Nicholas Molinari Nicholas Molinari
Associate Manager, Tax and Economic Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Rachel Ledbetter Rachel Ledbetter
Senior Manager, Communications and Strategy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


April 02, 2024


As families hit the roads and the skies this spring break, American businesses from coast to coast are gearing up to create memorable experiences for travelers. From ski towns to campgrounds to school trips to Washington, D.C., businesses across the country create memorable spring break experiences that last a lifetime.

As eager travelers reserve hotels, plan a staycation, or create last-minute trip itineraries, American businesses have been preparing for spring break months in advance. The preparation behind this travel season also serves as a seasonal economic boost for a variety of businesses across the United States.

Consumer Preferences for Spring Break: Family and Self-Discovery

With schools on break, Americans seemingly cannot wait to relax and create new memories with their families. Family-centered vacations take centerstage in 2024, with 36% of travelers seeking opportunities to embark on trips with loved ones.

  • With Gen Z and Millennials highlighted as the most likely age demographics to travel for spring break (at 58% and 48%, respectively), vacations in 2024 are prioritized around unplugging and disconnecting (31%) or taking inspiring/fulfilling trips (28%). 

Solar Eclipse Contributing to Spring Break Travel Season

Americans are also intent on traveling to experience the solar eclipse on April 8, with Longwoods International estimating 14% of the millions of “eclipse travelers” planning to travel at least 50 miles from home to view the solar phenomenon.

  • AAA reportsa 3,000% increase over last year in advance bookings for U.S. cities in the solar eclipse path.

In spring 2024, U.S. travelers are inclined to bond with family or disconnect and unwind to find a sense of discovery. Whichever the inclination, the American business community provides the opportunity to pursue the ideal trip by offering family-friendly opportunities to unwind, relax, and connect with loved ones.

Spring Break 2024: Revitalized and Record-Breaking

Travel is a big business for the U.S. economy, supporting communities across the country. According to U.S. Travel, the impact of travel on the U.S. economy in 2023 contributed to $1.3 trillion in spending and $2.8 trillion in economic output for the year.

This year, industry experts and projections estimate the spring travel season is projected to be one for the record books.

  • Airlines for America estimates that 167.1 million travelers (or 2.7 million each day) will be served by the U.S. airline industry during the Spring 2024 travel period. This marks a 6% increase from the 2023 Spring travel season. 
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)reports that Boston Logan International Airport, a reliable barometer of nationwide travel trends, the travel hub has seen a robust 6.4% increase from 2023, with nearly 400,000 travelers expected to pass through its bustling terminals during the spring travel season.

Cruises are also hot tickets for American travelers, with the industry seeing a resurgence for spring break in 2024.

  • AAA datashows a 28% increase in cruise bookings for March and April compared to last year and a 60% percent increase for cruises departing from South Florida.

As of January 2024, hotels across the United States have seen a 7% increase in bookings for this year’s spring break season. This figure is expected to climb to a total increase of 10% to 15% compared to 2023. According to Hopper’s 2024 Spring Break Travel Outlook, 45% of all spring break travelers plan on booking hotel accommodations for their trip.

Josh Friedlander, Vice President of Research at the U.S. Travel Association, emphasizes the American travel industry’s strong performance during spring break and how this rising demand must be met in the future.  “We see strong performance in the domestic leisure travel segment – at spring break and beyond – but meeting this level of rising demand also points to the need for greater federal investment in a modern, reliable, and efficient travel system for travelers,” said Friedlander.

Economic Trends: An Affordable and Flexible Spring Break

With 55% of Americans planning a 2024 Spring Break excursion, affordability can be front of mind. The U.S. business community delivers accessible price points and a litany of domestic travel options.

  • According to Hotel Management Network, 76% of spring break itineraries feature domestic travel.  

While inflation remains a top concern for families and businesses, industries have been able to maintain competitive pricing for travelers.

  • Airfare: Airfare for vacations in March and April is averaging $256 per round-trip domestic ticket, down 2% from this time in 2023 and 11% lower than 2019 prices. 
  • Lodging: Hotel rates nationwide are projected to be up 2% - 3%, despite an estimated 15% increase in hotel bookings this year.  
  • Rental cars: According to Hopper’s Travel Report, average rates for rental cars is $41 per day nationally with rental car services across the U.S. having dropped 36% from this time last year. Additionally, AAA tells the Chamber domestic rental car bookings are up 35% compared to last year with international bookings up 6%. 

Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of Travel at AAA, highlights the versatility American businesses bring to spring break through flexible travel accommodations.  “Spring Break is a bustling time for AAA Travel because our members are eager to get away with their families, whether by air, land, or sea. AAA travel agents are the best resource during this vacation period to find the best deals and create memorable itineraries,” said Twidale. “This year, we’re seeing strong demand for cruises and international travel, and of course, the top domestic destination: Florida!"

The business community continues to maintain competitive pricing and a diverse range of options, ensuring American travelers can fully embrace and enjoy their spring break adventures without breaking the bank or compromising on their desired experiences.

Bottom Line

With the 2024 Spring Break travel season in full swing, businesses of all sizes across the United States are working around the clock to ensure that travelers can enjoy their vacations to the fullest while also generating a significant upswing for the U.S. economy.

From pet boarders to ski instructors and everything in between, American businesses are pivotal to creating spring break memories for families across the country. As vacationers eagerly anticipate their getaways with friends and family, they can rest assured that the business community stands ready to make their experiences both memorable and fulfilling. 

About the authors

Nicholas Molinari

Nicholas Molinari

Nicholas Molinari is an associate manager for the Tax and Economic policy teams at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Rachel Ledbetter

Rachel Ledbetter

Rachel Ledbetter is a senior manager for communications and strategy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Read more