Here Are the 5 Biggest Reasons Americans Won’t Be Planning Summer Travel

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Summer is the busiest travel season of the year. But even though the pandemic is over, the kids are out of school and the days are long and warm, more than one in four Americans won’t be going anywhere this year.

A new GOBankingRates survey of more than 1,000 adults found that 28% of the country does not have plans to travel this summer. Some simply don’t have the desire, but for many others, the choice was made for them by circumstances beyond their control.

For Many Families, a Vacay Simply Isn’t in the Budget

Unsurprisingly, inflation is the chief culprit behind 2023 summer vacations that are doomed not to happen.

The largest percentage of respondents, more than 41%, cited high living costs as the primary obstacle to traveling. Everything from groceries to gutter cleanings has gone up over the last two years, and many depleted their savings and took on debt just to get by — especially when there wasn’t a lot to go around to begin with.

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“At the state conferences on tourism I have been to this year, they have been saying that the demographic that will find it almost impossible to fit travel into their budget this year is the families that make less than $50,000,” said Dannelle Gay of The Traveling Cheesehead. “The current issue of inflation means it simply isn’t in their budget this year to plan that roadtrip or those occasional weekend getaways. Even day trips might be off their agenda.”

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Like Daily Life, Travel Now Costs More

The No. 2 biggest reason for staying home this summer was the ever-rising cost of travel, which more than 27% cited as their chief obstacle. And they’re not imagining it.

“Expect to pay more for a vacation this summer,” said Meghan Kayata of InsureMyTrip. “A lot more.”

Kayata’s organization conducted its own study based on insurance policies purchased for international trips last summer and this summer. The result was that all of the top 10 destinations are prohibitively expensive compared to 2022.

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“Researchers found policyholders will spend an average of $2,600 more on a trip this summer over last,” she said.

For example, Italy jumped from $7,375 to $9,208. For France, it rose from $6,309 to $8,841. Iceland shot up from $6,376 to $10,045.

The pain is as bad or worse even closer to home. Last year’s $5,383 trip to Canada costs $8,519 this summer and a trip to Mexico that cost $3,199 in 2022 will run you $4,244 this year.

Many Might Assume They Can’t Afford It Without Checking First

The kind of travel inflation Kayata outlined has been well documented, a fact that might have kept people from even considering the possibility — even if they weren’t considering trips to the most popular international hotspots.

“People think that travel is more expensive than it actually is,” said Kelly Johnson, owner and founder of Snap Travel Magic. “Perception is everything and travel is seen as unaffordable, when in reality it is all about where you choose to spend your money. There are so many destinations where you can go where you will spend less money than normal. These places generally include the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.”

Some Probably Think the Juice Isn’t Worth the Squeeze

About 15% of respondents said travel would conflict with work obligations, 10% simply don’t like to travel and 6% cited other reasons, some of which likely include the stress involved with vacation planning.

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“Beyond financial constraints and work commitments, a major reason some Americans may avoid traveling this summer is the lack of travel planning know-how,” said Sebastian Fitzpatrick, cultural tourism expert with The Route Planner. “Many potential travelers might be unaware of how to create a memorable and affordable vacation.”

Johnson agrees.

“People also don’t travel because they don’t know where to begin, especially if they have never traveled before,” she said. “It is daunting to plan a trip, and many people don’t want to go through the hassle.”

The Reason Might Also Involve Companions — on 2 Legs or 4

The pandemic strained relationships and increased isolation. Many people who finally have the ability to travel might be realizing that they have no one willing to join them.

“I have countless examples of friends and family members who are more than ready to book a flight to somewhere fun but stop the second they can’t find a companion to go with,” said Sammie Pearsall, travel and lifestyle blogger at The Rambling Renegade. “Solo travel is still a big hesitation for people to book a trip. People do not feel comfortable traveling alone to destinations they have never been to.”

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Many others feel shackled to their pets. Bringing them along makes vacations more expensive and constrained, and leaving them at home comes with different stresses and costs.

“The cost of boarding our furry friends can come with a hefty price tag,” said Pearsall. “I also find it common that people do not feel comfortable leaving their pets to be boarded because they worry about the psychological effects it could have on their furry family members. Traveling with pets is still far too difficult to be accessible to the majority and I think people avoid the hassle altogether and would rather stay home.”

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street's investment community in New York City.
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