Fall Travel Trends Highlight How and Where Americans Will Spend

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There are only a couple of weeks left until the Labor Day holiday weekend arrives to kick off the U.S.’ fall travel season. While it’s been a crazy summer for travel, with most of the world opening up after over two years of COVID-related restrictions, Americans’ appetite for vacations isn’t satiated yet.

According to Tripadvisor’s 2022 Fall Travel Index—based on the platform’s first-party search data, combined with propriety consumer sentiment data—61 percent of U.S. respondents are planning trips this autumn, if slightly differently than they’d imagined.

Travel Demand Won’t Back Down

According to the Index, 37 percent of Americans still intend to travel this fall as initially planned, in spite of inflation challenges. Globally, 34 percent also indicated that they intend to travel as planned between September and November, despite continually rising costs.

Even while faced with record inflation rates, insane gas prices and the continued presence of COVID-19, global consumers show no indications that travel demand (especially among Americans) will abate anytime soon.

Pent-up demand is prompting Americans to cut back on other expenses to ensure they can take their fall vacations. In fact, half of Americans (50 percent) plan to do more traveling this autumn and two-thirds (66 percent) plan to spend more on it than they did in the same period last year.

Travel May Look a Bit Different

While autumn trips are still on the books, the cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on Americans’ choices. Nearly half (45 percent) of U.S. travelers said that ‘Price’ influenced their chosen travel dates and two-thirds (66 percent) consider ‘Cost/Affordability’ the main criteria in their trip planning process.

So, although skyrocketing costs won’t deter Americans from traveling this fall season, many have had to adjust their plans a bit. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they’ll likely take trips of shorter duration, while nearly one-quarter (24 percent) indicated they’ll likely choose a destination that’s closer to home than originally planned.

Family celebrating a U.S. national holiday with an outdoor picnic. (Photo via iStock/Getty Images/fstop123)

Domestic vs. International Trips

As is also the trend globally, domestic trips remain the preferred type of travel among Americans for the upcoming season, whether owing to the high cost of travel or other factors. TripAdvisor found that 81 percent of U.S. and 60 percent of global travelers surveyed are opting for domestic vacations this fall.

However, an encouraging trend in increased long-haul air travel has also emerged. Over 40 percent of Americans surveyed plan to travel more than seven hours and nearly half (49 percent) will go by air.

In comparison to the 2021 Fall Travel Index survey, which found that 68 percent of U.S. travelers were sticking with staycation-style escapes accessible by car or train, this year’s study clearly shows that Americans are ready to take major trips.

Additionally, over half of Americans (56 percent) are planning fall season trips of at least four nights, while one-third (33 percent) are planning getaways lasting five nights or longer. TripAdvisor also noted that the Labor Day holiday weekend period is set to be the season’s most popular time to travel.

Mother And Children Relaxing In Car During Road Trip
Mother and kids on a road trip vacation. (photo via monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

This Fall’s Top 10 U.S. Travel Destinations:

Las Vegas, Nevada

New York, New York

Orlando, Florida

Honolulu, Hawaii

Lahaina, Hawaii

Key West, Florida

Nashville, Tennessee

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

New Orleans, Louisiana

Miami Beach, Florida

Source: TravelPulse

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