Shopping is the second-biggest spontaneous activity after dining out for American travelers while on the road, according to a recently released survey by the Travel Industry Association of America.
The survey reported that 44 percent of adults, or 66 million travelers within the past year, often indulged in pre-trip purchases ranging from toiletries to magazines, and sometimes even automobiles.
The average U.S. traveler spent $192 on items such as snacks, guidebooks and personal items before heading off to his or her destination.
Buying supplies to capture moments on film when traveling is supported by the fact that camera equipment and cameras are the most popular purchased items for trips for nearly half of those surveyed.
The next in line of most often purchased items for pre-travel preparations was luggage which 42 percent of respondents said they purchased before going on a trip. Automobiles, boats and recreational vehicles were on the list of 10 percent of those surveyed as big-ticket items purchased.
For travelers, factors such as age, income and level of education affected decisions as to how much money to spend and what to buy.
& #711; Fifty-four percent of travelers under age 35 shop and purchase before a trip vs. 31 percent of those 56 or older who do so.
& #711; Fifty-five percent of travelers with a household income of $75,000 or more make pre-trip purchases, while only 40 percent with household incomes of less than $30,000 make pre-trip purchases.
& #711; Of those surveyed as travelers with children, 55 percent are more likely to buy items for a trip, than those without children.
& #711; A little more than half of college graduates make pre-trip purchases and 39 percent of those without college degrees do.
The Travel Industry Association of America concluded that pre-travel spending follows a familiar demographic curve based on several factors including age and income. Mature travelers spend the most on pre-trip purchases averaging $271 per trip, followed by middle-aged travelers averaging $178 and young travelers at $177.