Higher prices are not putting a damper on summer travel plans, according to new data from the Deloitte 2024 Summer Travel Survey. The survey revealed that 48 percent of Americans plan to travel and stay in paid lodging this summer. This is on par with last year's numbers, however, respondents added that they are planning to take fewer vacations overall. 

Respondents said they expect summer travel costs to increase, with 1 in 5 saying they planned on spending significantly more than last year. 

Air travel is the most popular travel method, with 52 percent of respondents saying they were going to fly this year, compared with 22 percent who said they were reaching their destination by car. 

For many respondents, remote work options are making it easier to make travel plans, with 21 percent reporting they plan on working during their trip. 

“Workplace flexibility continues to fuel travel decisions for laptop luggers and opportunities for providers,” said Eileen Crowley, vice chair at Deloitte LLP, and U.S. transportation, hospitality and services attest leader. “While financial concerns are keeping some Americans grounded, a delay in booking provides an opportunity for travel suppliers to double-down on offerings that maximize value and lure additional travelers to destinations near and far.” 

The company said that while economic pressures may have some reconsidering the frequency and duration of their trips, most travelers remain committed to vacationing this summer. Many Americans are reevaluating what travel means to them, according to Deloitte, as travelers put more emphasis on rest and reconnection, and seek opportunities to make the most of their trip experiences.

The average number of trips taken this summer is expected to reach 2.3, down slightly from 3.1 trips in 2023. Travelers who feel they are doing well financially will spend an average of $528 more, compared to those who feel their economic situation has changed. These travelers are expected to spend an average of $855 less than in previous years. 

Meanwhile, more than a third of non-travelers are planning to stay home due to the current cost of travel, up 8 percent from 2023.

Last year, there was a surge in trips to Europe, according to Deloitte. This has shifted in 2024, with more travelers choosing to explore Asia, which is up 3 percent from 2023. 

Travelers are also looking to add a bit of luxury to their experience, with 43 percent saying they are willing to pay more for comfortable flights such as seat upgrades, up 39 percent compared with 2023. 

“Despite many Americans feeling financial turbulence, travelers continue to place a premium on experiences, and the intent to travel is similar to last summer,” said Mike Daher, vice chair at Deloitte LLP and U.S. transportation, hospitality and services non-attest leader. There is a perception that air fares and room rates are high, and some Americans are sitting out travel this summer as they look for softer pricing, showing signs they are hungry for deals and being intentional about pursuing experiences they perceive as special enough to be worth the higher spend.

“As travelers look to pack the most value into their summer trips, providers have an opportunity to balance quality and cost to provide unforgettable moments for those who are looking to make the most of their travels this summer,” Daher concluded.