NEW YORK - After a 2-year slump, summer travel is heating up. A new ValuePenguin Survey finds that 73% of Americans are ready to cross off coveted destinations from their bucket lists but not everyone is ready to splurge. Soaring costs and a lingering pandemic have some opting out and staying home.


  • More Americans plan to travel this year – On average they plan to spend about $2,700 per trip, up $300 from 2021.
  • High costs keep others from vacationing – 57% of those who aren’t traveling this summer say they can’t afford a vacation, up from 43% last summer.
  • Fewer summer travelers will take on debt – Last summer, 48% thought they might add travel debt, but that dropped to 29% this year.
  • Summer road trips remain popular, while confidence in flying has increased from last year – Although 79% of people plan to drive, at least 45% of people plan to fly.

The survey finds that more Americans plan to travel and they’re financially preparing for it. 71% refuse to go into debt for their trip. 15% of travelers surveyed say they’ve altered their mode of transportation to accommodate rising travel costs. With the cost of fuel and ticket prices skyrocketing, planning ahead could help travelers save.

“I think savings are playing a big part in the fact that fewer people will be taking on debt for their vacations this year,” says Sophia Mendel, ValuePenguin credit cards and travel rewards expert. “Because so many people scaled back from major trips over the past couple of years, it’s possible they’ve saved up funds to finally take one this year,” she explains.

While 57% of Americans who said they aren’t traveling cannot afford a vacation this summer, at least 35% of those not traveling also opted out of summer travel due to remaining COVID-19 concerns. With mask mandates lifting and restrictions loosening, some are taking extra precautions by staying home.

Not all travelers plan to unplug for their summer vacations, 24% say they will work remotely to avoid taking vacation days. Even if this is the case, it doesn’t look like work, a lingering pandemic or potential inflation will stop travelers from visiting popular destinations this summer.

5 Summer Travel Tips

If you’re planning to vacation this summer, these tips can help you save money and relax during your trip:

  • Cash in travel rewards/points. If you have miles, points, or rewards on an airline or hotel card, redeem them to avoid losing them due to travel rewards devaluation.
  • Fuel your road trip with gas credit cards. While gas prices continue to climb, offset the cost of road trips with a card that offers bonus points or cash back for gas spending.
  • Keep watch for COVID restrictions. Restrictions have eased up, but if you’re going abroad this summer, make sure to check the COVID-19 requirements at your destination and for returning to the U.S.
  • Include downtime on your working trip. If working remotely during a vacation this summer, set clear boundaries for working hours and turn off notifications.
  • Hunt for travel deals. Travel prices are likely to increase, do your research, track prices and be ready to book at a moment’s notice.

Full Report:

Methodology: ValuePenguin commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,050 U.S. consumers, fielded April 15-20, 2022. The survey was administered using a nonprobability-based sample, and quotas were used to ensure the sample base represented the overall population. Researchers reviewed all responses for quality control.

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Nadia Gonzalez
+1 704 943 8034