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Two in three Americans have or will take vacation this summer

Jul 26, 2016

As summer temperatures continue to rise, many Americans are taking the time to escape their regular lives in search of a little break from reality. Just over 2 in 5 adults (42%) have already taken at least one vacation this summer, while over half (55%) still have at least one coming up before the end of August. Of the 65% of adults who have taken/are planning to take vacations this summer, they have typically already taken 1 vacation and plan to take one more before summer's end (averaging 2 vacations per summer traveler).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, adults who traveled for leisure last summer (May-August 2015) are more likely to travel again this summer (91% vs. 33% who didn't travel last summer), and this year's poll revealed the largest percentage of Americans report having traveled for leisure last summer -- more than half (55%) -- since the summer of 2008 (60%):

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,021 U.S. adults surveyed online, between June 18 and 30, 2016.

School's out for summer

When anyone says "Summer" one of the first words that comes to mind for any child in the American school system is always "Vacation." Those two words are glued together for kids, and according to the latest Harris Poll, parents are well aware of the need to get away with their family during the warm weather months. About 3 in 4 parents of children under the age of 18 (74%) have taken or plan to take a vacation this summer, closely followed by the 62% of parents without children under 18/non-parents who have or plan to do the same. Moreover, just under 9 in 10 (88%) parents of children under the age of 18 indicate that their children have at least a little influence over the plans they make for vacation.

Should I stay or should I go

Between your job having the ability to follow you home, strapped finances, or a pet that can't be trusted to behave at daycare, there are a million reasons why Americans reach the planning stage of a vacation and start to wonder: "Is it worth it?" Over 1 in 3 adults (35%) are not planning to take a vacation this summer, defined as at least 50 miles away from home one-way and/or includes an overnight stay.

But does taking a vacation really require travel? More than two in 5 adults (42%) are turning towards a new trend and prefer to spend their vacation at home, on a 'staycation', rather than travel somewhere. This is especially true of people who live in rural or urban areas, and unmarried adults.

Two tickets to paradise

When it comes to Americans who do plan to travel, what are they looking for when picking accommodations? Over 2 in 3 Americans (68%) would prefer travel accommodations that feel like an escape from home, while about 1 in 3 (32%) would prefer accommodations that feel like home. However, preferences are somewhat flipped when it comes to in-room dining. In this case, over 6 in 10 adults (63%) would prefer to stay in hotel rooms with kitchenettes, while less than four in ten (37%) would prefer a hotel offering room service.

In addition, what else does anyone love when doing anything potentially expensive, why nothing better than a good deal! According to 4 in 10 Americans (41%), last-minute deals on travel may enable them to take more vacations this summer than they initially planned (only next year's poll will tell!). And speaking of last minute deals, about 1 in 5 U.S. adults (21%) are considering a trip to Great Britain right now to take advantage of the more favorable exchange rate after the UK voted to leave the European Union .
This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between June 28 and 30, 2016 among 2,021 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Two in three Americans have or will take vacation this summer

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