Americans will be sky-bound this summer when they take a vacation but will tend to stay stateside, according to a survey by John Hancock. Eighty percent of those surveyed said they plan to travel for pleasure this summer, up from 77 percent in the summer of 2012. Of those who plan to travel during this summer, half (49 percent) plan to tour a U.S. city. About one-third is headed to the beach, and 22 percent plan an international destination. Those who aren’t taking a trip this summer plan to do so at another time.
Despite the crowded skies, 64 percent of respondents said they plan to travel by plane (up from 60 percent in 2012), with 56 percent driving (down from 59 percent last year). Six percent say they will take a train, up from three percent in 2012.
This year, finances appear to be less of a worry. Only two percent of those surveyed said that financial obligations would keep them from taking a summer vacation, compared with ten percent in the summer of 2012. When on vacation, 62 percent said they expect to spend the same amount of money as they did last year. Only 21 percent said they would spend less.
When it comes to making arrangements for leisure travel – purchasing tickets, booking hotels, finalizing an itinerary – respondents overwhelmingly preferred to do it themselves (93 percent). Only five percent said they tended to use a travel agency.
Nearly two in five (37 percent) said they sometimes purchase travel insurance when traveling for pleasure; and five percent said they always do. A majority (57 percent) said they never purchase travel insurance. Yet many report worrying about the types of problems for which travel insurance may provide protection. Forty percent are at least somewhat concerned about losing their luggage, and more than one-third (36 percent) worry about experiencing a medical emergency while traveling. A similar share expresses concern over having to cancel a trip unexpectedly due health issues of their own or of a loved one (34 percent). Despite instances of extreme weather in the past year, only 28 percent say they are concerned that weather will affect their travel plans.
The findings were drawn from the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey, a quarterly measure of investors’ views on a range of investment choices, life goals, and economic outlook, as well as their confidence in these areas.