Could this be one of the busiest summers for travel? A new survey from Discover found that 71 percent of consumers plan to take a vacation this summer (from May through September), compared to 58 percent in 2018. Most, however, are keeping their trips short.
This year, micro-vacations are proving the most common type of travel this summer, according to the Discover survey. Fifty-five percent of respondents said their summer trips will last one to three days. Twenty-one percent said they would take trips that were four to six days long, and just 12 percent said one week. Just 6 percent of travelers surveyed said that they would take a trip that was between 8 and 13 days long, and 5 percent said their trip would last two weeks or more.
The booking window for these trips is also short. Many consumers indicated that they were planning their trips with relatively short notice, with 46 percent of respondents said they plan their trips three months or less in advance, compared to 26 percent who said four to six months, 11 percent who said seven to nine months, 10 percent who said 10 to 12 months and 8 percent who said more than one year in advance.
Travel by Generations
The Discover survey confirmed that more consumers were planning to travel this summer, younger generations were more likely to take a vacation than their older counterparts. Seventy-seven percent of Gen Z and 76 percent of millennials are planning summer trips, compared to 67 percent of baby boomers and 60 percent of the Silent Generation.
Younger generations are also more open to alternative lodging options. Twenty-one percent of Gen Z and 16 percent of millennials say that they are more open to staying in home rentals. When it comes to baby boomers, just 8 percent said they were open to alternative lodging, and 5 percent of the Silent Generation.
Each generation also has different travel goals in mind for their vacation. Twenty-five percent of Gen Z and millennials want to spend time with friends and family. However, 41 percent of baby boomers are looking for relaxation.
Also when it comes on when to splurge, 36 percent of millennials and 30 percent of Gen Z are going big for activities and 43 percent of the Silent Generation and 37 percent of baby boomers are splashing out the Benjamins for food and dining.
When it comes to paying for travel, however, there is agreement across generations. Credit cards are the leading form of payment, with 39 percent of consumers say they prefer to use a card.
More consumers than ever are planning to cash in points to travel. Eighteen percent will use points entirely to pay for their trips, up from 13 percent in 2018. Younger travelers are more likely to use points. Thirty-eight percent of millennials and 35 percent of Gen Z, compared to 28 percent of Gen X, 18 percent of baby boomers and 15 percent of the Silent Generation.
“The core value of a travel credit card should be simplicity, especially in earning rewards while traveling, or redeeming your rewards to take a road trip or fly cross-country to visit family and friends,” said Laks Vasudevan, vice president of card programs, strategy and marketing at Discover. “That’s why our Discover it Miles card offers a simple rewards structure–1.5x Miles on every dollar spent on purchases. Plus no airline restrictions or blackout dates. You can easily redeem Miles as a statement credit for travel purchases, all without an annual fee.”