Vacations are no longer just staying stateside, people want what’s unique when it comes to travel.

Findings from a survey of U.S. respondents to the 2024 Holiday Barometer conducted between March 27 and April 22, 2024, in 21 countries seconds that thought.

Based on the survey of 1,000 residents of each country, summer travel is close to returning to pre-pandemic levels. Of the U.S. travelers surveyed, 57% say they intend to travel this summer. Interestingly summer travelers are waiting longer to book their travel, likely in an attempt to keep their summer travel options open, with only 39% planning to travel saying they’ve booked their trips.

Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance, commented on the findings in a news release, “Every year this survey gives us a window into the minds of Americans as they make their summer travel decisions. The rise of ‘slow travel’ is an interesting trend as people want more authentic experiences over the traditional tourism hot spots. There are plenty of places throughout the United States where Americans can take full advantage of a slower pace of travel. While those surveyed said they preferred to travel within the US, it’s important to remember that Americans can experience almost any type of vacation they desire from sunbathing on pristine beaches to taking a challenging climb up a mountain or cooking classes in a major metropolis – all without needing their passport.”

Upcoming Travel Plans

  • 57% of U.S. respondents are planning to travel during June through September, coinciding with the North American summer vacation season.
  • Travel budgets are on the rise amongst Americans with those surveyed planning to spend $4,199 this year – the second highest in the world behind the Swiss.
  • Americans are planning more in advance for the summer travel season, almost 70% of Americans planning to travel this summer reported making their plans at least two months in advance.
  • Americans are still overwhelmingly choosing to travel domestically. Over 50% (56%) of those surveyed said their ideal vacation was within the United States. Only 21% stated a preference for a vacation abroad.
  • While vacationers from the U.S. are still picking beach vacations (49%) over trips to the city (43%) the number of Americans who indicated they would take a tour-style trip (30%) saw an 11% increase year over year.

Travel Trends

  • This year’s survey looks deeper into the type of travel people are looking for.  The two travel trends that surveyed Americans preferred were “Slow Travel” and traveling to less classically “touristy” destinations. These preferences were shared in all the regions surveyed.
  • These two preferences seem to be complementary since “Slow Travel” is defined as taking the time to explore local history and culture while supporting the environment.

Travel Concerns

  • Inflation is the main concern for travelers in all countries, far above other reasons, with it being a top concern among 87% of U.S. travelers.
  • COVID-19 and global armed conflicts are also weighing on the minds of American travelers.  Sixty percent of Americans surveyed said these concerns impacted their travel decisions.
  • 42% of Americans surveyed indicated they would be purchasing travel protection to help protect themselves this summer vacation season.

Survey Methodology

The 2024 edition of the Holiday Barometer from Europ Assistance and Ipsos was conducted in 21 countries including the United StatesCanadaUnited KingdomItalyFranceSpainSwitzerlandGermanyAustriaPortugalBelgiumPolandCzech RepublicMalaysiaHong KongIndiaSingaporeJapanSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates and Australia. In each country, 1,000 consumers aged 18 years and older took part in an online questionnaire. The survey was conducted between March 27 and April 22 and investigated consumer holiday plans and travel preferences.

Source: Generali Global Assistance