In fact, most Americans will – or have already – taken a vacation this summer, according to a new Harris Poll, though Baby Boomers – those aged 43 to 61 – are the most likely to be taking time off during the summer. In fact, only about a third of Americans in that generational demographic say they will not be taking a vacation this summer (although, in the interests of full disclosure, roughly one-in-ten “aren’t sure’).
Having said that, summer appears to be the preferred vacation timing for Americans overall. More than half of Americans in every demographic group save one indicated they would do so this year. Fifty-three percent of Gen-Xers (ages 31-42) said they would, as did 54% of the so-called Echo Boomers (ages 18-30), compared with 56% of Boomers. Only among the “Matures,’ those over age 62, were less than a majority of survey respondents planning to take some vacation this summer – and even then, 49% said they would (9% weren’t sure, so depending on how they decide, a majority could do so even in this group).
Where They’ll Be
As for where they’ll (you’ll?) be going, visiting friends/family (51%) was the most popular destination, with a scenic trip, or a beach vacation (let’s face it, some beaches aren’t all that scenic – particularly with some of those vacationers present), cited by 35% and 30%, respectively.
It’s interesting to see how those destinations diverge by age groups, however. The youngest (Echo Boomers) and oldest (Matures) were the most likely to be heading to see friends/family; the Gen-Xers least likely. And while friends/family was nonetheless the most common vacation destination for Gen-Xers, they were significantly more likely to head for the beach (36%) than other demographic groups. Echo Boomers, not surprisingly as the youngest demographic, were noticeably more likely to be targeting an “active’ vacation – but also stood out in their vacation plans to “visit a big city.’ In fact, they were nearly twice as likely to be heading for those bright lights as the Gen-Xers.
On the other hand, Echo Boomers seemed to be more likely than just about any demographic for every vacation option. Multiple choices were permitted – so perhaps the younger generation simply plans to do more of everything. On the other hand, Gen-Xers – who have traditionally evidenced a tendency to go their own way – appear to be doing so in their vacation inclinations as well.
Not only were they noticeably more prone to head for the beach, they also demonstrated notable affinities for casino/gambling options (18% versus 13% overall), and a spa/resort (11% versus 7% overall).
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 5 and 11, 2007 among 2,372 adults.
“What type of vacation have you taken or are planning on taking this summer?”
Echo Boomers (18-30)
Gen. X (31-42)
Baby Boomers (43-61)
Scenic trip or visiting places of great beauty
Historical sightseeing (historic buildings, churches, castles, museums, etc.)
Visit a big city
Active vacation (hiking, river rafting, camping)
Spa or resort (primary purpose to relax)
Note: Multiple Responses Allowed