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Americans love taking vacations.

Vacation spending is equal to about 2% of the total budgets of all US households annually.

In fact, the average American takes four of them per year.

But how much does all this vacationing cost? And where do people tend to spend the most money while on vacation? To answer these questions, let’s take a look at some recent vacation spending statistics.

Editor Choice: Average Vacations Cost and Spending Statistics

  • On average, a vacation of one person costs $1145, meaning $4,580 for a family of four. (Credit Donkey Survey)
  • On average, $1,979 spend on summer vacations according to recent Bankrate Survey.
  • Americans spend $101.1 Billion on summer vacations
  • The average price of a round-trip international flight is $1,368.
  • In 2019 traveler spending totaled $1.1 trillion: $278.9B for food services, $242.3B for lodging, $210.8B for public transportation, $169.7B for auto transportation, $117.8B for recreation/amusement and $107.3B for retail
  • Travel and tourism was the second-most-popular choice for discretionary spending
  • 2.7% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) attributed to travel and tourism

1. A new survey from Bankrate shows that just 52 percent of Americans are planning to take a summer vacation. More than a quarter (26 percent) is not planning any summer travel and another 22 percent are still on the fence.

Americans are planning to take a summer vacation

The most common reason given by respondents (60 percent) for not arranging a trip is that they are unable to afford to do so, which is a straightforward explanation.

Two of the most frequent reasons for not being able to take a vacation are household costs (44 percent) and paying off one’s debt (35 percent) (22 percent).

Baby boomers (20 percent) and the silent generation (48 percent) are the generations most likely to claim they are unable to take a vacation owing to health or age-related reasons. Younger millennials between the ages of 23 and 29 (29 percent) are the generation most likely to be uninterested in a summer vacation for a variety of reasons. (Bankrate)

2. The average price of a round-trip domestic flight is $354

The average price of a round-trip domestic flight

When compared to international flights, domestic flights are considerably less expensive. A round-trip ticket for a domestic flight in 2018 cost an average of $354, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. When compared to the previous year, this indicates a 1.8 percent reduction in the cost of living. (Spendmenot)

3. The typical vacationing U.S. family spends about 44% of their travel funds getting to, from, and around their destinations. 

The typical vacationing U.S. family spends about

The most expensive mode of ground transportation is petrol (an average of $669 per year), yet the majority of individuals avoid having to make tough ground transportation decisions by driving to their destination. Only around ten percent of Americans purchase a plane ticket in a given quarter because the cost of flying is higher than the cost of other means of transportation. In a normal quarter, about 6 percent of families travel by rail, bus, or ship for vacation, while 21 percent of households leave their communities on four wheels. Traveling by car will save the family money on other expenses, and it will also be more convenient and hassle-free.


4.4% of travelers are likely to splurge on first or business class airfare 

 of travelers are likely to splurge on first or business class airfare

When the New Horizons Survey asked millennial and generation Z visitors what they were prepared to spend on during their travels, they were unanimous in their choice for experience purchases such as tours and activities. Thirty-seven percent of those who answered the survey were willing to spend additional money on food and beverage experiences. Traditional travel amenities, such as airline upgrades, were the least popular among respondents. (Wysetc)

5.  Just 42% of those who take trips report lodging costs. 

When Americans travel inside the country, they often stay with relatives and friends. Only 42 percent of people who go on vacations mention the cost of their accommodation. Meanwhile, more than 60% of individuals who travel abroad do so by paying for their own lodging and meals. Over the course of a year, those who pay for housing when they travel spend an average of $2,158 on their accommodations. For domestic travels, lodging expenses account for about 26 percent of overall travel expenditures, while for foreign excursions, they account for 21 percent.

Many families in the United States have discovered other means of sleeping for less money, such as RVs, campgrounds, and longer-term rental houses. For domestic travels, they report spending an average of about $87 per night for accommodation and just a dollar or two extra per night for international travel. (Valuepenguin)

6. Americans spend an average of $33 per day on food when on a vacation within the U.S. In aggregate, more than 80% of that amount is spent in restaurants. 

