Travel Ranks as #1 Category for Discretionary Spend

by Anthony Losanno

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The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) recently released some new data on current travel trends. Americans are spending more on travel than any other category for large-purchase discretionary spend.

Over 47 percent of survey respondents ranked travel as their top pick for their dollars. This dwarfed other categories with home renovation coming in next at 23 percent and the purchase of a new computer in a distant third (just 10 percent). This is regardless of generation, but Gen Z and Millennials are spending 22 percent more this year.

Travel Early

Travel is hot and bookings are up (Delta says 75 percent of seats for international flights are booked this summer. Read more here). Over 63 percent of those surveyed have solid travel plans before the end of the year. Cruises are also booming with the number planning a cruise increasing by 40 percent. As other surveys have noted, going abroad is also on trend. This survey found that 30 percent of vacationers will head internationally in 2023 and this goes up to 42 percent in 2024.

Social Media

Survey respondents also overwhelmingly agree that it’s important to get out and see the world. Social media is not a substitute for seeing the world according to 62 percent and 78 percent said that a vacation is needed for their mental health.

Anthony’s Take: Travel is always a considerable amount of my annual spending. I’ve come to a point where experiences outrank things and I want to see the world. There is no substitute to going places and I know that my wanderlust won’t be dying down any time soon.

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