Why People Are Choosing To Travel Instead Of Shop

Learn why travel spending has usurped shopping amongst consumers.

By Joseph Farago | Published

travel over shopping

One thing’s for sure, industries all over have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. For airlines, revenue is just starting to replenish from its 2020 and 2021 depletions. With mandates lifted nationwide, American citizens choose between vacationing or going on a spending spree. Businesses are now experiencing a trend where people pick travel over shopping to compensate for the years of no air travel.

Macy’s, the massive retailer, attempts to reconcile with the new shift in demand. In a statement made by chief financial officer Adrian Mitchell, he explained that many people are still financially crunched, choosing between heading to the mall or paying for summer-vacation plane tickets. The change in customer demand threatens retailers nationwide but could be a beneficial outcome for airlines. As Americans pick travel over shopping, retail businesses have to rethink their spring and summer campaigns.

Mitchell is also concerned about the demand shift towards other activities versus going on a spending spree at Macy’s. Are people preferring to spend their money on air travel or “going out to restaurants?” Mitchell pondered. What is clear is that mandates are being removed from state to state, allowing for more people to gather indoors. This has put previously inaccessible vacations and restaurant outings into the forefront of many Americans’ minds, which has propelled this shift in national spending. Travel over shopping has become a debate amongst the average household, influenced by more flight opportunities.

Mitchell also stated how the demand for travel over shopping would affect their store supplies. If the need for vacation materials like suitcases and swim trunks is accelerating, retailers must purchase enough to have them readily available for customers. But stores like Macy’s can’t predict how long trends last, and the escalation of air travelers may die out before the summer even begins. This puts retailers in a difficult position, desperately trying to guess what consumers will want to purchase for summer 2022.

The travel-over-shopping debate falls heavily on those who the ongoing pandemic has financially crunched. Those who’ve been laid off, or struggling to gain a higher wage against the evergrowing cost of living, don’t have excess money to throw around. This disparity positions Americans to make tough choices about their recreational spending.

Another factor that forces Americans to choose what they do with their excess funds is overall inflated costs. Many are aware of gas prices’ unfathomable rise in this country, making those under economic pressure even more frustrated. On average, consumers spent 59% more on gas and convenience store goods this year than in 2021. The continual escalation of necessary goods has negatively affected the working class, pushing many Americans to choose travel over shopping and devoting their spending to a singular vacation.

In a supposed advanced society like America, citizens are understandably frustrated by the wealth inequality gap and the incomprehensible incline of the cost of living. Those who’ve suffered throughout the pandemic and lost money are more focused on spending their funds on travel over shopping. Since travel has been limited throughout quarantine, people are more likely to spend their savings on a short vacation than a shopping spree.