Activating Summer Dreams: A Marketer’s Guide to American Vacation Trends

As we approach the mid-year mark, a staggering 78% of Americans are gearing up for vacations in the next 6 months, translating to about 199 million people with travel plans. The destinations topping their lists are quintessentially summer locales: beach or lake visits (31%), road trips (29%), and day trips to nearby destinations (24%). This surge in travel intent presents a golden opportunity for marketers to connect with a vast audience eager to make the most of their leisure time. With American vacation planning in full swing, we decided to dig into some of the travel trends for summer 2024.

Airlines and Hotels

Travelers looking to venture abroad in the next 6 months prefer Delta and United. These international globetrotters are more likely to be members of frequent flyer programs like American AAdvantage (15%, Index 132) and United MileagePlus (13%, Index 130), indicating a strong brand loyalty that marketers can leverage.

On the domestic front, over 20% of those planning to visit large U.S. cities opt for upper upscale hotels. These big city travel intenders are 28% more likely to stay in Marriott Hotels & Resorts. This trend highlights a market segment with a taste for luxury and comfort, ideal for upscale brands and services.




Family fun is on the agenda for 36% of amusement park-bound Americans with kids, indicating a market ripe for family-oriented promotions. Gen Z is 81% more likely than the average American to plan to visit a spa in the next 6 months, showing a strong inclination towards self-care, while Millennials are setting sail, being 31% more likely to plan a cruise. These generational insights allow for targeted marketing strategies that cater to the unique preferences of each age group.

Travel Attitudes

Culinary adventures are a must for 83% of Americans who plan to vacation in the next 6 months, presenting a delicious opportunity for local food industries and restaurants. 69% of those vacation intenders are swayed by discounts, underscoring the effectiveness of promotional deals. Americans planning to take a cruise are 21% more likely to take vacations that differentiate them from their friends, while those planning to go to an amusement park are 16% more likely to seek adventure and thrills when on vacation. These sentiments can be harnessed to create compelling marketing campaigns that promise novelty and excitement.


This data-rich landscape of American vacation plans is a treasure trove for marketers. By understanding and engaging with these travel trends, brands can craft impactful strategies that resonate with the aspirations of American travelers.

A Prime Target for Marketers

The American traveler today is not just looking for a getaway; they’re seeking an experience. With a majority planning vacations to relaxing and accessible destinations like beaches and lakes, they represent a demographic that’s both widespread and diverse. Marketers can tap into this segment to deliver tailored messages that resonate with the desires of families, adventure-seekers, and relaxation enthusiasts alike. The readiness of these travelers to hit the road or explore nearby attractions makes them an ideal audience for a range of products and services, from travel gear to local attractions.

To effectively reach these American travelers, marketers can harness the power of MRI-Simmons’ advanced modeling and activation tool ACT. With ACT, marketers can create unique audience segments which can be activated for targeted campaigns across addressable TV and digital channels. Whether it’s promoting beachwear, road trip essentials, or local experiences, ACT enables precise targeting, ensuring that marketers connect with the right travelers at the right time and place. With ACT, the journey from insights to activation becomes seamless, allowing brands to engage, retain loyalty, and acquire new customers effectively.


To learn how you can build and activate audiences with our activation tool ACT, contact us today!

Matt Cumello
Matt Cumello
Matt Cumello is Vice President of Marketing for MRI-Simmons, responsible for marketing strategy and execution. Matt has over 20 years of B2B marketing experience, having worked with both start-ups and established companies in market research and technology.
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