US Consumers Value Vacations’ Positive Impact on Mental Health Despite Focus on Price

A majority of US consumers are willing to dip into their savings to go on vacation this summer while one-quarter see vacation as essential. According to a survey by global hotel search platform trivago, 78% of US travelers affirmed that regular vacations have a positive impact on their mental health. For 65% of respondents, the primary purpose of vacation is relaxation, while 39% specifically aim to improve their mental well-being overall. Additionally, 33% of travelers seek escapism through travel. These findings underscore the therapeutic value of travel, providing a much-needed break from the stresses of daily life and offering a chance for rejuvenation.

Despite the challenges of a rising cost of living, recent research from McKinsey’s ConsumerWise Report identified travel as a more popular splurge category in Q1 2024, ahead of apparel and beauty, which it trailed in the last quarter of 2023. In fact, according to trivago’s survey, more than half (54%) of US consumers are ready to dip into their savings to embark on summer travels, down from 76% in 2023. This indicates heightened price sensitivity as does the 71% who have meticulously compared prices for vacation accommodations to secure the best deals. For nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents, vacations are deemed essential, highlighting the value placed on travel experiences. Yet cost remains a critical factor in decision-making, with 68% carefully considering costs when selecting their accommodations.

Notably, respondents between the ages of 18 to 26 emerge as the frontrunners in embracing travel, with 32% expressing a strong likelihood and 45% indicating a moderate inclination to dip into their savings. Consumers are ready to prioritize their savings, forgoing nonessential purchases to travel with 45% willing to give up new clothes for six months and 33% prepared to give up their daily cup of coffee outside the home for a year.

In the evolving landscape of travel, the concept of ‘bleisure’ continues to gain traction as consumers strive for a harmonious blend between work and leisure. trivago’s data reveals that 36% of men are embracing this trend by adding leisure time onto their business trips, compared to 15% of women. However, even amidst leisurely pursuits, the boundaries between work and play blur, with 66% of men more likely to engage in work-related activities during vacations, such as responding to emails and taking work calls, compared to 25% of women. This shift reflects a growing desire among travelers to strike a balance between professional commitments and personal relaxation.