Discover Survey Reveals Vacation Trends for 2019

With June nearly here, business owners around the world are preparing for the summer vacation season in America. With most school children free for two months, many families use the summer months to plan trips. The warmer weather also encourages people to visit beaches, parks, and other places where they can experience nature. Recent research suggests that the 2019 summer season could bring a greater windfall for seasonal businesses. A survey from Discover on vacation trends reported that significantly more consumers plan to travel this summer compared to last year.

A national survey from Discover found that 71 percent of consumers plan to take a vacation this summer (from May through September), compared to just 58 percent in 2018. The data is based on responses from more than 2,500 people in the U.S. The data was broken down by age demographic using the Pew definitions: Gen Z (22 and under) millennials (23-38), Gen X (39-54), baby boomers (55-73), and the Silent Generation (74+).

Most Americans Planning Short Vacation Trips

American workers traditionally have fewer days off than employees in places like the European Union. This fact is reflected in the number of people who plan to take miniature vacations that last no more than a few days. The majority of the Americans survey by Discover (55 percent) said their summer trips would last one to three days, whereas only one in five (21 percent) expected a journey of four to six days.

Some travelers are planning for vacations where they stay longer than a week. About one in eight (12 percent) of respondents said they would go on vacation for a week. Only about one in 20 individuals in the survey said they planned on a trip of 8 to 13 days (6 percent) or a trip that lasted longer than two weeks (5 percent).

Demographics Affects Vacation Trends

Vacations are appealing to consumers in every demographic, but younger workers are more likely to plan on traveling for their getaways. According to Discover, three out of four Gen Z (77 percent) and millennials (76 percent) respondents are planning summer trips. In contrast, 67 percent of baby boomers and 60 percent of the Silent Generation reported planning trips.

Hotels may not need to worry at the moment, but there is a growing trend of vacationers looking for lodging in rental properties. The rise of apps like Airbnb and the ever-increasing number of vacation rentals in popular destinations is changing the way younger generations plan their trips. Among the survey respondents, 21 percent of Gen Z and 16 percent of millennials said they are more open to staying in home rentals. Only 8 percent of baby boomers and 5 percent of the Silent Generation said they were considering rental properties for their trips.

Aside from differences in their accommodation choices, the Discover survey also revealed differences in why different age groups go on vacation and how they plan on spending their money to accomplish that goal. For example, one in four (25 percent) respondents from the Gen Z and millennials demographic wanted to spend time with their friends and family. On the other hand, 41 percent of baby boomers want to relax on their trips.

Among the survey respondents, roughly two in five (39 percent) stated that their credit card was their preferred way to pay for things while on vacation. Younger consumers are also most likely to splurge on activities while on vacation (36 percent of millennials and 30 percent of Gen Z), whereas older consumers said they would rather splurge on food and dining (43 percent of the Silent Generation and 37 percent of baby boomers).

The summer vacation season has just started, which means there’s still time for businesses to use this data to fine-tune their seasonal marketing. Knowing these vacation trends can make for more engaging and appealing advertisements.

For more recent news about consumer trends, read this article on how online shoppers compared to in-store shoppers.

Donald Postway

About Donald Postway

Donald Postway is a freelance communications specialist and business analyst. He has a master's degree in public administration and a bachelor's degree in communications, both from the University of North Florida. He has worked in a variety of industries, including local government, information technology, marketing, retail and more.

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