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Amex Trendex Data: 3 in 4 consumers say travel is one of the top activities they miss most right now

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After spending more time at home together over the past few months, consumers are more likely to travel with members of their households (67%) than by themselves (10%) once restrictions are lifted.

Not traveling continues to take an emotional toll on U.S. consumers; four in five respondents (78%) say traveling is one of the top activities that they miss the most right now and nearly half (48%) believe not being able to travel is making them feel anxious and stressed, according to the Amex Trendex, a new trend report from American Express.

Despite the impact that not traveling has on consumers’ health and well-being, consumers remain hesitant to travel for upcoming holidays:

  • Only 10% of respondents are planning to travel for Labor Day
  • 1 in 5 (20%) are planning to travel for Thanksgiving 

When it comes to planning travel in the future, the Amex Trendex uncovered the following key consumer insights:

  • Group travel preferred over solo travel: After spending more time at home together over the past few months, consumers are more likely to travel with members of their households (67%) than by themselves (10%) once restrictions are lifted.
  • High-tech & high-touch service and space remain top of mind: 4 in 5 consumers (77%) prefer to book online on their own but would like to have a real person available to help and 6 in 10 respondents (61%) are willing to pay more for a plane or train that has every other seat free.
  • Consumers value flexibility and cleanliness: Increased flexibility for refunds/travel changes is most important when booking travel in the future (25%) followed by cleanliness standards (19%)
  • Travelers are interested in extended-stay travel programs: Over half (57%) of U.S. consumers would be willing to travel and live somewhere else for three months if given economic and health incentives, and 50% agree they would be willing to do so for a year. 
  • American Express Travel found similar trends when looking at U.S. Card Member booking data for travel booked through them over the last month, including:

Card Members continue to explore their own backyards

  • Over half of hotel bookings (52%) in July were made at hotels within the Card Members’ home state or out of state but local regional travel (compared to 33% in July 2019) 
  • 90% of lodging bookings and 79% of air bookings were domestic (between 6/08/2020 – 7/05/2020)

Last minute bookings continue to dominate (7/06/2020 – 8/02/2020 vs. 7/08/2019 – 8/04/2019) 

  • Two thirds of hotel bookings (62%) were made for travel less than 14 days out (compared to 48% last year) 
  • More than four in five hotel and domestic air bookings are for travel within 30 days (85% and 84% respectively) 
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