Vacation budget breakdown: What will consumers spend more (or less) money on?
June 17th, 2024, Lesley Simeon

Vacation budget breakdown: What will consumers spend more (or less) money on?

Sun's out, tans out, wallets... jury’s out. We all know that feeling - you've meticulously planned your getaway in your mind, but then the dreaded budget breakdown (and therefore reality) hits. In this piece we’re headed to YouGov’s data pool to look at people’s vacation budget estimations - which categories of products, services and activities they expect to spend more, less or the same on.

A recent YouGov survey asked consumers across 17 international markets about which activities they intend to spend more or less on during their next vacation, compared to their last holiday.

Considerable proportions of consumers, who do plan on going on vacation anytime until March 2025, expect to spend more on most categories. But larger proportions of them expect to spend the same on their next vacation as they did on their last one.

Some categories that consumers are most likely to spend the same on:

  1. Shopping (43%)
  2. Wellness (42%)
  3. Food/eating out (41%)
  4. Accommodation (41%)
  5. Transportation at destination (41%)

The categories of products that might see consumers loosening their wallets for: Among respondents who do plan on going on vacation anytime until March 2025, nearly two in five (38%) expect to spend more on food and eating out, followed by accommodations (33%) and vacation-time activities and excursions (33%).

On the other hand, consumers are most likely to spend less on shopping (19%), followed by flights (17%).

Focussing on data from individual markets surveyed, which consumers are most likely to stick their previous vacation-time spending patterns?

Danes are the most likely to spend about the same on their next vacation as they did on the last, on food/eating out (60%), activities/excursions (57%), wellness (59%) and shopping (69%).

Swedes are the most likely to spend the same on flights (48%) and accommodation (56%) while Hong Kongers lead, when it comes to transportation at destination (57%).

As for those who plan on shelling out more during vacation: 

YouGov Surveys: Serviced data shows that respondents in India and the UAE take the lead in most categories, when it comes to spending more during their next vacation:

Food and eating out: India (59%), UAE (59%)

Accommodations: India (48%), UAE (48%)

Transportation: India (45%), UAE (47%)

Activities/excursions: India (51%), UAE (53%)

Wellness: India (56%), UAE (53%)

Shopping: India (56%), UAE (52%)

While respondents in the UAE (46%) account for the largest proportion of those who expect to spend more on flights for their next vacation, Hong Kongers (34%) and Australians (34%) follow at second spot.

Looking at figures from European markets surveyed, Italians are most likely to spend more on food (42%), flights (38%), accommodation (42%), wellness (30%) and transportation at destination (35%). As for spending more on activities and excursions, Germans (37%) take the lead, followed by Italians (35%) and Poles (35%).

Germans are most likely to splurge on shopping (39%).

Americans are most likely to spend more on food as well (31%). As for Britons, more than third (34%) expect their vacation-time food spend to go up as well, closely followed by spending on accommodations (33%).

Next, those who expect to slash vacation spending. 

If consumers in the UAE and India dominated most categories in the previous section with plans to increase spending, respondents in France lead across most categories with their plans to spend LESS on their next holiday.

For example, the French are most likely across markets to spend less on the following categories during the next vacation, compared to the last:

-Food and eating out (24%), followed by Canadians (21%)

-Flights (25%), followed by Indonesians (23%)

-Accommodations (22%), followed by Canadians again (18%)

-Activities and excursions (23%), followed by Spaniards (19%)

-Shopping (29%), followed by Canadians (25%) and Singaporeans (25%)

When it comes to cutting down expenditure on transportation at destinations, Indonesians (23%) lead. Mexicans (26%) and the French (25%) are the most likely to say they expect to spend less on wellness on their next vacation, compared to how much they spent towards it on their last vacation.

Nearly a quarter of American respondents (23%) are likely to reduce vacation-time spending on shopping, which is a considerably more than the proportion of consumers who expect to slash spending on other categories listed in the survey. Less than one in five (17%) Brits also expect to spend less on shopping on their next vacation, compared to the last.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 450 and 1593 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in March 2024. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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