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Vacation Confidence Index 2021: Americans' Summer Vacation Spending Hits Record High

Summer Vacation
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America needs a vacation.

After a year of canceled plans and COVID-19 uncertainty, families are finally taking that long-awaited break — and they’re spending more than ever.

Allianz Partners USA’s 13th annual Vacation Confidence Index, a long-running survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, illuminated Americans’ vacation plans for summer 2021. You’ll find four key takeaways below.

Americans Are Spending More on Summer Vacation This Year

The average American household that’s vacationing in the summer of 2021 was planning to spend $2,122 on their getaway. In total, Americans’ vacation spending was expected to cross the $150 billion mark for the first time in the index’s decade-long history. The total — $153,700,000,000 — represents a 160% increase over the summer vacation spend in 2020 and a 50% increase over 2019.

The cost of vacationing has gone up dramatically. As of July 2021, hotel rates had returned to pre-pandemic levels, gas was more than $3 per gallon, on average, and rental car costs had risen 86%.1

This means travel insurance is more important than ever. A plan with trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits can reimburse your prepaid, non-refundable trip expenses if you must cancel or interrupt your trip due to a covered reason.

Americans Are Committed to Taking Their Summer Vacation

In 2019, the Vacation Confidence Index survey found that many Americans were vacation-deprived. Just over half hadn’t taken a vacation in more than a year, and 36 percent had taken their last vacation more than two years ago. When asked if they were confident they would take a summer vacation in 2019, only 42 percent said yes.

Then, travel restrictions and coronavirus fears drove the number of summer travelers to an all-time low in 2020. Just 26% of those surveyed were confident they’d take a vacation.

2021 saw a major turnaround. Americans’ confidence in taking a summer vacation jumped to an all-time high, with 60% saying they were confident they would take a vacation. (Staycations and microcations don’t count; a vacation is defined as a leisure trip of at least a week to a place that is 100 miles or more from home.)

What about the 29% who said they weren’t confident they’d take a summer vacation? In past years, people said the biggest reason they weren’t traveling was money. In 2021, 38% of non-travelers said they didn’t want to spend the money and 44% said they had other reasons, likely COVID-driven amid increased concerns about health and safety.

If you’re looking for a cheap summer vacation, travel experts have a few suggestions. Big cities, Florida beaches and Caribbean islands all can be affordable options for last-minute planners.

Some Americans Are More Committed to Summer Vacation

After a locked-down year, younger travelers were eager to get out of town. The Index found that 73% of respondents aged 18-34 were confident they’d take a summer vacation, compared to 60% of people aged 35-54 and 51% of Americans 55+.

The survey also found that, unsurprisingly, higher-income Americans were more likely to plan a vacation. Three-quarters of households making $100,000 or more a year expressed vacation confidence. Men were more confident in their vacation plans than women, perhaps owing to their lower anxiety about COVID-19.

If you’re planning a vacation this summer, or sometime in the future, be sure to safeguard your investment. A travel insurance plan from Allianz Global Assistance can protect you if you experience a covered trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, medical emergency or other travel mishap.

Some of most popular travel insurance plans now include the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement, which adds covered reasons to select benefits for certain losses related to COVID-19 and any future epidemic. (Benefits vary by plan and are not available in all jurisdictions. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.) Learn more about how the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement can protect you.

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