How much too much do Americans spend on vacations

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Although the coronavirus pandemic has not completely disappeared, many travel restrictions have been lifted, making 2022 the first time in years that many Americans will resume travel. But the combination of rising travel costs and pent-up demand leading to overspending can mean your vacation will cost more than you could budget. To get a snapshot of how people in the US are managing their travel budgets as we head into the busy summer travel season, GOBankingRates conducted a study of 1,037 Americans in early April 2022 regarding their spending travel and other travel related questions. Here are some of the answers, which might be helpful when you’re budgeting for your next vacation.

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How many respondents exceeded the budget?

Overall, 33.75% of respondents in the survey indicated they were over budget, with 11.38% saying they paid far more than their budget. A miniscule 6.46% indicated they were within the budget.

What was the average travel budget?

While “over budget” figures are useful, they are meaningless when not linked to actual numbers. To get an idea of ​​how much Americans are actually spending on their vacations, one of the questions in the survey asked how much money respondents spent on their last vacation. Nearly 27% of respondents said they spent over $ 2,000 on their last vacation. However, just under 35% indicated that their most recent travel budget was $ 500 or less. Overall, the best answer in the survey was a budget of between $ 1,001 and $ 2,000.

POLL: How much do you expect to spend on travel this summer?

Where did respondents spend more than expected?

Respondents seemed surprised at how much they spent across various categories. It is unclear whether this is due to overall cost increases or higher than expected spending by respondents, but it is likely to be a combination of these factors. A third of respondents indicated that the costs of accommodation, travel and entertainment were all higher than expected, while a whopping 44.65% said they spent more than expected on meals. Fees were also found to be higher than expected by 17.36% of respondents.

How did respondents attempt to save on travel?

Nearly 40% of respondents said they prepared their meals on their last vacation to save costs. This is a smart strategy, as nearly 45% of survey respondents indicated dining out was more expensive than expected. More than a third indicated that they have used public transport and / or avoided renting a car to save costs, a particularly appropriate strategy in an era of skyrocketing fuel costs. About 30% used a discount travel site in an effort to save money, while just over 23% indicated using airline or hotel points.

Other tips for saving on travel

As the survey makes clear, travel costs were generally higher than expected for respondents, and a number of factors led to many of them spending beyond their budgets. If you are planning a trip for the end of the year, you can take inspiration from the survey to curb your costs. Here are some suggestions, based on the information gathered by the respondents:

Start with a larger travel budget

As simple as it may seem, the easiest way to stay under budget is to start with a larger budget from the start. The best way to accomplish this is to delay the holidays slightly and give your savings some time to grow. For example, if you contribute $ 300 a month to your vacation budget, waiting just three more months to make your trip will increase your budget by nearly $ 1,000. While no one wants to delay a trip, if that means you can travel stress-free without worrying about getting into debt to finance your vacation, it makes sense.

Go shopping

Two of the most competitive sectors in the world are accommodation and food service. This offers great opportunities for travelers willing to shop around. In all but the most remote locations, there are plenty of options for both dining and accommodation. If you can avoid the more expensive hotels and restaurants, your vacation budget can stretch a lot more. Even if you’re looking for a five-star experience, there are likely choices you can make that will help keep some of your money in the bank. For example, rather than staying in a five-star branded international hotel, check out the private accommodations in the area or even locally run hotels. You may find that the class and service of these offerings are the same or even superior to the more well-known options.

Watch out for commissions

Commissions are often well hidden by travel service providers, but they can definitely bust your budget if you don’t pay attention to them. From air service charges to hotel “resort rates,” these not-so-small add-ons are easy to ignore but can wreak havoc on your travel budget. Airline credit cards can help you avoid baggage charges and can even provide access to airport lounges, while hotel loyalty programs can provide perks like exempt parking fees and free breakfast. whole group.

More from GO BankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed 1,037 Americans aged 18 and over from across the country between April 8-9, 2022, asking seven different questions: (1) how much did you spend on your last vacation ?; (2) If money were not an object where would you choose to go on vacation ?; (3) What was your biggest incentive to travel ?; (4) How did you pay for your last vacation ?; (5) Did you stay within your budget for your last vacation ?; (6) What part of the trip cost more than I thought? (Select all relevant answers); and (7) What cost-cutting measures did you use during your last vacation? (Select all relevant answers). GOBankingRates used PureSpectrum’s survey platform to conduct the survey.

This article originally appeared on Summer Travel 2022: How Much Americans Are Spending Too Much on Vacation