Americans spending more than ever on travel and entertainment

Consumer spending on foreign trips and live entertainment rose by nearly 30% in 2023

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The COVID-19 pandemic deprived humans worldwide of experiences they once enjoyed, but now, four years later, American consumers are making up for lost time by spending more on travel and live entertainment than ever. According to a report by The Washington Post, consumer spending on foreign trips and live entertainment rose by nearly 30% in 2023.

However, this newfound focus comes with consequences. Americans’ personal savings rate in the United States as of February is at 3.6%, a drop from 4.1% the month before, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports.

Don’t take it personally; University of California at Berkeley behavioral finance professor Ulrike Malmendier told The Washington Post, “When you live through a crisis, it gets ingrained in your brain. The official economic reports might say everything is coming back to normal, but we are different people than we were before the pandemic.”

Malmendier noted that while many Americans shifted their financial habits after the Great Recession, saving more money, the pandemic unleashed a different sentiment.

“The adverse effects of Covid weren’t necessarily financial; people got jobs quickly and the government stepped in with support,” she told the newspaper. “Instead, it’s about all of the things we were starved for: human interaction, socializing, travel. People are spending money on the things they missed most.”

And as Americans seek out new experiences, travel abroad has become increasingly popular. The U.S. State Department reported that in 2023, 46% of Americans had a passport, up from 30% in 2008, according to Some of the top destinations for U.S. travelers include London, England; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

While it’s important to maintain a balance between enjoying life and planning for the future, the value of travel and shared experiences cannot be overstated. In the end, the memories and personal growth gained from these adventures may prove to be priceless.