How Will High Inflation Affect U.S. Consumers’ Winter Travel?

January 11, 2024

As 2024 begins, cooler weather and snowstorms are sweeping across the U.S. Winter-time wanderlust is setting in, with U.S. consumers expressing a strong desire to travel, explore new places, and experience adventures.

Yet, the current economic context and inflation may prove to be a challenge for travelers and U.S. consumers may need to dial back on their expenses and reduce their vacation spending compared to previous years.

From December 8-10, 2023, we surveyed U.S. consumers about their winter (December to February) travel plans, destinations, and the factors that influence them.

How are economic factors impacting U.S. consumers’ winter travel plans? Is COVID-19 still impacting travel? Will consumers have to cut their travel short, or not travel at all? Our free report has the answers.

Discover how the economy is affecting U.S. consumers’ winter travel plans in our latest study. Here are a few highlights:

Leisure travelers are planning a trip this winter

  • Nearly one third (32%) of U.S. residents are likely to take a leisure trip this winter, with the majority (67%) intending to travel domestically.

Top leisure trips include city destinations and visiting friends/family

  •  Nearly a third of leisure travelers plan to travel to a city destination or to visit friends/family for the holidays or for another reason. Secondary leisure travel plans include going on a warm weather vacation or adventure vacation. 

Economic factors continue to hamper leisure travels, forcing travelers to cut back on spending  

  • More than half of leisure travelers indicate inflation (57%) and high transportation costs (56%) have impacted their travel this winter.
  • To combat hard economic conditions but still go on vacation, U.S. leisure travelers have had to cut back on spending in the following ways:
    • Reduce spending on shopping (27%)
    • Reduce spending on activities and attractions (24%)
    • Cut back on dining out (17%)
  • Leisure travelers have also cut back on their spending by making logistical changes to their plans. Some ways they’ve had to cut back include:
    o    Traveling during the off-peak season (22%)
    o    Reducing the length of their trip (20%)
    o    Choosing less expensive accommodation options (20%)
    o    Choosing alternative transportation methods (17%)
    o    Staying at family/friends’ homes (15%)
    o    Choosing destinations closer to home (14%)

 

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