The way Americans travel is changing

The desire to explore has shifted to be more heavily defined within our own borders. This is undoubtedly an attempt for individuals to change the world by making sustainable purchasing decisions, rapid rises in cost of living, and a reaction to the global Covid-19 Pandemic. These issues have had a great impact on domestic travel, i.e. staycations. A “staycation” is a trip that focuses on exploring your own home country, whether it be camping in another city in your state or a cross-country roadtrip from New Jersey to California.

Staycation: US Statistics

The rise of sustainability

Something that was once important mostly for yoga moms and dedicated vegans, is now becoming more important for the rest of the world. Attitudes towards sustainability have shifted drastically, and this of course includes the travel and tourism industry. 61% of US consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable purchases and experiences. Consumers now realise they really can change the world by demanding more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Enter the flight shame movement. The flight shame movement started in Sweden and motivates people to rediscover the joy of slow travel. It encourages consumers to feel more accountable about their own carbon footprint and take alternative methods of transportation like boats, trains and buses.

Money makes the world go ’round

Or does it? Will Americans continue to “go round” outside the country or will rising cost of living deter them? US prices are rising at 6.2% which is faster than it has for the last three decades! This is making the population think twice about how they spend their money, despite the uptick in urge to travel (Overall 86% of US travellers are looking forward to a holiday in the next 12 months).

In most cases, staycations are less expensive holidays than overseas travel is. This is especially true considering the inflated international flight tickets. Flight operators have taken advantage of the desire to travel after years of lockdowns and travel restrictions. Some are splurging regardless, but others are spending more time researching what the cheapest US cities are for a holiday staycation, or what the best camping gear is.

Covid-19’s effect on domestic travel

America has been known around the world as one of the greatest countries to do a roadtrip in. This has never been more true than in the last couple of years, when it was next to impossible to board a plane for pleasure. Searches for “staycations” have steadily risen since 2004, and though restrictions have lifted, the pandemic sparked a curiosity in people’s own countries more than ever before.

From 2020-2021, 79% of travel was domestic only in the US. Health and safety played a role in the increased domestic travel, as people are able to choose to interact with less people when they travel between states rather than travelling to far away countries. 69% of millennials have more trips over weekends. Weekend travel is usually not possible to other countries because of America’s geographical location. Longer holidays present potential Covid-19 infection–a traveller’s worst nightmare during an expensive trip abroad.