Party like it’s 2022: Americans ready to spend big on vacations, weddings, concerts and more this year!

NEW YORK — The summer of 2021 led many Americans to restart their lives after COVID, and that meant getting away from the home they’d been cooped up in for so long. Now, according to a poll of 2,000 adults, 62 percent have more life goals they’re hoping to accomplish this year than ever before.

More than anything else, the survey shows that most people are ready to hit the road again in 2022! Traveling tops the list of Americans’ life goals this year. In fact, they’re more interested in taking a vacation — domestically (44%) or abroad (39%) — than buying a home (35%) or having a baby (26%).

Of those polled planning to travel in 2022 (just over 1,100 respondents), the most popular trips include a group trip with friends and family (64%), a road trip (50%), and a bucket-list vacation to a destination they’ve never been to (48%).

For those who aren’t planning to travel this year, 54 percent expect to spend more than usual on their next vacation to make up for lost travel time during the pandemic.

Conducted on behalf of Affirm by OnePoll, the survey finds that beyond travel, other events on the horizon for Americans include buying a car (38%), attending a concert or festival (37%), furnishing a home or new apartment (34%), and attending a wedding (34%).

The 2022 wedding boom

The average American is expecting to be invited to four weddings, and nearly a third (28%) are planning a wedding of their own. Nearly two in five (39%) will attend a destination wedding while 35 percent will attend a “sequel wedding” (referring to a second celebration planned by a couple following their first pandemic wedding).

“With bucket-list vacations, home upgrades and weddings topping the lists of many Americans’ life goals this year, we’re encouraged to see that nearly two-thirds of Americans polled plan to use a buy now, pay-over-time solution in 2022. In fact, almost 80 percent of those using pay-over-time options say these solutions will make it easier to achieve their goals by keeping them on budget,” says Silvija Martincevic, Chief Commercial Officer at Affirm, in a statement.

The survey also reveals that the financial pressures of the wedding boom coupled with new trends like sequel weddings are evident, with 63 percent of those who’ve been invited to a wedding this year feeling financially stressed – and for good reason.

Americans polled who’ve attended a wedding in the past estimate the attendance cost to be nearly $3,000 (at an average of $2,877) and if they’re in the wedding party – tack on a few hundred dollars for an average of $3,260.

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Can you opt out?

Given the high costs of attending a couple’s big day, more than a third of Americans have had to say “no” to giving a wedding gift (37%), being in a wedding party (36%), and even attending one (28%).

“Americans are feeling the financial pressures of attending a record number of weddings this year, with costs reaching up to $3,000 each. Nearly a third of respondents are turning to pay-over-time solutions to spread out the costs to make attending a wedding more manageable,” adds Martincevic.

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