2014 compared to other regions
  • 61 percent of global travelers and 65 percent of U.S. travelers plan to spend the same amount or less in 2014
  • Travelers in emerging markets are the ones who plan to spend more
Region Percentage of respondents who plan to spend more on travel in 2014
Africa 59%
South America 48%
Central America 47%
Middle East 46%
Asia 42%
Australasia 38%
Europe 36%
North America 35%
United States 35%

Trips are Shorter Yet More Frequent

  • 85 percent of global travelers and 91 percent of U.S. travelers plan to travel in their home market in 2013
  • Compared to 2013, almost one-third of Americans are planning to take more trips in 2014:
    • 22 percent of U.S. travelers are planning more short vacations
    • 8 percent of U.S. travelers have plans to take longer vacations
Reason Percentage of respondents giving the reason as to why they plan to travel in their home market this year
Global                                    U.S.
Discover their own country 42%                                        42%
Visit family 29%                                        38%
Save money 27%                                        39%

Credit is Helping to Fund Travel

  • Many travelers, including 46 percent of Americans, will fund all or part of their vacation with credit
  • Travelers in emerging markets are more willing to use credit

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