The State of the American Traveler in April 2022—Changed but Highly Motivated

Despite concerns about inflation and gas prices potentially impacting trip volume, Americans’ strong excitement for travel sustains. While today’s traveler is still trending towards shorter, closer to home and more carefully planned trips than before the pandemic, they are more motivated to travel than ever.

IMPORTANT: These findings are brought to you from our independent research, which is not sponsored, conducted or influenced by any advertising or marketing agency. The key findings presented below represent data from 4,000 American travelers collected March 15-23, 2022.

The Outlook for Travel

COVID continues to retreat, while Americans’ strong excitement for travel sustains.

  • 87.6% have current trip plans.
  • The months of May, June and July show 2-point increases in the percent of Americans reporting trip plans in them since last month.
  • 81.0% of American travelers report strong excitement for their travel this year and 86.2% are in a ready-to-travel state-of-mind.
  • 71.8% of Americans did some trip dreaming and planning in the last week.
  • A record high 57.9% feel we are closer to normal in the U.S.
  • Americans perceived impact of COVID on their ability to have meaningful travel experiences is at a record low (35.9%).
  • Avoidance of conventions and conferences reached a record low (40.9%).
  • International Travel and the Impact of War in Ukraine

    Even with the heartbreaking war in Ukraine, Americans’ current propensity to seek new travel experiences has kept up interest in international travel, while aspiration for Europe has not been disrupted.

  • Americans saying they are avoiding international travel is down to a record low 52.0%
  • Nearly 30 percent of American travelers say they are likely to travel internationally this year. In fact, 28.0% of American travelers say they are more interested in traveling outside the United States right now than domestically—up 3 points in the last month.
  • Europe still makes up 7 of the top 10 foreign destinations that Americans name as where they most want to visit this year, and Europe remains the top region Americans say they are likely to visit in the next 3 years.
  • Financial Sentiment

    Inflation and gas prices are an issue for trip volume, but Americans still plan to spend on travel.

  • 24.7% said that recent inflation in consumer prices has led them to cancel an upcoming trip.
  • 55.8% agree that recent inflation in consumer prices will likely cause them to rethink the budgets for upcoming travel.
  • 55.8% say that if gasoline prices don’t come down, they will be taking fewer road trips this spring/summer.
  • 59.8% agree that if gasoline prices don’t come down, they will be staying closer to home on road trips this spring/summer.
  • 61.3% still say travel is a high budget priority for them.
  • 40% still say luxury travel experiences are an important part of their trips.
  • The Post-Pandemic Traveler

    While no one is simply returning to who they were in February 2020, now that many feel the global pandemic receding, it is a good time to ask: who are you as a traveler now? We asked Americans several questions about how they plan to travel in the future and their current travel preferences, and how this compares to their pre-pandemic selves.

    • Americans will be seeking out new experiences for travel. 55.7% prefer places they have not been to before—up over 8 points since February.
    • Compared to pre-pandemic:
      • 23.2% take trips shorter in length, 17.0% take trips longer in length
      • 32.0% take trips closer to home, 13.7% take trips further from home
      • 56.5% more carefully plan trip details, 3.1% are less careful in planning
      • 46.9% are more motivated to travel, 17.1% are less motivated
      • 24.2% are more interested in visiting cities, 20.0% are less interested
      • 42.2% are more interested in outdoor destinations, 6.3% are less interested
      • 64.2% more sympathetic to frontline travel/hospitality staff

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