Are You Experienced?

Americans Might Value Travel More Than Possessions These Days

Americans are spending more money on travel than stuff, according to a new report.

By Gwendolyn Knapp January 16, 2018

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As of 2017, Americans are spending more money on experiences, especially travel, rather than on material possessions, says travel-booking website Expedia. In a new travel study, Generations on the Move, published by Expedia in partnership with the Center for Generational Kinetics in early January 2018,  nearly 74 percent of American adults it surveyed claimed they would rather spend money on experiences than things. 

This seems to fall in line with various reports published in the past few years, most of which do not mark a change in Americans being any less material, but more of a shift in how materialism now manifests itself— via social media. In 2016, Fortune reported that households were spending more on experiences including travel and dining, and less on discretionary items such as cars or furniture, likely due to pressure from social media. 

In 2017, Forbes reported that Americans were not only going into debt for vacations, they were also doing so while cutting back on household spending and even overlooking saving for retirement to have money for a trip. 

The Expedia report claims that 57 percent of Americans are currently saving money for travel. While it found that 71 percent of the Generation Z demographic, ages 18 to 22, would be highly likely to get a part-time job to save for travel, another 49 percent of Gen Z and Millennials would just as readily sell clothes or furniture to get money for a trip—seriously, though, how far are the Ikea futon and Steve Madden boots going to get you? 

Also on a truly ridiculous note, a reported 11 percent of Gen Z would also postpone a breakup with a significant other in order to go on a previously planned trip. After all, who else would take the photo of you doing Half Moon pose on the precipice of a Balinese infinity pool, before returning to your empty apartment with the heat turned off and your winter coat already sold to Buffalo Exchange? Only the sad, buzzing of the phone on the floor to keep you company as hundreds of new Instagram followers adore your latest vacation. 

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