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According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WWTC), U.S. travel and tourism spending could reach more than $1.1 trillion in 2022, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. As return to travel increases, Square sellers are seeing an increase in business driven by renewed interest in experiences, travel, outdoor activities, and more.
Square data of sales across the U.S. reveals that travelers are driving demand for several travel items this summer. Demand is not the only thing increasing, as consumers are often willing to pay higher costs for these sought-after articles.
Travel Items Take Flight
Sales ⬆️ 60%, Price change ⬆️ 10%
Sales of travel pillows are up 60%, as travelers look for comfort while in transit. These travel pillows are typically more portable, often in a U-shape, and can be compressed or folded to make them easy to take on an airplane or a train for additional neck and head support. According to Market Reports World’s Global Travel Pillow Market Outlook, the travel pillow market is expected to reach $621.8 million by the end of 2027. Of the travel pillows on the market, memory foam travel pillows made up the largest segment at 38%.
Sales ⬆️ 17%, Price change ⬆️ 7%
From food tours to concert sales, Square data show an uptick in outdoor activities. As consumers take advantage of warmer weather for outdoor activities, sales of water bottles are up 17%. According to a recent Grand View Research report, this demand for water bottles is led by reusable water bottles. This growing trend is driven in part by pandemic-related spending while working from home as well as growing awareness around the effect of single-use or non-disposable plastic bottles on the environment.
Sales ⬆️ 17%, Price change ⬆️ 5%
Summertime for much of the U.S. means higher temperatures, more opportunities for outdoor activities, and more time in the sun. Sales of sunscreen saw a 17% rise year over year. For consumers, interest in sunscreen has been growing steadily. According to Statista, sunscreen is one of the fastest growing categories of skin care, as consumers have taken an interest in protecting their skin against sun damage, with increased interest in Sun Protection Factors (SPF) over 100.
Sales ⬆️ 6%, Price change ⬇️ 19%
Sales of disinfecting wipes are up 6% year over year for Square sellers. Disinfecting wipes sales grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, concentrated in areas most impacted by the virus. These products have been used to sanitize everything from household items to transit surfaces. As consumers return to travel, they are still maintaining more stringent cleanliness standards.
Sales ⬆️ 10%, Price change ⬆️ 3%
Square data show a 10% rise in suitcase sales, as travelers are returning to air travel. According to a Research and Markets Global Luggage Market Analysis, travel bags are expected to grow at the highest rate this year within the bag and luggage market.
Sales ⬆️ 10%, Price change ⬇️ 8%
With travelers back on flights, compression socks are up 10%. Compression socks are specialized socks that apply pressure to legs and/or ankles. Many travelers opt for compression socks in the skies, as the snug-fitting stockings can help reduce and prevent swelling, among other health benefits. Not only are consumers purchasing them for travel, they are often used to increase blood flow while exercising.
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Sales ⬆️ 2%, Price change ⬆️ 14%
Although backpack sales are up 2% year over year, the price has risen 14%. Consumers are purchasing backpacks at a higher cost this summer. According to Statista, the backpack market could be worth around $16 billion dollars in 2022, recovering from a dip in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Beyond the Suitcase
In addition to these travel items, Square data show consumers are sprucing up their wardrobes for summer travel. Sales of bathing suits and dresses were on the rise, and consumers were willing to pay a higher cost to add to their seasonal closet. One standout item included midi skirts, with lengths that fall between the knees and ankles. Midi skirts saw an 18% increase in demand, with an average cost of $51.
Data compare payment transactions from within the U.S. between May–July 2022 vs. May–July 2021. Year-over-year comparison as of June 2022.*