What Travel Will Look Like This Summer, According to Amex Travel Data

Courtesy Waldorf Astoria

Plus, how American Express Card Members can book flights now and pay later.

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Summer is nearly upon us and the question remains: what will travel actually look like over the next few months? According to the latest Amex Trendex data, bookings have jumped by 50 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the last quarter of 2020. That same data found that 76% of U.S. consumers said they felt happier as soon as they booked a trip. In that vein, American Express is now offering Card Members the ability to book flights now and pay later. The feature is available on AmexTravel.com — all Card Members need to do is select Plan It at checkout. This Plan It feature launched May 13 and offers Card Members three different ways to pay for flight purchases of $100 or more.

Ethan Tweedie/Courtesy Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

The Plan It feature is only good for flight purchases right now, but later in the year will be usable toward hotel bookings as well. The philosophy behind this promotion is that even the act of planning a trip offers consumers something to look forward to — and Amex Card Members can now do that without paying for the experience in advance.  Research from Amex Trendex actually suggests that their Card Members are keen on payment flexibility and deals when planning for future travel — 73% are enthusiastic about travel offers, while 69% are keen on lower prices. On a similar note, almost half of Americans (46%) are interested in spending more on their first post-pandemic trip than they would typically spend on a getaway.

Jason Dewey/Courtesy The Ritz Carlton Kapalua Maui 

The only question left, of course, is where do you want to travel? Amex predicts that this will be the summer of week-long vacations — longer trips are staging a comeback, with 66% of consumers planning for a vacation that’s either a week or two weeks. Beyond that, travelers specifically want outdoor vacations and are partial to beach escapes and friend and family reunions. It’s time to get back out there.