In an odd gender divide, a recent survey shows that men are much more inclined to take more and longer vacations as the U.S. emerges from the long lockdown. Men are also inclined to spend significantly more money on travel and vacations than their female counterparts.
The survey, conducted by Quicken Inc., maker of personal finance software, noted that while people are planning a major comeback in summer travel this year, men and women differ widely on their expectations for what that travel will mean and what those related expenses will be. But no matter what the gender or the differences, more than 75 percent of survey respondents said they are planning to go on at least one vacation this summer, and half plan to take more than one trip.
Quicken’s survey revealed nearly half (43 percent) of those polled expect to spend more money than they did in previous years. Men are more likely than women to be preparing big budget trips. Parents with children under 18 also said they are planning to go big — spending more on trips that are longer and with more people.
Expect Big Plans
Quicken’s survey found that, following the lockdown, those planning to travel are generally planning to spend more money this summer than they have previously:
- More than 75 percent said it was in response to their experiences with COVID-19
- 42 percent because they weren’t able to go on vacation in 2020
- 36 percent because they saved extra spending money during the pandemic, and
- 25 percent because they are feeling the impact of inflation on the costs of travel as the economy recovers
The Gender Price
The survey showed how women plan to spend significantly less on vacations than men. In addition to taking on more household tasks since the start of the pandemic, a significant number of women lost jobs as the economy shut down or were forced to quit their jobs to look after children or family members. In April of 2020, the unemployment rate for women was 16.1 percent, 2.5 points higher than the figure for men.
These trends were revealed in the following findings from the survey:
- Of those planning to spend less than $1,000 on their vacations this year, 21 percent were men and 33 percent were women
- Of those planning to spend more than $7,500 on their vacations, 4 percent were women while 8 percent were men
- Some women are skipping travel completely — women are more likely to not be planning on vacation travel this summer or to be unsure (27 percent women vs. 18 percent men)
From Caregiving to Self-Care
Quicken’s survey found that women are focusing on self-care this summer and traveling for different reasons than men. Some 29 percent of the woman indicated plans to take a vacation this summer to improve mental health and as an act of self-care, compared to only 17 percent of men.
“Clearly the Covid pandemic has created pent-up demand for travelling, and we are seeing people investing their money in some well-deserved time off,” said Quicken CMO Linda Itskovitz. “But the transition back to ‘normal’ travel could take a negative toll on people’s personal finances.”
Vacations of Choice
In many instances, people want to focus on mental well-being and spending time with friends and family they haven’t seen in a while, rather than go on the urban or cultural adventures they might have pursued in the past. When asked the type of vacation they’d like to take this summer, 24 percent of respondents said a relaxing beach or self-care type of break and about a quarter of men and women are planning to see family or friends. Only 6 percent of respondents are planning to go on a city or cultural vacation.
Next Year Paris
Americans are not so eager to go abroad right now. In fact, the survey shows this summer won’t be the summer of international European vacations. Of those traveling, 70 percent of respondents are traveling only domestically, with 16 percent of those saying they would have gone overseas if things were more open. Another 11 percent are still unsure if they will venture outside of the US. Men were more likely than women to have international travel plans with 23 percent reporting they will travel either both internationally and domestic or only internationally.
To Travel or Not to Travel
Almost a quarter of respondents are either not traveling or are still unsure if they will be traveling. Of those who don’t plan to travel, 41 percent cited reasons relating to the pandemic, with 28 percent saying they don’t feel comfortable traveling with the pandemic still active.
Concerned about the cost? Quicken offers a handy new vacation calculator, here.