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Choice Hotels Int'l: Americans Spend 30% of Their Total Travel Budget on Accommodations, Lodging

Choice Hotels International Inc. said it released its annual traveler survey capturing the latest insights from U.S. consumers. This year's survey reveals Americans will increase travel spending in 2017, and identifies the top domestic and international destinations.

"Even though Americans are busier than ever, our survey reinforces that travel matters. People are willing to spend significantly more than last year to explore new places," said Patrick Pacious, president and chief operating officer, Choice Hotels International. "At Choice, we share their passion and are constantly working to meet their needs by making travel more enjoyable with diverse upscale, urban and international properties in exciting destinations."

The 2017 Travel Trend Outlook

Americans are too busy to travel more often but plan to spend more.
  • Given busy schedules, Americans say they'll take three trips in 2017, in line with 2016. One in five listed 'my schedule was just too busy' as a reason for not traveling more over the past 12 months, a 144 percent increase over the year prior.
  • Leisure/personal travel budgets are up 42 percent over 2016, from $3,572 to $5,063.
  • Due to falling oil prices, just 13 percent of Americans listed 'gas was too expensive' as a reason for not traveling more over the past 12 months, an 11 percent drop over the year prior.
  • Where do they splurge? Food and beverage tops the list at 43 percent. Out of their total travel budget, Americans end up spending around 30 percent on accommodations and lodging.

Top Destinations in 2017

Where are travelers going domestically?
  • More than half of Americans listed beach destinations, like Florida and California (56%), as their preferred place to travel domestically, followed by places off the beaten path (48%), urban cities (47%), and mountain destinations (39%).
  • Millennials prefer beach and urban city destinations, compared to baby boomers who are 31 percent more likely to visit somewhere off the beaten path.

International travel identified as hot spots.
  • When asked to identify their dream international trip, Australia (63%) ranks ahead of South America (38%) and Cuba (27%) when it comes to preferred international destinations.
  • Some 28 percent of Americans are also planning to visit Europe next year, with Paris (21%), London (20%) and Rome (18%) being the top destinations.

Travel is Worth It

In exchange for an all-expense paid trip to their dream destination, Americans would give up a surprising number of events or goods:
  • Over half of Americans (57%) would give up their daily coffee.
  • More than half would forego all holiday gifts.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 Americans (23%) would miss a child's birthday or their best friend's wedding (24%).
  • In an interesting tidbit, nearly 4 in 10 (39%) Americans would journey to a destination for a first date.

The Choice Hotels 2017 Travel Forecast was conducted by Newlio ( among a nationally representative sample of 1070 U.S. adults who are planning to take one or more overnight leisure or personal trips in 2017, sourced by an email invitation to take an online survey.

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