New Portrait of American Travelers Reveals 'Staycations' Are On The Rise

One of the consequences of the Great Recession was the emergence of a new form of leisure travel called a 'staycation,' or the propensity of individuals to select a vacation destination closer to home as an alternative to traveling to a more distant destination, presumably as a result of budgetary constraints at the household level.

Fully one in four U.S. leisure travelers with an annual household income over $50,000 took at least one overnight leisure trip/vacation within a 50-mile drive radius of their home during the previous twelve months as an alternative to vacationing in a destination that would have required traveling a greater distance. The incidence of taking this type of trip is higher among younger travelers (Millennials and GenXers) than older travelers, yet equally evident across all households regardless of their annual household income as revealed below:

Incidence of Staycations:*

- All leisure travelers - 26%
- Generational group: Millennials (18-30) - 37%; GenXers (31-44) - 31%; Boomers (45-63) - 21%; Matures (64 ) - 15%
- Annual household income: $50-124K - 26%; $125K - 26%
- Children at home - 32%
- No children at home - 21%

* Taken at least one overnight leisure trip within 50 miles of home as an alternative to traveling a greater distance.

The 'staycation' phenomenon is also most pronounced among unrelated adults living together (versus those who are married), and adults with children in residence at home:

- 37% of unrelated adults living together took at least one staycation last year, versus 25% of those who are married;
- 32% of adults who have children at home took at least one staycation last year, versus only 21% of those with no children at home.

These data clearly suggest that the Great Recession has, in fact, increased the incidence of 'staycations.' The implication for travel service marketers is clear: local and regional markets retain considerable potential for generating incremental business in the year ahead, and this potential is likely to remain robust through the duration of 2010 and well in to 2011.

Ypartnership is America's leading marketing services company serving travel, leisure and entertainment clients. The agency's Insights group is widely acknowledged as the preeminent source of market intelligence on emerging business and leisure travel trends. The firm also co-authors the quarterly travelhorizons(TM) survey with the U.S. Travel Association.

Harrison Group is a leading market research and strategy consulting firm specializing in sophisticated market strategy, market analytics, survey and forecasting services. In addition, Harrison Group is the recognized expert in the American affluent and wealth space and also specializes in the travel, real estate, media, financial management, consumer products and interactive entertainment markets.