When on a trip inside the United States, Americans spend an average of $33 a day on food. Over the course of a year, restaurants account for more than 80 percent of total spending. Every trip day, tourists spend about $27 at restaurants and approximately $6 on meals that they make themselves at home. The average cost of a vacation abroad is just a few dollars extra each day, or about $35 per day, with almost all of that money going toward restaurant meals. (Valuepenguin)

7. People who travel end up spending about 9% of their budget on entertainment

budget on entertainment

Entertainment costs about 9% of the typical traveler’s vacation budget, whether they are traveling domestically or internationally. This amounts to $52 for a domestic trip and $293 for an overseas vacation.

8. 38 percent of respondents who receive paid vacation days plan to use them all

The majority of Americans do not take use of their paid vacation days. Only 38 percent of those who get paid vacation days intend to take use of all of their days off. Six percent of employees will not take use of any of their paid time off, and another five percent will take advantage of less than a quarter.

Among those who have paid vacation, only 59 percent plan to use more than half of it. (Bankrate)

9. 65% of respondents had taken more than one vacation of 1–3 nights, and 64% had taken more than one vacation of 4–6 nights. 

Responses were asked to identify how many holidays they had had of the following durations in the previous year, and the results show that shorter trips were more popular than longer vacations (FTA)

10. 25% of the respondents had used a travel agent for their family vacations in the past five years.

One of the primary reasons why most travelers utilize travel agencies is the comfort and simplicity of booking that they provide. It provides a smooth and one-stop booking experience that includes all aspects of the trip, allowing them to save the majority of their time. Aside from this, the agent’s expertise of the location, which includes a range of suggestions and insights, is beneficial to them when visiting. There are some tourists who, for whatever reason, avoid hiring travel agents because they believe that they will be too costly.

11. 83% of the American family typically splurges on their destination they visited

For the first time in 2017, a new question asked respondents which aspects of their trip they tended to spend on and which aspects they tended to save on. Respondents were the most inclined to spend a lot of money on their vacation location. They were most likely to scrimp on souvenirs and shopping, as well as on the mode of transportation that they chose to go by. (FTA)

12. 74% of people say they’ve gone into debt to pay for a vacation, to the tune of $1,108, on average.

gone into debt

 The survey found many people prioritize their summer fun over their finances, but it’s possible to pay for your next vacay without sacrificing (Forbes)

13. Forecast travel expenditures in the U.S. 2020-2024

Domestic and international travel expenditures in the United States were expected to total 617 billion dollars in 2020, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. According to projections, overall travel expenditure will exceed 1.1 trillion dollars in the United States by 2024. Travel expenditures include money spent by foreign travelers in the United States on travel-related costs, such as transportation, accommodation, food, entertainment & leisure, and incidental expenses, as well as incidental expenses. (Statista)

Final Thought

Even if the average cost may be higher for certain people, the overall experience will be well worth the investment. If you want to relax and discover new locations with your family and friends, an escape from your everyday job routine, or if you just want some peace of mind and relaxation, your travel experience may provide all of these things and more. There are a variety of methods through which you may reduce your expenses. Prepare for your trip in advance and shop around for the greatest deals on transportation and accommodation. All things considered, the amount you will spend will be determined by your tastes and financial constraints. In the end, the average expense of a trip is about $1,200 per person on average.


How much do families spend on vacation each year?

The typical individual spends about $1,200 per year on vacation. This amounts to about $4,800 for a household of four. This may amount to as much as 8-9 percent of the typical household’s gross income in certain cases. Transportation, accommodation, food, and entertainment are all included in this figure. (CreditDonkey)

How many vacations does the average person take a year? 

Every year, 40 percent of Americans will take at least one vacation day from their jobs. American citizens in the southern states are almost twice as likely as those in the northern states to take three or more vacations each year, out of the total population of 100 million people. (From the perspective of a new middle-class father)

What percentage of your income should you spend on vacation?

On average, Americans spend 10% of their yearly income on vacations, according to the Census Bureau. One-quarter of those who answered the survey claimed they spend 15 percent or more. (Forbes)



Spend me not


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Travel Agent Central

Credit Donkey



New Middle-Class Dad


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