The Pulse: Consumer Travel Plans and Confidence Levels

The Pulse of the American Consumer is focused on continued insight into consumer sentiments for businesses across all industries.


U.S. consumers tuned in this week to give insight into upcoming travel plans and destinations they will be visiting in upcoming months as well as why some will not be traveling. They also provided an update into their overall consumer confidence levels regarding the current and future conditions of the U.S.  In order for businesses to have the most success connecting with their consumers, they have to understand them – what they are interested in, what they need, and how they feel. At ENGINE, we have the real-time pulse of the consumer, today, and always. Throughout 2021, we are offering weekly insights by identifying important data points and trends from the voice of the consumer.


KEY FINDINGS AS OF November 21, 2021:

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The Pulse of the American Consumer v43 pt 1
The Pulse of the American Consumer v43 pt 2

If you would like more information on ENGINE CARAVAN surveys, contact us below:

At ENGINE, we will be keeping up with the pulse of the consumer throughout 2021, and are regularly running our CARAVAN surveys on current social issues. Contact us at for more information or for the full CARAVAN survey findings.

This Online CARAVAN® omnibus surveys were conducted on January 8-10, January 15-17, January 22-24, January 29-31, February 5-7, February 12-14,  February 19-21, February 26-28, March 5-7, March 12-14, March 19-21, March 26-28, April 2-4, April 9-11, April 16-18, April 23-25, April 30-May 2, May 7-9, May 14-16, May 21-23, June 2-6, June 11-13, June 18-20, June 25-27, July 9-11, July 16-18, July 23-25, July 30-August 1,  August 6-8, August 13-15, August 20-22, August 27-29, September 10-12, September 17-19, September 24-26, October 1-3, October 8-10, October 15-17, October 22-24, October 29-31, November 5-7, November 12-14, and November 19-21, 2021. Approximately 1,000 adults selected from opt-in panels were surveyed. The results are also weighted to U.S. Census data to be demographically representative.

Written by the CARAVAN team at ENGINE Insights.

The Pulse of the American Consumer

Consumer Insights for Business

Vacation, personal financial health, and issues surrounding supply chain disruptions are all on the minds of Americans this week.

Gain insight on these issues and more in this week’s The Pulse of the American Consumer.

On the Road Again – Consumer Travel

54% of U.S. Adults are likely to go away on vacation between now and March 31, 2022. This is driven more heavily by younger adults.

  • 66% Gen Z
  • 66% Millennials
  • 47% Gen X
  • 45% Baby Boomers

Of those likely to vacation in the coming months, the destinations include:

  • 28% A beach/shore or lake
  • 15% An international destination, via airplane, car, or train (not a cruise)
  • 14% Domestic resorts (mountain resorts, indoor water parks, spas, etc.)
  • 14% A U.S. national park
  • 14% Las Vegas
  • 13% New York City
  • 12% Disneyworld (Orlando, FL)/Disneyland (Anaheim, CA)
  • 12% A campground
  • 7% An international destination, via cruise ship
  • 6% A skiing/snowboarding trip
  • 5% A trip to attend a sporting event (such as an NFL or NCAA football game)
  • 5% New Orleans

Among those unlikely to go away on vacation at any point between now and March 31, 2022, these factors will play a role:

  • Inflation/higher cost of living for everyday items/services resulting in less funds being available for vacation/leisure activities
    • 68% A lot/A little (Net)
    • 42% A lot
  • The ongoing pandemic
    • 64% A lot/A little (Net)
    • 37% A lot
  • A tendency to go on vacation during summer months instead
    • 46% A lot/A little (Net)
    • 21% A lot
  • An unstable job situation for your household
    • 36% A lot/A little (Net)
    • 16% A lot

As you have likely seen, supply chain disruptions have been a major issue around the world. For example, cargo ships have been stuck waiting outside major U.S. ports and once their goods are ashore, it has been challenging to transport them to the public because of a lack of truck drivers. Given this situation, to what extent do you or disagree with these statements?

  • This situation further highlights the need to produce more durable goods right here in the U.S.
    • 87% Agree (Net)
    • 49% Strongly Agree
  • As frustrating as it is, it is not surprising to see given the ongoing impacts of the pandemic
    • 80% Agree (Net)
    • 32% Strongly Agree
  • All major ports and shipping companies should go on a 24/7 emergency schedule to help relieve this problem
    • 77% Agree (Net)
    • 34% Strongly Agree
  • I am concerned about the potential impact this will have on the holiday season
    • 69% Agree (Net)
    • 25% Strongly Agree
  • I feel an increased urgency to buy extra goods right now for fear they won’t be available when I need them later
    • 56% Agree (Net)
    • 20% Strongly Agree
  • I blame the Biden Administration for not being able to resolve this problem
    • 53% Agree (Net)
    • 30% Strongly Agree
  • My household has been greatly impacted by not being able to find basic items we frequently use
    • 45% Agree (Net)
    • 13% Strongly Agree

The Latest on Consumer Confidence

Looking ahead one year from now, 47% of U.S. Adults believe they will be better off financially than they are now, compared to just 16% who believe they will be worse off. This confidence is driven heavily by younger adults, with 66% and 65% of Gen Z and Millennials feeling they will be better off in a year.

Alternatively, 25% of U.S. Adults believe that during the next twelve months business conditions in the U.S. will have bad times, while 32% believe businesses will have good times. Closer to half (43%) believe there will be a mix of both good and bad.

ENGINE Insights developed a proprietary ‘Consumer Confidence Index’ with the benchmark wave collected March 19-21, following passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. To date, our index has produced a high-water mark of 106, during the period of April 2-4.

Our most recent index registers at 96, a small increase in consumer confidence since our last reading (93 during October 1-3), but still well below all measurements calculated throughout April – June.

Using our most current index, younger adults (especially Millennials) are notably more confident than their older counterparts across the board.

  • Overall Consumer Confidence
    • 96 – U.S. Adults
    •  108 – Gen Z
    • 114 – Millennials
    • 91 – Gen X
    • 82 – Baby Boomers
  • Current Conditions
    • 100 – U.S. Adults
    • 115 – Gen Z
    • 118 – Millennials
    • 92 – Gen X
    • 87 – Baby Boomers
  • Future Expectations
    • 94 – U.S. Adults
    • 104 – Gen Z
    • 111 – Millennials
    • 90 – Gen X
    • 80 – Baby Boomers

Contact us to learn more about our Consumer Confidence Methodology!