After over a year of having to put leisure travel on pause, the demand for it is finally rising again. “Travel is back in the U.S.,” says Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel. “In May, American Express U.S. Consumer travel bookings through TLS (Travel & Lifestyle Services) were 95% of what they were in May of 2019.”
Even though experiencing new destinations and connecting with people are still proprieties for travelers, Hendley’s seeing some new trends emerging. “When it comes to the types of trips people want to take, we’re seeing consumers embrace a new travel mentality – from booking off-season for space and privacy, to embracing lesser-known, second-city destinations,” says Hendley.
People are also now willing to spending more on travel. Hendley explains, “Our most recent Amex Trendex (a monthly trend report from American Express) found that 65% of respondents are planning on spending more on travel in the next year compared to a pre-pandemic year – including 78% of millennials.”
As the travel landscape continues to rapidly change, though, Hendley says flexibility is key. “It’s important to have a plan A, B, and C, and be willing to pivot as needed. I experienced this firsthand on a recent family vacation to the Dominican Republic, when COVID-19 restrictions changed overnight. My advice is to go with the flow, have a backup plan, and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.”
Here, American Express Travel shares six more handy tips on how to make the most of your summer trips.
1. Consider traveling off-season for summer holidays.
If you’re flexible, think about traveling during off-peak times to score some great deals. Recently, Amex Trendex reported that almost half of its respondents are planning on traveling over weekends adjacent to Independence Day (41%) and Labor Day (47%) instead of the holiday weekends to avoid crowds.
2. Split up large travel purchases over time.
3. Travel with confidence and plan in advance.
Steer clear of last-minute travel, especially around holidays like July 4th, to avoid sticker shock and unnecessary stress. Because after everything we’ve been through with the pandemic, vacations should strictly be about relaxation. So check your calendar, and plan ahead.
4. Earn miles from everyday expenses.
Help your spending go further by applying for a cobrand credit card like the Delta SkyMiles American Express Card. In addition to earning up to 90K Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases per dollar spent on everyday purchases, receive a get a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the day of opening your account.
5. Get free hotel nights.
Through partnerships with Hilton, Delta Air Lines and Marriott Bonvoy, eligible Card Members can earn travel-related perks and new offers for their next trip. One offer available now is with the Hilton Honors American Express Card. New Card Members can earn up to 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months, and one way to redeem the Bonus Points is with three nights at Hilton hotels around the world.
6. Enjoy premium perks with Platinum.
Want to enjoy travel perks without paying for them? Then book a stay at a Fine Hotels + Resorts property through American Express Travel with your American Express Platinum Card. You’ll receive exclusive benefits like guaranteed 4:00 p.m. late check-out and complimentary daily breakfast for two.