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Well, we’ve been hearing for awhile now that consumers are 

 longer buying stuff but instead spending their money on experiences. And, of course, experiences means leaving the house. Whether you’re going to a yoga class or half way around the world to visit the beaches of Thailand, you are traveling.

Another interesting data point according to the Travel & Adventure Show:

“As we quickly approach 2017 and our 14th Show Season, it seems as though the Giant U.S. Consumer is waking up!

Just look at the data and the headlines:

  • Consumer confidence soared in November to the highest level since July, 2007 according to New York-based Conference Board. The confidence index jumped 7 points to the highest level in eight years.
  • The U.S. economy expanded at the fastest pace in more than two years in the third quarter, boosted by household spending. The Commerce Department said gross domestic product increase by an annual rate of 3.2%.
  • National home prices rose to record highs in September according to the Case-Shiller home price index.
  • Surge in economic optimism: The recent CNBC All-America Economic Survey shows a surge in optimism in the United States over the economy and stocks not seen in years. The percentage of Americans who believe the economy will get better in the next year jumped an unprecedented 17 points to 42 percent, it’s the highest level since 2008.
  • Businesses about to boom: In November the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ small business optimism index jumped to 98.4 from 94.9 – its sharpest since 2009 – the opinion on whether business conditions were expected to improve skyrocketed from a reading of -6 to a whopping +38.

And the stock market is close to all-time highs. That leaves consumers feeling a little wealthier although that can disappear pretty quickly.

So from the lines at the stores to the record online holiday shopping statistics, one thing is clear: the U.S. Consumer is once again opening his/her wallets.

And that’s good for those looking for an experience.

Here at AAACK! we like traveling. But we’re also keenly aware that while experiences are great, things don’t always turn out like they’re planned. Traveling to a foreign country where the water is suspect or even an all-inclusive can turn your experience sour in a hurry. Something as simple as getting enough sleep on a trans-Atlantic flight can make all the difference between maximizing your time in Europe or spending a day and a half catching up on sleep or feeling groggy. Our remedy we used on a recent trip: ear plugs, sleep mask, head support, and Alka-Seltzer Plus Night. Sweet dreams. And a little wine didn’t hurt.

Here are some great suggestions on what to do to avoid illness. We particularly like Nos. 11-15.  And one we would add is: Make sure to pack all your necessities in your checked bag. That’s definitely a problem. If you don’t plan on seeing your bags for 48 hours, you’re taking a risk by not having your emergency feel-better kit with you. We don’t recommend taking your 500 count of Advil but we do suggest a travel count size which will get you through 24-48 hours of an illness. Beyond that, you need to see a medical professional.

Looking for some ideas or a one-stop shop. Check out AAACK! Packs and make sure your next experience is a great one.

Here’s to happy and healthy traveling in 2017!



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