‘Tis the season for holiday travel, and this year, consumers are spending more to travel both domestically and abroad.
According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, a little over half of all Americans (52 percent) plan to travel this holiday season and are expecting to spend an average of $1,521, a 151 percent jump from just $605 in 2015.
The top reasons for travel this holiday season include visiting family or friends (53 percent) and treating oneself or family members to a vacation (31 percent). The average American is expected to travel with five people, which makes the overall cost of a family holiday vacation an estimated $9,129.
“The holiday season has always been one of the most popular times to travel, but this year, Americans plan to spend significantly more,” Claire Bennett, EVP of American Express Travel, said in a statement. “One reason for an increase in spend can be attributed to their desire for shared experiences and, therefore, their willingness to spend on activities and events with family and friends.”
With traveling comes increased spending on other items as well.
American Express’ research found that, during this holiday season, consumers plan to spend even more on dining out (36 percent), activities and entertainment (33 percent) and upgrading their accommodations (25 percent). Nearly 18 percent of consumers said they would also splurge on a more expensive destination, while 15 percent plan to pay what it takes to upgrade to first or business class when flying.
The majority (62 percent) of American consumers surveyed said they are willing to exceed their travel budget in order to take advantage of unique experiences.