Chase Travel has new data highlighting the holiday travel trends, tips, and predictions for the 2023 season. The latest finding from the Chase Travel Holiday Travel Trends report shows that travelers are booking 2023 holiday travel earlier than in previous years. Here’s everything you need to know from Chase’s latest study:
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Chase Study Highlights Holiday Travel Trends for 2023
The experts at FROSCH and Valerie Wilson Travel Advisors, part of the Chase Travel Group, have plenty of interesting findings in the latest Chase Travel Holiday Travel report. The annual report highlights the most significant trends in holiday travel, with the 2023/24 edition indicating a big shift towards international travel. But the study’s main findings show that Americans book holiday travel earlier than before. On average, customers book travel five (5) days earlier for domestic flights and eight (8) days earlier for international journeys.
But Chase Travel’s holiday report provides far more insight than just when consumers are booking travel. The study also highlights which states are getting the most “bang for their buck” when it comes to cashing in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards (UR) points.
California, for example, saw the highest value of travel sales, where customers used one or more UR points for booking airfare, hotels, or car rentals for fall or winter travel this holiday season (between October 2023 and January 2024). The Golden State enjoyed almost $200 million worth of value when redeeming points ($199.1 million, to be precise), followed by New York and Florida in the top spots. Here are the top five U.S. states with the highest value of travel sales this holiday season:
- California: $199.1 million
- New York: $113.2 million
- Florida: $77.8 million
- Texas: $64.1 million
- Illinois: $49.8 million
And while those states were enjoying the greatest value with their Ultimate Reward points, some cities were quickly climbing the leaderboards that to year-over-year (YoY) growth in point redemption for air travel:
- Houston, TX: 30% YoY growth
- Jackson, WY: 23% YoY growth
- Seattle, WA: 15% YoY growth
- Boston, MA: 15% YoY growth
- Washington D.C.: 15% YoY growth
While Chase customers are getting more value for money with their UR points, the top travel destinations for 2023 are decidedly mundane. The destinations with the most points used towards booking travel are very North and Western-hemisphere specific, including Vail, Colorado; Palm Springs, California; and international jumps to Calgary, Canada; Cabo, Mexico; and Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda.
Despite that, the Chase Travel study showcases Americans rejecting the sedentary lifestyle caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While cities in China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai) and Japan (Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo) showed the strongest year-over-year holiday season growth after being closed to travelers last year, Chase travelers also drove high bookings to several unique, buzzing global cities and island escapes.
Whether propelled by new flight routes or by travelers’ growing interest in finding destinations that offer nature-based adventures – like Patagonia – the following destinations rose to the top of Chase Travel’s growing holiday travel list:
- Christchurch, New Zealand: 224% YoY growth
- El Calafate, Argentina: 132% YoY growth
- Noord, Aruba: 105% YoY growth
- Chiang Mai, Thailand: 104% YoY growth
- Roatan, Honduras: 76% YoY growth
- Vienna, Austria: 72% YoY growth
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 63% YoY growth
Other Report Findings
The latest edition of the Chase Travel Holiday Travel report also provides expert predictions for the upcoming year. The experts at FROSCH and Valerie Wilson Travel Advisors anticipate the following trends to shape 2024 travel:
- Summer splurges: Travel Advisors are already booking 2024 summer travel plans, which indicates an expected busy summer travel season.
- Priority around luxury escapes: As secluded, lesser-known retreats are becoming a priority for luxury travelers, Travel Advisors are seeing an increased interest in amenities like private villas from premium travelers and expect this trend to grow.
- Experience travel: Whether it’s the total solar eclipse coming to Mexico, the U.S. and Canada or the Summer Olympics in Paris, travelers seek unique experiences to help inspire their 2024 trips.
- Multi-gen family travel: Travel Advisors are seeing family travel of all shapes and forms continuing to grow – whether it is an increase in multi-generational cruise travel or parents and adult children traveling together, family travel time is expected to continue to become a focus for 2024.
- Niche cruise tours: From exploring remote destinations like Antarctica through expedition cruises to navigating small ports with unforgettable river cruises, travelers pursue journeys at sea as they look toward the new year.
- Nimble travel plans: As the travel landscape fluctuates due to surrounding global circumstances, travelers are leaning more on their Travel Advisors to help them navigate future travels and learn how to stay nimble in ever-evolving situations.
