How much are you spending for the eclipse? Here’s what Americans are saying

Countless Americans have their plans set for the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, whether they’re traveling or one of the lucky 32 million already living in the path of totality.

If you live in the right spot, experiencing the eclipse is virtually a free activity. But data is suggesting people are willing to spend to make this a special experience.

Lisa Miller is a consumer strategist and president of a marketing consulting firm in Texas that conducts hundreds of surveys every month. She surveyed 1,000 adults to find out what Americans are doing for the eclipse, and how much they’re planning on spending. 

And, despite the low cost associated with the activity, she predicts the eclipse could be a multi-billion dollar event

She believes people are willing to go all out for events that offer social connection, and for the eclipse that could mean throwing a party at home or splurging on a trip. We saw it last summer with Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, she reminded us, and she believes the economic boom from the eclipse could be just as big.

Here’s what her data shows: 

Her data found Americans, not surprisingly, are at least planning on buying or getting protective glasses. They’re a must for the full experience. 

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After that, lower-cost activities such as driving or camping out were the most popular, with 14% saying they were planning on driving and 8% planning to camp out.

But nearly a quarter of those asked said they’re planning on making it a big event with friends and family. So, not only will cities see an economic boost from eclipse tourists, but those that live inside the path are going to spend money that day as well. 

"When people get together, they spend money," she said.

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An overwhelming majority of Americans said they plan to spend less than $20 on the eclipse. Not surprising since, afterall, there’s virtually no cost to participate. 

But a third of Americans said they plan on spending more than $50, whether it be for travel or special events during the day such as dinner out or a souvenir. And those numbers translate into hundreds of millions of dollars.

In fact, Miller predicts that between hotels and airfare alone, the eclipse could generate more than $2 billion. 

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"Time and time again, consumers have shown us that they’re more than willing to spend when it feels it’s worth it," she says. 

"The eclipse is a clear indication of how consumers are willing to invest in experiences that promise joy, connection, and unforgettable memories."

This story was reported from Detroit.