Travel expenditures during the recent recession, 2005–2011
January 15, 2013
From 2005 to 2011, average annual consumer expenditures on travel for pleasure peaked at $1,462 in 2007, fell to a low of $1,273 in 2009, and then rose to $1,372 in 2011—down 6 percent from their peak.
Total trip spending
Food and beverages
Food prepared by consumer unit on out-of-town trips
Food away from home
Train, bus, ship fare
Car and truck rental
Local transportation (taxi, etc.)
Gasoline and motor oil
Parking fees and tolls
Fees and admissions
From 2005 to 2011, the major components of travel expenditures—food and alcoholic beverages, transportation, lodging, and fees and admissions—showed similar spending patterns. The largest component, transportation, experienced the most pronounced spending pattern—starting with annual average expenditures of $538 in 2005, peaking at $643 in 2007, falling to a low of $543 in 2009, and then steadily climbing to $603 in 2011.
For consumers reporting them, expenditures on travel for pleasure averaged $4,700 in 2011—compared to an average of $1,372 per consumer unit for all consumers.
These data are from the Consumer Expenditures Survey. Consumer units include families, single persons living alone or sharing a household with others but who are financially independent, or two or more persons living together who share expenses. To learn more, see "Travel expenditures, 2005–2011: spending slows during recent recession" (HTML) (PDF), Beyond the Numbers, December 2012.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Travel expenditures during the recent recession, 2005–2011 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130115.htm (visited October 21, 2020).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Using BLS Data to Match People with Disabilities with Jobs Presents data that can help increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities in the nation’s labor market.
- How Women and Aging Affect Trends in Labor Force Growth Examines how women’s labor force participation and the aging of the U.S. population affect trends in labor force growth.
- Meal Appeal: Patterns of Expenditures on Food away from Home
Examines spending on food away from home, such as meals or snacks from restaurants, vending machines, employer cafeterias, or other venues.
- Job Flexibilities and Work Schedules in 2017–18
Examines data on job flexibilities, such as working at home, flexible schedules, and shift work.