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Study: Older Americans spend more on vacations

By Elizabeth Brown     Jun 24, 2014 in Travel
Americans tend to spend more on travel and vacation as they get older, according to a newly released study by Capital One Labs.
The study, published on June 24, "[analyzes] the spending habits of Adventurers (ages 18-34), Travelers (35-54) and Globetrotters (55-plus)," said a company rep in a Tuesday statement to Digital Journal. "Total spending rises at a consistent clip as Americans get older, topping out at ages 55-64, who average $1,112 spent on summer vacations."
Summer Plans by Age Group
The survey's key findings include younger Americans' tendency to spend less on travel primarily because of less access to financial resources or credit. For 18- to 24-year-olds, about one in five skip having a summer vacation for financial reasons.
The youth unemployment rate stood at 16.1 percent in April 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), although critics of the agency charge that the real unemployment rate for this age bracket should be listed at over 20 percent. The 18-24 crowd is the least likely to go on summer vacation, with average travel expenditures of just $386 in 2013.
People in their late 20s and early 30s are the most likely (18 percent) to pay extra to sit in a child-free zone during flight. According to Capital One Labs, 25- to 34-year-old travelers spent $645 on summer vacations in 2013. Young professionals tend to spend more for hotels as a percentage of total travel-related expenditures.
Working Vacation
Middle-aged Americans often bring their work. About 47 percent of respondents in the 35-44 age bracket said they are most likely to check their work emails while on vacation. And 29 percent of 45- to 54-year-olds check their work voicemails. This group averages $1,060 annually on summer-related travel.
Travelers over age 55 are the least likely to travel alone, at 14 percent. In 2013, they also spent the most on summer vacations at $1,112.
Senior citizens (age 65 and older) are least likely to fly on planes — 30 percent of seniors like to avoid flights altogether.
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