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)