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Millionaires plan to spend $13,000 on vacations this year

There's a reason they're called the leisure class.

A new study found that American millionaires plan to spend an average of $13,429 on leisure travel and will take six vacations this year. The study from BMO Private Bank also found that most millionaires travel during nonpeak weeks, during the spring and fall.

Not surprisingly, 1 in 5 prefer five-star hotels, while a smaller number prefer timeshares.

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The survey offers the latest evidence that today's wealthy are devoting more of their spending to travel and experiences rather than just buying material goods. The boom in travel spending by the rich has led to a surge in high-end hotels, luxury-airline cabins, private-jet companies, travel advisory firms and other vacation-related businesses catering to the wealthy.

Couple on a tropical beach jetty at Maldives.
Haveseen | Getty Images
Couple on a tropical beach jetty at Maldives.

According to the study, millionairesdefined as those with $1 million or more investible assetsplan to spend an average of $2,900 per trip (the totals include airfare, hotel and food). Two-thirds plan to take more than three trips this year and the average millionaire will take six pleasure trips this year.

Yet even on vacation, some millionaires spend cautiously. Three-quarters fly economy when taking a vacation and the rest fly business or first class. One in 4 choose an all-inclusive resort, while 19 percent choose a time-share that they own.

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Roughly three-quarters of millionaires lean toward the spring (72 percent) and fall (76 percent) for their favorite travel times, and less than 20 percent travel during the holidays.

They also prefer to stay close to home rather than venturing abroad. According to the survey, 89 percent take at least one of their vacations in the U.S. Half will take a trip to Europe, while other popular destinations include Canada (20 percent), Asia (25 percent), Mexico (22 percent) and South America (17 percent).