How Americans vacation this year

The beginning of the year is a great time to start planning your vacations, so you’ve got something to look forward to! Whether you prefer to spend two weeks lounging by a beach, camping in the wilderness, or exploring big cities, there are so many ways you can spend your vacation time.

With that in mind, we decided to survey the American population to find out their travel plans for the year ahead, including dream destinations, how they plan to fund their trips, and how long in advance they book their vacations.

Key findings of our Travel Survey

How Americans vacation this year

The people have spoken! These are the key findings from our survey of the American population…

  1. 58% of Americans don’t go overseas
  2. Florida is the number one dream vacation destination
  3. Almost half of Americans use their credit cards to book a vacation
  4. Women plan their vacations further in advance than men
  5. Older generations are less interested in making sustainable travel choices

Read on to discover further details of how your fellow Americans are planning their vacation this year.

And if you’re going away yourself then don’t forget to pre book airport parking or have a stopover the night before your departure – if you have an early flight out, then why not consider our airport hotel and parking packages, so you can get a good night’s sleep the night before, and wake up refreshed for your vacation?

How Americans vacation this year

58% of Americans don’t go overseas

The USA is a country of contrasts: from beautiful beaches and scorching sunshine, through to snowy mountains perfect for skiing; the long, hot summers of the deep south, through to the colorful fall leaves of the east coast.

With so many things to offer right on your doorstep, it probably comes as no surprise that more than half of Americans don’t go overseas at all, with 36% taking one domestic vacation a year, and 27% taking two.

Less than two in 10 Americans take one vacation overseas each year, with beach breaks a popular choice, at 47%. However, adventure trips, getting into nature, romantic trips, and city breaks all score highly too.

Florida is the number one dream vacation destination

Palm trees near water at sunset, Miami Beach, Florida

When it comes to vacationing in the USA, Florida is top of the list for many, with 26% wanting to visit. Known for its sandy shores, sultry Miami can often be mistaken for Cuba, with the Everglades offering everything a nature lover could want, and Orlando providing all of the thrills, with 18 theme parks to choose from.

Not far behind, 24% want to visit California in 2024; with the big cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego calling; alongside hundreds of beaches, and lots of hiking and camping opportunities at Yosemite.

The third most popular state for 2024 is Hawaii, with its positioning in the centre of the Pacific Ocean making it feel like its own separate country and culture.

When it comes to traveling outside of the USA, Europe is the dream for many, with 47% wanting to visit. An easy continent for traveling through by train, you can visit so many countries and cultures in a short period of time; whether you want to shop ‘til you drop in London, Paris, or Milan; ski in the Alps, lounge by a beach in the Mediterranean, or learn about the history of Eastern Europe.

North and South America are the second and third most popular overseas destinations, at 19% and 17% respectively; with Canada well-known for its bustling cities and ski resorts, and South America famed for its sultry summers and breathtaking scenery.

Despite us being more aware of climate change than ever before, worryingly, 29% of people surveyed said they wouldn’t make any changes to their travels to make it more sustainable; although 28% said they would by using eco-friendly packaging while abroad.

Almost half of Americans use their credit cards to book a vacation

While 66% of Americans put their savings towards a vacation, a huge 47% pay for it on their credit card, paying their trip off after they get back.

Most people said they’d look to spend between $1,501-$2,000 on their vacation; with four in 10 booking their trip away 1-4 months in advance. Almost two in 10 prefer to be more prepared, booking a trip 4-6 months ahead, whereas 3% prefer to be more spontaneous, booking the day before they set off!

However, when it comes to choosing outfits and sorting toiletries, the US is more prepared: with almost half of those surveyed saying they pack their suitcases 1-4 days before heading off.

Women plan their vacations further in advance than men

Breaking the results down by gender, we can see that women prefer going on beach breaks to men, at 51% compared to 43%. However, almost twice as many men go on business trips than women, and more than double go on sports trips, at 20% vs 8%.

When asked around making travel more sustainable, 14% of men said they’d do volunteer work while away, compared to 19% of women.

When planning and paying, women tend to plan their vacation further in advance, with 8% sorting trips out 10+ months in advance. And, they tend to be savvier too, with 24% of women searching for package deals compared to 19% of men. When it comes to paying, men are more inclined to use their credit cards, with more than half saying they’d use it to pay for a trip, compared to 43% of women.

Older generations are less interested in making sustainable travel choices

35-44-year-old Americans take more domestic trips than any other age group, with 12% saying they go away seven or more times a year. 55-64-year-olds are the least likely to go away, with 53% taking one domestic vacation on average a year, and 83% not going abroad at all.

That being said, interest in adventure vacations amongst the older generations is high, whereas younger generations are more likely to go on business trips.

Other things that came out of our survey was that the popularity of trips to New York decline with age, and older generations are significantly less interested in making more sustainable travel choices.

So, how do your travel habits compare?

Whether you love to prepare your vacation six months in advance and use your savings; or you’re considering booking a spontaneous trip a week before you plan to go, one thing you’ll want to do is save money on your airport parking by pre booking, and you can do just that with us.

We compare deals across thousands of airports in the USA, so you can make getting to the airport a breeze.

Find your perfect vacation destination

From big cities with some of the best nightlife in the world, to beautiful beaches and vast wilderness; whatever kind of vacation you’re looking to book, there’s a destination in the US that’s perfect for you.

If you want to jet off somewhere new, but are in need of some inspiration, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve crunched the data and created a travel calculator that’ll tell you the best US destinations based on what you’re looking for in a vacation.

Whether you’re after some truly unforgettable nights out, you want to sample as many different cuisines as possible, or you need total relaxation on a beach break, simply input your preferences on our calculator, and discover the best destinations for you.


A survey of 2000 adults living in the US was conducted in December 2023 to ask about their travel planning process, including budgets and dream destinations.

Photos by:
Denys KostyuchenkoUnsplash