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Vacation Confidence Index 2023: Americans Spending More Than $200 Billion on Summer Vacation

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More than ever, Americans are determined to take a summer vacation this year—and they’re spending more than ever, too. That’s the upshot of the 2023 Vacation Confidence Index survey, which is conducted each year by Ipsos Public Affairs for Allianz Partners USA.

For the first time in the survey’s history, the total amount spent by Americans on summer vacations was expected to exceed $200 billion. At the same time, 61% of Americans said they were confident they’d take a summer vacation, which is the highest percentage since 2010. 

What else did the Vacation Confidence Index reveal? We’ll dive into the summer 2023 travel trends.

Most Americans agree that it’s important to take a summer vacation.

Three-quarters (74%) say that an annual summer vacation is important, which is 14 points higher than in 2019. Science backs them up: research has shown that going on vacation really does benefit your wellbeing! Taking vacations is associated with better heart health, decreased stress, and improved mindfulness and creativity. Longer trips are more beneficial than short ones.1

COVID caused people to recommit to taking vacation.

From 2010 to 2019, just 43% of Americans were confident they’d take a summer vacation, on average. In 2020, that figure plunged to 26%—no surprise! But since the pandemic, vacation confidence has increased dramatically. In the 2023 survey, 61% of Americans planned to book a summer trip of 100 or more miles away from home for at least a week.

Younger, wealthier, and male Americans have the highest levels of vacation confidence.

Americans aged 18-34 are the most confident they’ll take a summer vacation this year, compared to older age groups. Men, too, are more likely than women (57%) to be confident they’ll get away this summer. And while 75% of Americans with an annual household income of more than $100,000 plan to take a summer vacation, just 48% of those earning less than $50,000 said the same.

People are spending more on their 2023 summer vacation.

As a whole, Americans anticipated spending a record $214 billion on summer vacations. The average American household expects to spend $2,830, a 39% increase from pre-pandemic spending in 2019.

Overall, travel costs rose 14% from June 2019 to June 2023, according to NerdWallet’s analysis. Increased demand and high inflation are the main reasons for the jump. But there’s one piece of good news: Domestic airfares fell 19% from summer 2022 to summer 2023, and are even lower than they were in June 2019.

No matter how much you’re spending on your getaway, it’s smart to protect that investment with travel insurance. Travel insurance with trip cancellation/trip interruption benefits can reimburse you for nonrefundable, prepaid vacation expenses if you must cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason. If you cancel your vacation at the last minute and you don’t have insurance, you may have to say goodbye to all the money you spent.

See all available travel insurance plans.

Money is the biggest reason people don’t take summer vacation.

Among those people who said they weren’t going away for vacation, 57% said they didn’t want to spend the money. The next most common reason, for 13% of survey responders, was not wanting to take time off work.

This is a long-standing pattern for American workers. In the Pew Research Center’s most recent job-related study, just 48% of people who get paid time off say they take all the time they’re allowed. Almost as many—46% of workers—say they take less time off than they’re offered.


  • 52% say they don’t need to take more time off
  • 49% say they worry about falling behind at work
  • 43% say they would feel bad that their co-workers had to pick up the slack

Tips to help you save money on summer vacation

Are you one of the people who decided not to travel this summer because it’s too expensive? It’s not too late to change your mind! Here are some ideas for planning an affordable getaway.

  • Invite along friends or family members. Sharing the cost of a rental house can turn an unaffordable vacation into a cheap one. Just remember to split your vacation costs fairly (Tip: It’s trickier than you think.)
  • Plan your getaway for September. The cost of beach vacation rentals drops dramatically after Labor Day, but the weather and water are still inviting.
  • Use membership discounts. Got a store membership card? You may be able to get substantial vacation discounts through their portals. Sam’s Club offers up to 60% off hotels and up to 25% off rental cars. Costco has deals on vacation packages and tours.
  • Go on a “money hunt.” This tip comes from U.S. Bank financial coach Ana Salazar, who recommends searching for money you’ve forgotten about and putting it towards vacation. This could mean getting a refund on items you’ve been meaning to return, finding funds in your Venmo or PayPal account, redeeming credit card rewards, etc.

Still not going to happen? It’s OK to skip your 2023 summer vacation, then start saving for a fantastic getaway in 2024. Just remember: Always, always protect your special trips with travel insurance. Get a quote today.

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