60% vacationing, for 7 days, spending $1,200

Six out of ten Americans are taking vacation this summer, with plans driven by economics and marital status. Seven out of ten (71%) married adults will vacation, compared to just half of divorced adults (49%). While only 46% of those making under $25,000 a year in household income will vacation this summer, 81% of those making $100,000 to $149,999 will, and 91% of those making $150,000 to $199,999 will.

July is the big month: half (54%) of those planning to vacation will take time off in July, compared to August (42%), June (24%), and September (20%). College-aged adults (18-24) will take off July (73%), compared to only 37% of 55-64 year olds, while only 11% of college-aged adults will vacation in September, compared to 31% of those 55 and up. Vacationers will take a median of 7 days off.

When it comes to how much Americans will spend on summer vacation, a quarter (24%) will spend more than last year, and just a tenth (9%) will spend less. The median amount they will spend is $1,200. Those with kids are more likely to spend more (37% will) and four out of ten (39%) said the children had a substantial or complete influence when it came to selecting the vacation destination.

That destination will in their home state for four out ten (40%), another state for six out of ten (60%), and out of the country altogether for 14%. (Vacation plans could encompass some or all of these types of destinations.) Hispanics are twice as likely to vacation abroad as those not of Spanish or Latino descent, 26% vs. 13% (perhaps reflecting family ties in other countries).

In fact, visiting family and friends is also one of the key reasons people select different states to visit. When it comes to locale, the beach beats out theme parks and mountains. When it comes to the state they plan to visit this summer, 20% picked Florida, 11% California, 5% Nevada, and another 5% Tennessee. Said one about Florida: “Different family attractions and numerous entertainment venues.” Said another about California: “I’m vacationing with some friends of mine, and we all decided to hit L.A., go to the beach, some Six Flags, Disneyland, more fun things.”

This online survey had 1,000 respondents, of whom 564 had definite summer vacation plans. The survey was fielded from June 10 to 11, 2019. For more, please check out the slides and general methodology.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.