13% of Gen Xers Exceed Their Travel Budget

BY Rachel Cagle
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With its tenth annual Vacation Confidence Index, Allianz Global Assistance finds 10% of Americans admit to going over budget while on vacation last year, and those who did, on average, overspent by 27% ($534).

Breaking down by age group, 92% of millennials (ages 18–34) and 91% of baby boomers (ages 55+) did not overspend, while 87% of Gen X'ers (ages 35–54) were able to stay within budget. Gen X'ers also tend to overspend more, averaging 32% over budget, which amounts to $836 based on their anticipated spend, while millennials overspent by 26% ($362) and baby boomers overspent by 20% ($369).

Gen Xers make up 26.4% of U.S. adults, according to AudienceSCAN, and they plan on participating in events that may involve travel and vacation time. This year, 28.1% would like to attend a popular singer or band's concert, 22.1% plan to hit up a state or county fair, 18.4% want to attend a music festival and 18.2% want to go to an arts festival. It's also the personal goal of 27% of this audience to spend more time with their families, and 20.3% would like to travel across the U.S. this year.

The 2018 survey reveals that the average anticipated spend on vacations this summer, $1,936, has decreased slightly from last year, when it was $1,978. Still, the projected total spend will crack the $100 billion mark for the second time in the survey's history, amounting to $100.4 billion.

Allianz has analyzed American travelers' summer vacation spending habits, revealing that Americans are forecasted to spend over 20% (23.5%) more than they did in 2010, when the average anticipated spend was $1,653.

The survey also shows that 46% of Americans typically take an annual summer vacation, a 3% decrease from 2017, while 53% do not. However, 18% of Americans have taken a vacation in the past three months, up 4% in 2017, which may explain both the decrease in those taking a summer vacation and the decrease in spend.

Despite a slight decrease in spend in 2018, Americans are still projected to spend significantly more on summer vacation than 2016, when the total spend was $89.9 billion. The total spend continues to rise overall, mirroring the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) growth since recovering from the recession of 2008 to 2009. Since the beginning of 2012 to the start of this year, the DIJA has doubled, increasing from 12,360 to 25,075. The DJIA sat at nearly 20,000 at the start of 2017, when the projected spend hit $101.100 billion. Stock market ups and downs in the first few months of 2018 may have impacted this year's lower total spend, decreasing less than a percent (0.7%).

Gen Xers can be convinced to take a vacation through a number of media. According to AudienceSCAN, last year, 62.2% of this age group took action after seeing a TV commercial and 56.8% responded to direct mail ads/​coupons. Once on vacation, they can be targeted with ways to spend money via the radio (they're 14% more likely than other adults to take action because of this medium) or sponsored search results (these drove 50.3% to action last year).

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.