Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Americans Are Traveling Less

Americans are traveling less than they did before the Great Recession, according to data collected by the Consumer Expenditure Survey. The number of domestic trips taken by American households fell 14 percent between 2006 and 2013, from 230 million to 198 million. The number of international trips fell 25 percent during those years, from 17 million to 13 million. Neither domestic nor international travel show recovery from the Great Recession.

In an analysis of the CES travel data, BLS economist Geoffrey D. Paulin finds a surprise. Although the number of trips has declined, the length of trips has increased a bit. On domestic trips in 2013, households spent an average of 4.1 nights away from home—up from 3.8 nights in 2006. On international trips in 2013, households spent 12.6 nights away, up from 10.5 in 2006.

Households spent an average of $583 on each domestic trip in 2013—about 4 percent more than the $568 spent in 2006, after adjusting for inflation. Not surprisingly, households spent more on international travel—an average of $3,273 per trip in 2013. This is 16 percent more than the $2,830 spent in 2006.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, Travel Expenditures, 2005-2013: Domestic and International Patterns in Recession and Recovery

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