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The State of the American Traveler in January 2024—Top Predictions for a New Year of Travel


Future Partners


Jan 8, 2024

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 over 4,000 American travelers collected in December 2023.

What’s the outlook for travel?

Excitement for travel levels ended 2023 on a 12-month low (7.9 on a scale of 0-10), but still remains above 2022 levels. Nearly 88% of American travelers say they will take at least one leisure trip in the next 12 months and fully 80% currently have existing trip plans. American travelers are currently reporting they will take an average of 3.5 leisure trips in 2024—up from 3.2 one-year ago. Over the next 3 months, American travelers report they will take an average of 1.2 leisure trips, 1.3 trips specifically to visit friends & relatives, 0.7 business trips, 0.4 convention/group meeting trips and 0.3 other trips (3.9 total).   On average, American travelers report that they have 15.5 days available for leisure travel, with GenZ 11.9 days, Millennials 12.7 days, GenX 14.1 and Boomers at 20.5 days. Nearly 52% of American travelers say that travel will be a priority for them in their budget, with the mean annual travel budget at $4,548. 

Do Americans still anticipate a Recession?

The percent of American travelers who feel the U.S. will enter a Recession has dipped to under 45%, a post-pandemic era low. The percent of Americans who are being careful with their money because of recessionary concerns, while a majority at 56%, also remains at a post-pandemic low. In another indicator of greater economic confidence, just over 50% of American travelers anticipate they will be better off financially in the next year compared to the previous year, up 2-points from the same point last year.  Nearly one-third of American travelers say the present is a good time to spend on travel, up over 10 points compared to a year ago.  However, make no mistake: costs continue to be the leading concern weighing on travel.  Although down from a year ago, the top detterrents to travel are trip costs being too expensive right now (37%) and personal financial reasons (34%). Perceptions of the high cost of travel are also playing out in what American travelers are predicting for 2024 (see below).

Will many Americans still head out on international trips?

It looks likely Americans will head abroad at similar rates as last year. In our most recent survey, 33% of American travelers report that they are likely to take an international trip in the next 12 months. This is down 6-points from a month prior, but up 4-points compared to a year ago and at a similar rate to the average of 2023.  Italy, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Canada and Japan are the top international destinations Americans cite for where they want to visit this year.  43% of Americans predict that Europe will be the top international destination for Americans in 2024. 

Which domestic destinations will be hot?

When American travelers were asked in an open-ended format to name the 5 destinations they most want to visit in the coming year, New York remains on top, followed by Florida, Las Vegas, California and Texas. Los Angeles, Hawaii, Chicago, Miami, Orlando round out the top 10. 

What role will AI play?

Currrently, 13% of American travelers report having used AI to help plan their trips in the past 12 months, with the top cited tools ChatGPT, TripAdvisor’s AI-powered assistant and However, 59% of American travelers predict that AI will be commonly used to plan trips by year’s end. 

What are American travelers top predictions for 2024?

Travel costs are is impacting their top predictions. Of the scenarios we tested, the most common prediction was “Undiscovered or off-the-beaten-path travel destinations will grow in popularity due to the crowding and high costs of popular destinations” at 65%.  Following this, 59% predict “In 2024, visiting dupes (a slang word for destinations that are affordable alternatives to historically more expensive places) will grow in popularity.” External factors like war, politics and climate change also put pressure on travelers’ outlooks.  Notably, 56% say “More travelers will avoid (or select) destinations based on their personal politics, 55% say “With higher temperatures each year, travelers will try to seek out cooler places” and 51% say “Global wars/strife will impact the destinations I visit in 2024.”  Unfortunately, the theme of the exasperating travel experience persists. 57% of American travelers predict that domestic travel will become generally more frustrating. 

How will Americans seek travel inspiration?

TikTok and streaming services appear to have cemented their status as top resources Americans turn to for travel inspiration, along with with email marketing, Instagram, Facebook, search engines and other online content. Interestingly, 10% of American travelers now cite travel podcasts as sources of inspiration. 

What’s the general vibe?

American travelers are feeling good! 65% feel likely that 2024 will be a great year for them personally, a 7-point increase over last year. 48% say they will take a dream trip to somewhere exciting in 2024, a 3-point increase from 2023. 

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