Australia, Hawaii Top Tax Refund Travel Wish List

Survey asks Americans if they’ll use their tax refunds on travel; nine in ten surveyed plan to travel this year
Hawaii remains a top wish-list destination for domestic travelers // © 2013 iStock Images
Hawaii remains a top wish-list destination for domestic travelers // © 2013 iStock Images

The Details

Travel Leaders Group

In a recent survey, in which Travel Leaders Group asked Americans across the country if they would use any part of their tax refund to go on vacation, more than 43 percent of those polled said they would use some or all of that money for vacation travel.

The survey also revealed that more than 94 percent of respondents have taken, or will take, at least one leisure trip in 2013, with the top dream destinations in 2013 being Australia internationally and Hawaii domestically. The survey includes responses from 1,788 consumers throughout the United States and was conducted by Travel Leaders Group — an $18 billion powerhouse in the travel industry — from March 15 to April 8, 2013.

“Americans are clearly bullish on travel once again — clearly good news for our nation’s economy,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “The desire to see Australia remains incredibly strong — it has long been the top dream destination in our annual consumer survey. Once-in-a-lifetime trips can easily become a reality by consulting and planning with a certified, professional travel agent — in fact, a full quarter of all certified Aussie Specialists can be found within our flagship Travel Leaders agency brand alone.”

Tax Refund – Money for Travel

• When asked, “If you receive a tax refund this year, will you be using any part of that money for vacation travel?” 43.8 percent of consumers polled say “Yes,” while 56.2 percent say “No.”  

• Those who indicated they would be receiving a tax refund and would use that money for travel were asked: “In 2012, the average tax refund was roughly $3,000.  Using that figure, if you were to receive a refund of $3,000 this year, how much of that money would you spend on travel?”

27.4 percent said all of it
2.8 percent said $2,500 – $2,999
7.7 percent said $2,000 – $2,499
17.1 percent said $1,500 – $1,999
27.4 percent said $1,000 – $1,499
13.7 percent said $500 – $999
3.9 percent said $1 – $499

Leisure Travel – Still a Priority

• More than 94 percent of those polled say they “have or will take” at least one leisure trip this year.

• More than 90 percent indicate that the total number of leisure trips they anticipate taking in 2013 will be either the same or more than last year (36.1 percent say “more,” while 54.0 percent say “the same”). 

• Also, 83.4 percent of those polled state they will spend the same or more on leisure trips this year versus 2012 (39.7 percent will spend “more” and 43.7 percent will spend “the same” on their leisure trips as compared to last year).

Traveling Away from Home

1. Travel within the U.S. and farther than a bordering state -- 75.8 percent
2. Travel within your home state -- 46.9 percent
3. Travel internationally (Canada, Mexico and/or Caribbean) -- 44.1 percent
4. Travel to a bordering state -- 39.0 percent
5. Travel internationally (Europe) -- 31.1 percent
6. Travel internationally (South America) -- 6.4 percent
7. Travel internationally (Asia) -- 5.5 percent
8. Travel internationally (Central America) -- 5.4 percent
9. Travel Internationally (Australia) -- 3.4 percent
10. Travel internationally (South Pacific including New Zealand) -- 3.3 percent

The Dream “Down Under”

While only a fraction of consumers polled indicate they are headed to Australia this year, it remains the #1 “dream” international destination for U.S. travelers. The international travel dreams of Americans also include:

3.New Zealand
4.World Cruise
6.Bora Bora
9.Europe Cruise (Mediterranean)
10.Europe Cruise (River)

The U.S. Dream

5.New York

This is the fifth consecutive year for this travel survey.  American consumers were engaged predominantly through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct contact with travel clients for the following Travel Leaders Group companies: Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders, Tzell Travel Group and

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