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REVEALED: The Travel Habits of America’s Wealthiest Individuals

Staycations, economy class and timeshares: survey results reveal the travel habits of the jet-set

With vacation season in full throttle, BMO Private Bank has released the results of a survey that examines the behavior of America’s most affluent travelers.

According to their research, which was released earlier this week as part of the bank’s ‘Changing Face of Wealth’ series, the country’s high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) – those worth more than $1 million in investible assets – will spend an average of $13,249 on leisure travel this year. This figure includes airfare, food, accommodation, etc.

Out of nearly 500 adult HNWIs sampled, 63 percent said that they planned to take more than three trips this year, with the average affluent traveler taking six. While these wealthy individuals planned to spend an average of $2,902 per trip, the overwhelming majority of those surveyed – 77 percent – will be flying economy, with the remainder plumping for business or first class.

Once they arrive at their destination, most HNWIs prefer to sleep in luxury, with 69 percent choosing a four-star hotel and 20 percent choosing the five-star option. While just under a quarter will choose an all-inclusive resort, timeshares are also popular for these wealthy individuals.

In terms of when they travel, BMO’s survey revealed that 76 percent prefer to travel in the fall while 72 percent opt to travel in the spring. The peak seasons of summer and the holidays were the least popular travel times, with 64 and 17 percent, respectively, choosing these periods for their getaways.

Finally, 89 percent of those surveyed indicated that they preferred to vacation within the U.S., while just under half chose Europe as their number one destination. Canada, Asia, Mexico, Central and South America and Australia all rounded out the top travel spots.

Speaking of the results, BMO President Darrel Hackett said, “Regardless of your income level, ensuring you are financially prepared for your trip will help you make the most out of your vacation, allow you to relax and escape the stress of everyday life.”

[Photo: iStock]

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