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Press release from PR Newswire

Most Americans Plan to Travel for Summer Vacation This Year

Monday, July 01, 2013

Most Americans Plan to Travel for Summer Vacation This Year

09:00 EDT Monday, July 01, 2013

- Domestic destinations lead in popularity; more will travel by plane than car
- Vacationers worry less about costs and plan to spend the same amount as last year
- Lost luggage, medical emergency, unexpected health issue are top concerns for travelers, yet fewer than half purchase travel insurance

BOSTON, July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans will be sky-bound this summer when they take a vacation but will tend to stay stateside, according to a survey by John Hancock.  Eighty percent of those surveyed said they plan to travel for pleasure this summer, up from 77 percent in the summer of 2012. Of those who plan to travel during this summer, half (49 percent) plan to tour a U.S. city. About one-third is headed to the beach, and 22 percent plan an international destination. Those who aren't taking a trip this summer plan to do so at another time.

Despite the crowded skies, 64 percent of respondents said they plan to travel by plane (up from 60 percent in 2012), with 56 percent driving (down from 59 percent last year). Six percent say they will take a train, up from three percent in 2012.*

This year, finances appear to be less of a worry.  Only two percent of those surveyed said that financial obligations would keep them from taking a summer vacation, compared with ten percent in the summer of 2012. When on vacation, 62 percent said they expect to spend the same amount of money as they did last year. Only 21 percent said they would spend less.

When it comes to making arrangements for leisure travel ? purchasing tickets, booking hotels, finalizing an itinerary ? respondents overwhelmingly preferred to do it themselves (93 percent).  Only five percent said they tended to use a travel agency.

Nearly two in five (37 percent) said they sometimes purchase travel insurance when traveling for pleasure; and five percent said they always do. A majority (57 percent) said they never purchase travel insurance.  Yet many report worrying about the types of problems for which travel insurance may provide protection.  Forty percent are at least somewhat concerned about losing their luggage, and more than one-third (36 percent) worry about experiencing a medical emergency while traveling.  A similar share expresses concern over having to cancel a trip unexpectedly due health issues of their own or of a loved one (34 percent). Despite instances of extreme weather in the past year, only 28 percent say they are concerned that weather will affect their travel plans.

The findings were drawn from the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey, a quarterly measure of investors' views on a range of investment choices, life goals, and economic outlook, as well as their confidence in these areas. 

*Because respondents were allowed to select multiple choices, totals may exceed 100 percent.

About the John Hancock Investor Sentiment SurveyJohn Hancock's Investor Sentiment Survey is a quarterly poll of affluent investors.  The survey measures investors' feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment.  The poll also asks consumers about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and likelihood of purchasing financial products and services.  This online survey was conducted by independent research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates.  A total of 1,078 investors were surveyed from May 13th to May 24th, 2013.  Respondents were selected from among members of Research Now's online research panel.  To qualify, respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household's financial decision-making process, have a household income of at least $75,000, and assets of $100,000 or more.  The data were weighted by age and education to reflect the population of Americans matching the survey's qualification requirements. In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be plus or minus 3.05 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.  Due to rounding and missing categories, numbers presented may not always total to 100%.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife FinancialJohn Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$555 billion (US$547 billion) as at March 31, 2013. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

Travel insurance products are available at www.johnhancocktravel.com.

SOURCE John Hancock Financial

For further information: Beth McGoldrick, (617) 663-4751, bmcgoldrick@jhancock.com

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