Fun in the sun: 6 in 10 Americans are starting summer early to make up for 2020

NEW YORK — According to most Americans, summer no longer starts on June 20th. A new study finds most people are so ready to kick off their post-COVID plans, they’re not waiting for a particular day on the calendar.

The new survey of 3,250 Americans finds 59 percent of respondents said their summer will be in full swing well before the “official” start of summer on the solstice. Many add the start of summer doesn’t depend on the calendar date at all, with 51 percent believing the season starts as soon as the temperature hits 75 degrees.

summer spending

Other respondents think the start of summer depends more on specific activities taking place. In fact, 34 percent “declare it summer” after buying ice cream from an ice cream truck. Hosting or attending a barbeque (34%) and floating on a river (33%) round out the top three activities most likely to signify the start of summer.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Waterloo Sparkling Water, researchers also examined the other summer activities respondents are planning to include as they make summer 2021 bigger and better than last year.

The ‘Summer of George’ is back!

Just like the famous “Seinfeld” episode, 55 percent are planning to pack in TWICE the number of activities as they would in a typical summer — since the pandemic ruined many plans people had in 2020. Forty-one percent of Americans said this uptick in activities will likely lead to an increase in their summer spending. The poll finds summer 2021 will cost the average respondent at least $1,394 for dining, travel, and entertainment.

Part of making up for lost time also means enjoying the season for as long as they’re able. Over half the survey (55%) said they plan to stretch this summer out for as long as they possibly can. In order to make more of the season, 45 percent said they’re starting their summer activities earlier and continuing them later than they would in a typical year.

That’s in addition to those who are spending more on socializing and traveling this summer (39%) and reconnecting with family and friends (37%). Results also reveal 27 percent of Americans are planning to learn new summer recipes for more enjoyable at-home cooking experiences.

summer spending

“We are looking forward to being a big part of building memories this summer,” says Chief Marketing Officer of Waterloo Sparkling Water Kathy Maurella in a statement. “Nothing pairs better than a chilled drink with this summer’s most anticipated adventures.”

What’s the top flavor of summer?

Researchers also discovered that 37 percent of respondents plan to host more outdoor gatherings than they did last year. Of those, the average host is planning for six additional backyard events.

While at gatherings or otherwise, 35 percent of respondents said enjoying summer days isn’t the same without a cold drink. For those sipping on chilled drinks, watermelon (42%) or pineapple (38%) are the flavors people most often associate with summer. Strawberry (32%), raspberry (28%), and summer berry fruit salad (28%) round out the top five summer flavors.

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