U.S. Affluent Traveler Trends 2018: Annual Survey on Travel Behavior

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by Meghan Carty + Skift Team - Apr 2018

Skift Research Take

The relative spending power of affluent Americans makes them an attractive and strategic group for travel brands to target. The results of our second annual U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey help us understand key trends when it comes to their travel preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. Segmenting further by other characteristics allows us to create a more refined consumer portrait of such a lucrative, complex, and diverse group.

Report Overview

The second iteration of Skift Research’s U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey (previously known as the U.S. High-Income Traveler Survey) reveals trends related to the travel behavior and preferences of this highly sought-after travel segment. Affluent Americans make up just 20% of the U.S. population, but they account for 51% of total travel expenditures, making them a highly lucrative group to target. Understanding their attitudes and desires is key for travel brands and destinations looking to attract them. In this report, we will look in-depth into the significance of Affluent Travelers to the industry through analysis of the key findings of this year’s survey, beginning with the Affluent Traveler group as a whole. We then provide a deeper look at how income level, age, families with children, and travel frequency impact travel behavior and preferences in different ways. We provide key actionable takeaways throughout.


Survey Methodology:

Skift Research’s U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey 2018 collected responses from 1,304 respondents who live in the U.S. Respondents were screened for combined household incomes of at least $100,000 and indicated that they had taken at least one leisure trip in the last 12 months. For this project, a leisure trip is defined as at least two-nights’ stay, 200 miles or more away from home. The survey was fielded by a trusted third-party consumer panel provider.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • Trip incidence for Affluent Travelers
  • Attitudinal and behavioral data that indicate how Affluent Travelers prioritize experiences while traveling
  • Affluent Travelers’ primary resources and preferences in travel planning and destination selection
  • Common booking channels for air travel and accommodations
  • Use and satisfaction data showing how Affluent Travelers are increasingly embracing alternative accommodation options
  • Affluent Travelers’ behavior and attitudes around the concept of luxury
  • How the “Super Affluent” (those with a combined household income over $200,000) differ from the less affluent travelers
  • Key differences between Affluent Travelers with and without children in the household
  • Key differences by age
  • Key differences according to travel frequency

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