2016 Travel Trends: Squaremouth Report Reveals Changes in Traveler Behavior

Published by Steven Benna December 28, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, FL DECEMBER 28, 2016 — Health and safety concerns were at the forefront of travelers’ minds this year. Rather than avoiding travel, more Americans opted to protect their trips, according to leading travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth, which reported an 18% increase in the number of insured travelers from the previous year.

“Over the past year, we saw the impact of concerns about terrorism and Zika virus on traveler behavior, but we did not see Americans stop traveling,” said Squaremouth spokesperson Rachael Taft. “More Americans sought travel insurance for their trips in 2016, and many chose to visit destinations closer to home.”

Where did Americans travel in 2016?

Canada Leaps into Top 5, Caribbean Travel Slows

  • Canada overtook France and the United Kingdom to become the fourth most popular destination
  • Travel to Cuba increased by 148% compared to 2015
  • The United States, Mexico and Italy remained the top three destinations for U.S. travelers
  • In a year where Zika virus was a major concern, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic and Aruba saw decreased travel from 2015

Growth in Number of U.S. Travelers to Top 10 Destinations

  • 6. United Kingdom (+15%)
  • 7. Spain (+27%)
  • 8. Bahamas (+7.3%)
  • 9. Germany (+13%)
  • 10. Israel (+14%)

What were travelers concerned about in 2016?

Terrorism a Top Concern for Travelers

  • The number of travelers searching for terrorism coverage when buying travel insurance more than doubled from 2015
  • Squaremouth saw a 70% increase in customers looking for inclement weather coverage
  • Travelers sought more flexibility to cancel for reasons not typically covered, including concerns about Zika virus or potential terrorism, with an 11% increase in travelers adding the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade

Who traveled in 2016?

Baby Boomers Dominate, Senior Travel on the Rise

  • Baby Boomers bought the most travel insurance, accounting for 41% of sales, while Millennials bought the least, accounting for 13%
  • Senior travel grew significantly, with a 39% increase in the number of travelers over 70 buying travel insurance in 2016

How much did Americans spend on travel in 2016?

Spending on Travel Declines Slightly

  • Americans spend an average of $3,668 on their trips in 2016, a slight decrease from 2015
  • Italy and France were the most expensive destinations, with U.S. travelers spending more than $4,000 per trip
  • Travelers over 70 spent the most on travel, averaging $2,749 per person, while Millennials spent the least per traveler at $1,149

Table 1: Average Total Trip Cost for Squaremouth Customers

Average Trip CostYear-Over-Year Change
2016$3,668-0.9%
2015$3,7010.6%
2014$3,6795.0%
2013$3,5039.6%


Methodology: Data is based on travel insurance policies purchased through Squaremouth prior to 12/16/16/ Annual numbers are based on policies that were purchased before 12/16 with travel dates during each respective year. Statistics reflect year-over-year changes unless otherwise noted. Travelers who are visiting multiple countries only have to enter one destination when purchasing a policy on Squaremouth.com.

2016 Seasonal Travel Trends

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ABOUT SQUAREMOUTH

Squaremouth compares travel insurance policies from every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third-party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com.

Available Topic Expert:
Carolyn Leckie
cleckie@squaremouth.com
(727) 260-5012