For more information on Chase’s 2023 Holiday Travel report, click here for the full findings.
Chase Holiday Travel Tips
This holiday season, Travel Advisors from FROSCH and Valerie Wilson Travel, part of the Chase Travel Group, are helping travelers make the most of their travels with helpful, seasonal tips:
- Avoid busiest airport days: Looking at flights booked for travel in December 2023 and January 2024, the busiest airport dates in Chase Travel air booking data are 12/23, 12/22, and 12/30.
- Earn points for holiday travel: Eligible Chase cardmembers can earn 5k bonus points for booking a flight and hotel through Chase Travel. Cardmembers can check eligibility and enroll online at the Chase Travel website. Be sure to activate, book, and stay by 1/31/24 to get rewarded, however.
- Get ahead and give the gift of travel: With Travel Advisors already booking 2024 travel plans, it is never too early to start booking 2024 travels and surprise a loved one with a trip.
- Make the most of your rewards: Chase cardmembers can earn and redeem points when booking hotels, flights, cruises, and more through chasetravel.com.
- Find flexible payment plans: Between tickets, hotels, and flights, travel costs can add up quickly. My Chase Plan allows cardmembers to split up large purchases into smaller payments with no interest, just a fixed monthly fee.
Should You Consider a Travel Card This Holiday Season?
Travel credit cards can make traveling significantly cheaper. That’s because they offer points or miles – rewards that can be turned into award flights, free nights at hotels and resorts, rental car bookings, and more. But should you consider getting a new travel card for the 2023 holiday season? Here are a few things to consider to see if the answer is yes:
Are You Loyal to a Particular Brand or Carrier?
Co-branded airline and hotel credit cards are cards that are tied to a particular airline, hotel, or portfolio of brands. These co-branded cards offer focused perks, benefits, and points for that program, meaning you might not find enough value if you choose to stay – or fly – with another brand. These cards also often offer bigger rewards than general travel credit cards but may also incur an annual fee to use.
That’s not to say that co-branded cards aren’t versatile. The LATAM Airlines Mastercard, for example, only miles in the LATAM Pass rewards program. Despite that, you can use those miles for award flights with any other carrier in the SkyTeam Alliance – which includes the following carriers:
|Aeromexico||China Airlines||Garuda Indonesia||Air France||Saudia|
|Air Europa||China Eastern Airlines||Kenya Airlines||China Southern Airlines||TAROM|
|Aeroflot||Czech Airlines||LATAM||Korean Air||Vietnam Airlines|
|Aerolineas Argentinas||Delta Air Lines||KLM Royal Dutch Airlines||Middle East Airlines||XiamenAir|
|Air Europa||ITA Airways||Virgin Atlantic||Shanghai Airlines||JinAir|
Beyond flights, points can also be used towards hotel stays with partners, including Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, IHG, Hyatt, and more. Points also apply to rental car hires with select partners and merchandise through LATAM retail partners. Ensure you thoroughly understand your potential credit card’s rewards structure, including redeeming points or miles, before applying. Additionally, you can find helpful, thorough guides on the leading airline and hotel programs on BestCards.
Do You Travel Enough to Justify an Annual Fee?
Some premium travel, airline, and hotel credit cards come with annual fees, many of which start around $75 to $95 per year. Before you apply for a new credit card, ensure you fully understand the perks available, the purchase price for these benefits outside of the credit card program, and whether or not you plan to use the card enough to recoup the yearly membership charge. Remember that a higher fee doesn’t mean better rewards. If you don’t expect to spend enough to justify an annual fee, consider a no annual fee option. Most large hotel and airline programs offer a $0 fee version. Outside of carriers and hotels, general travel cards, like the Bilt Mastercard or U.S. Bank Altitude Go, offer more streamlined rewards without a fee.
Do the Perks Apply to Your Family?
Many airline cards feature complimentary bags on carrier-operated flights, priority boarding and screening, and even TSA Precheck for security fast-pass. But do those rewards and perks apply to everyone on your itinerary? Some credit cards only provide additional baggage or priority boarding for up to 4four (4) or six (6) passengers on the same itinerary, while others cover the entire party. Carefully read the terms and conditions and any other fine print to ensure you are getting a card that is rewarding for the whole family – and not just you.
Featured image by by Joshua Woroniecki /PixaBay
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