Vacations Are Back, as Growing Numbers Set Travel Plans

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

47.6%

The Balance

That’s the share of Americans who say they’re planning to take a vacation in the next six months—the most since the pandemic began, a new survey shows.

Nearly half of those polled said they were planning a getaway, the highest total since February 2020, and up from 42.3% in August, according to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, released Tuesday. Not only that, but a record share of those planning vacations—16.8%—said they would travel to a foreign country. Economists chalked up the increased wanderlust to an easing of fears about the spread of the delta variant, as COVID-19 cases retreat from their recent peaks.

“The delta surge dissipating a bit, vaccination rates increasing, looser travel restrictions, and the holidays coming up are all great incentives to travel,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. 

In addition, international borders are reopening, encouraging foreign travel, she said. Singapore, Fiji, and Indonesia are among countries that have recently announced easing restrictions on visitors from other countries. 

Overall, the survey of about 3,000 U.S. adults showed consumers regaining some of the optimism that had been quashed by the spread of the delta wave over the summer. The confidence index, which incorporates respondents’ feelings about the economy and their personal finances, rose in October for the first time in four months, according to the Conference Board, a nonpartisan economics research group. 

Not everything in the survey was on the sunny side. Consumers predicted year-ahead inflation rising to its highest levels since 2008 amid rising food and gas prices, but even that didn’t seem to dampen their moods too much.

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