by Travel Alberta
Fifty percent of Americans already have booked or plan to book travel in 2013, according to a recent American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, a monthly survey to determine consumer spending and saving plans or intentions. Eighty-seven percent of those with plans to travel intend to spend the same or more than last year on their vacations. American Express Travel Insiders, specially-trained travel agents with in-depth destination knowledge, shared the most popular destinations for where consumers are headed this year.
Romancing the Rails – The old-school romantic feel of traveling somewhere on a luxurious locomotive has once again become intriguing to travelers. The Royal Scotsman, Orient Express, Eurostar and new Italian NTV Italo are just a sampling of some of the incredible train experiences people are booking.On the Wild Side – Nature lovers often associate Safaris with Africa but that perception is changing. Travelers are going to more diverse locations to observe wildlife, like Borneo, Indonesia to see the orangutans and the National Parks of Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Pench in India to get up close and personal with tigers.
Time Travel – Travelers don’t want to just read about history, they are requesting itineraries that allow them to relive it. While some, inspired by the pomp and circumstance of Downton Abbey, seek to discover the British countryside; others are sticking closer to home to take in the historical sites of Colonial Williamsburg and Boston.
Cycling Escapes – These increasingly popular, athletic getaways combine the benefits of a workout with the scenic vineyards of France, the pristine mountains of Colorado or other natural wonders. While you may provide the muscle, these trips add a luxurious introduction to these destinations, featuring stays in historical castles and palaces, Champagne luncheons, and private tours.
Sails Up – While cruising has always been a popular winter getaway option, travelers are heading beyond the Caribbean to explore the high seas in new territories. With an 80% increase in year-over-year cruise booking to the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, and Thailand have proved to be among the most popular with travelers.
The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of 1508 adults, including the general U.S. population, an affluent demographic, defined by a minimum annual household income of $100,000. Interviewing was conducted by Echo Research between December 18 and December 20, 2012. These findings have a margin of error of ± 2.5 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.