Travel insights from Jenna Buege, contributing editor of The Compass

Which Generation Overspends the Most on Travel?

For millennials, it’s avocado toast; for Gen Xers, it’s an expansive wine collection; and for baby boomers, it’s paying off their mortgage. Each generation is infamous for overspending in one way or another. Whether these claims are true or untrue is up for debate, but who’s dishing out the big bucks when it comes to travel? The answer might surprise you.

According to the tenth annual Vacation Confidence Index by Allianz Global Assistance, 10 percent of Americans went over budget while on vacation in 2017. On average these globe trotters overspent by 27 percent ($534) and many of them belonged to Generation X. The index goes on to break this figure down by age group finding that, “92 percent of Millennials (ages 18-34) and 91 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 55+) did not overspend, while 87 percent of Gen X'ers (ages 35-54) were able to stay within budget.” In addition, the index discovered that people belonging to Generation X tend to overspend more than millennials and baby boomers by almost 12 percent.

While the survey did show that the average spend on summer vacations decreased slightly this year from last year, $1,936 versus $1,978, the projected total spend still came out to over $100 billion for the second time in the Vacation Confidence Index’s history. Further, the index showed that although the number of Americans taking an annual summer vacation is down by three percent since 2017, now at 46 percent instead of 53, 18 percent of Americans have taken a vacation within the last three months.

So, what’s the bottom line? Even with a slight decrease in spending in 2018 Americans are undoubtedly spending more on summer vacation now than past years such as 2016, where the average spend was $89 billion. Maybe with a little luck, Gen X’s tendency to go all in when it comes to travel will rub off on the other generations.

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