You might have guessed that more Americans would be spending their tax refund money on paying down debts (like a mortgage or student loan) – one of the main pieces of financial advice during this year’s tax season.
But, it seems, according to a recent survey by Travel Leaders, that many Americans aren’t heeding that financial guidance. Instead, over half (57%) of survey respondents who are receiving a tax refund are planning to use at least part of the money for vacations and leisure travel this year.
Additionally, a majority (83%) of those surveyed indicated that they would spend the same or more on leisure travel this year than they did in 2010. Only 17% of respondents indicated they would spend less this year than they did in 2010.
In terms of where those polled want to spend that leisure time, Australia was chosen as the No. 1 “ultimate dream international destination.” Italy, Ireland, New Zealand and Mediterranean cruising followed respectively. The most traveled to (or anticipated to travel to) states include Florida, followed by California and New York.
Other findings include:
- 89% of those polled noted that they have already or will take at least one leisure trip in 2011
- Nearly 62% indicated they had already taken at least one trip in 2011; 22% have already taken multiple vacation trips
- Almost 87% of respondents said they are planning to take the same amount, or more trips this year
- Just over 75% of respondents plan to travel within the U.S. and further than a bordering state.
The group conducted the survey this year between March 10 and April 10 with responses from 953 U.S. consumers.