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New Survey from Coinstar Reveals American Parents are Spending Cautiously on Summer Vacation this Year

Nearly 70% of Respondents Taking a Vacation Say they will Spend the Same or Less than Previous Year
BELLEVUE, Wash. - 
May 19, 2017

A new summer vacation budgeting survey released today by Coinstar, a leader in self-service coin counting, shows that 68% of U.S. families with children who plan to go on vacation this summer intend to use cash on hand to fund it, and 44% have funds already earmarked for vacation. Of the 17% of respondents not planning to take a vacation, budget limitations are cited as the main reason.

“Coinstar appreciates how important summer vacations are for many families, so we conducted this survey to better understand how parents with children are planning and budgeting for their vacations,” said Sandi Stoller, director of brand strategy and marketing at Coinstar.

Paying off debt driving more modest vacations

Thirty-eight percent of Coinstar survey respondents who plan to spend less on summer vacation this year say paying off debt is the top reason. Other reasons indicated for spending less include saving for a big purchase such as a car or home (27%) and saving because they are worried about the U.S. economy (22%).

Respondents in different regions of the country have varying outlooks:

Reason for Reduced Spending West Midwest South Northeast
Paying off debt 42% 29% 39% 42%
Big Purchase 22% 26% 26% 33%
Worried about economy 31% 27% 19% 13%

Cash is king for vacation funding

The Coinstar survey revealed that the top three methods in which respondents plan to fund their vacation are:

  • Cash on hand (68%)
  • Funds earmarked for vacation (44%)
  • Credit card (42%)

<p”>“Seventy-one percent of survey respondents reported that they save coins in a jar or container at home for future use. Over the years, consumers have told us that when they cash in their coin jar, they had more money than they thought. These extra funds can stretch vacation budgets and create a more meaningful and enjoyable vacation,” added Stoller.

Millennials seem to be more cash-minded than those of an older generation when it comes to credit card use to fund vacations. Following is the age breakdown of respondents citing using a credit card due to lack of funds:

  • 25-34 years old (8%)
  • 35-44 years old (16%)
  • 45-54 years old (15%)


Vacationing on a budget spurs traditional values.

Thirty-one percent of respondents who plan to take a vacation say they have a goal of staying on budget. One in four respondents (24%) plan to spend between $501 – $1,000 and the vacation goals reported don’t come with a big price tag.

The top three goals of Americans with children taking a vacation are:

  • Rest and relaxation (77%)
  • Increased family bonding (64%); 19% cited no family conflicts
  • Enjoying outdoor activities (60%)

Despite these noble goals, American parents aren’t willing to go unplugged. Only 10% of respondents had a goal of no phones or electronic devices except for emergencies.

Are men or women the bigger spenders on vacation?

The Coinstar survey results indicate that women are more frugal than men when it comes to vacation spending.

Plan to spend under $1,000:

  • 43% of women
  • 29% of men

Moreover, 30% of male respondents say they plan to spend more this vacation season than the previous year compared to 25% of female respondents.

Survey Methodology

The Coinstar survey was conducted online within the United States by Atomik Research, an independent market research agency, between April 11 and 12, 2017, among 2,020 American adults with children living at home aged 5-18. The survey is representative of the United States population age, gender, and region. Margin of error is +/- 2 percent. Research conducted was in accordance with Market Research Association guidelines and regulations.