Summer travel season is in full swing. According to a forecast from Airlines for America (A4A), an average of 2.24 million people will fly each day this season on U.S. airlines. But where are they all going?
To get a sneak peek at some of this summer's most popular destinations*, I sat down with the travel team at Citi Cards, who shared some of the season's biggest travel trends:
U.S. metropolises are hot. If you're headed to a major U.S. city this summer, you're going to have a lot of company. New York, Chicago, LA, Dallas and San Francisco are this summer's top destinations for Citi cardholders, with Las Vegas, Boston, Orlando, Seattle and Denver rounding out the top 10.
London-bound! London was the only international city to make the list of top 20 destinations, at #12. Cheap flights to the 2012 Summer Olympics city could be hard to come by, with more money spent on flights to London than any other destination. The average expenditure per flight to London was over $1,000, while the average flight to New York was only $366.
Europe is the top international destination. The continent was home to 5 of the top 10 countries outside the U.S. (United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and Germany) being visited this summer. Rounding out the top 10 countries list were Asia (China), North America (Mexico and Canada) and the Caribbean (Dominican Republic and Jamaica).
Culture vs. Cabana? More Citi cardholders are traveling to big cities than beaches, but a few oceanside destinations did make the top 25 list: Miami ranked #13, San Diego came in at #15, Ft. Lauderdale at #16, Honolulu at #18, and Kahului at #23.
Looking to avoid the crowds? The Faroe Islands, Equatorial Guinea, Vanuatu, Djibouti, Gambia, and Burundi all tied for a last-place finish at #185 on the list.
Whether you're headed to a big city or a beachside retreat this summer, check out our strategies for smart vacation spending for advice on how to make the most of your vacation budget - like reviewing the travel benefits offered by your credit card before you go. The Citi Cards travel team pointed to the Citi ThankYou® Premier card as an example: The card gives you access to a complimentary domestic (contiguous US) companion ticket each year; the ability to redeem ThankYou rewards points on any airline with no blackout dates; no foreign purchase transaction fees**; and allows you to earn 33% more value*** for your rewards points when you redeem them for travel.
Also, you earn points for the purchases you make, including accelerated points on certain purchases throughout your travels, like gas. You may be able to redeem the points you earn for great rewards such as luggage, sporting goods, camera equipment, and lots of other things you may need on vacation.
Where are you headed this summer?
*Based on airfares purchased by U.S. Citi cardholders for travel scheduled between May 25, 2012 and September 3, 2012.
*** For example: 20,000 points can be redeemed for $266 in airfare, which would typically require 26,600 points. Enjoy this benefit on any airline, with no blackout dates.
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Citigroup Inc. and its affiliates do not provide tax or legal advice. To the extent that this material or any attachment concerns tax matters, it is not intended to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer's particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
**The standard variable APR for purchases for the Citi ThankYou Premier Card is 13.99%, 17.99% or 22.99% based on creditworthiness. The standard variable APR for cash advances is a variable 25.24%. The variable Penalty APR is up to 29.99% and may be applied if you make a late payment or make a payment that is returned. The annual fee is $125. The annual authorized user fee is $50. However, both the annual fee and the authorized user fee are waived for the first 12 months. Minimum interest charge – $0.50. Fee for Foreign Purchases – None. Cash advance fee – either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. Balance transfer fee – Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Subject to credit approval. Additional limitations, terms and conditions apply.
INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT FDIC INSURED · NO BANK GUARANTEE · MAY LOSE VALUE