Lonely Planet Writer

Two-thirds of American adults are taking a vacation this summer

Nothing says summer like taking a vacation, and many Americans are making sure they make the most of their holidays. About 42% of adults in the US have already taken at least one vacation this summer and more than half – 55% – have at least one planned before the end of the August, according to The Harris Poll.

Striped deck chairs on pebble beach.
Striped deck chairs on pebble beach. Image by Richard Newstead/Getty Images

Of the 65% of adults taking a trip this summer most are planning to take two over the course of the season. It also seems that adults who took a summer vacation last year are more likely to want to do it again. Ninety-one per cent of people who took a vacation in 2015 are repeating the fun, while 33% who didn’t go on a trip last year are making up for it this year.

The number of people travelling in the summer has rebounded after dropping in recent years. The percentage of people who travelled for leisure hit a high in 2008 at 60%, but that number declined to 50% for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Last year, it rose back up to 55%, and it remains to be seen how many people will follow through with their vacation plans this year.

Myrtle Beach, USA.
Myrtle Beach, USA. Image by James Willamor / CC BY-SA 2.0

Naturally, it can be difficult for many people to find the time and money to go away, and 35% are not planning to take a vacation, defined in the survey as going at least 50 miles away from home and/or an overnight stay. However, 42% indicated they prefer to spend their vacation on a “staycation” at home anyway. Even for those people who are heading away, 32% are looking for accommodations that “feels like home”. However the majority, 68%, are looking for an “escape”.

When it comes to where people want to travel on their summer holiday, a recent survey from leisure travel and motoring organization AAA found that the top destinations for Americans heading abroad this year are Rome and London. For anyone staying a little closer to home – and jumping in the car – MapQuest also released data on the top 20 US destinations getting the most interest compared to last year, finding that the top search was for Nashville, followed by Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta and Orlando.