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Holiday Travel Survey

Results of annual holiday travel survey released

Dec 07, 2010

NEWTON, Mass. - The results of the December holiday travel survey of more than 1,000 U.S. travelers have been announced today. Forty-two percent of Americans plan to travel for the holidays this December, down slightly compared to 45 percent that said they were planning to travel for the holidays one year ago.

Among those planning to travel for the December holidays this year, 45 percent are planning to fly, while 51 percent expect to drive. Nineteen percent of travelers plan to spend more on their holiday travel this year than last, and 60 percent of travelers plan on spending the same amount. Among those traveling for the holidays this year, 22 percent said they will spend more than $2,000 on their holiday travel alone.

Troubles Will Be Out of Sight

Sixty-six percent said the economy is not affecting their December holiday travel plans. Among the 34 percent that are factoring it in, 19 percent are not traveling and six percent are taking a shorter trip than usual. Four percent are planning to drive instead of fly and another four percent expect to stay with family or friends instead of paying for accommodations.

Top Five Major U.S. Cities Travelers Plan to Visit for the Holidays

New York City
Las Vegas

Send It on Santa's Sleigh

With the increase of airline baggage fees, travelers continue to seek ways to avoid these costs. Thirty-one percent say they will fly with an airline that does not charge for checked bags this holiday season, 29 percent plan to bring only carry-on bags, and 22 percent will have online gifts shipped directly to their holiday destinations.

The More the Merrier

During the December holiday season, 24 percent will host extended family and 40 percent will visit extended family. A merry 62 percent are excited and looking forward to seeing family for the December holidays.

"Family-ed Out"

Twenty-two percent of travelers feel pressure to travel to see family for the holidays and 17 percent have cut a holiday family trip short because they were "family-ed out." Twenty-five percent of respondents would rather stay somewhere else for the December holidays than where they are planning to stay.

Face Unafraid the Plans That You've Made

Thirty-two percent of respondents said they anticipate being stressed by December holiday travel this year. Eighteen percent are changing their travel plans to limit the stress of traveling for the December holidays. Thirty-nine percent of respondents will travel at off-peak hours to limit the stress of holiday travel.

Bah Humbug!

The top travel annoyances during the holidays according to respondents are:

Airline delays and cancellations – 24%
Inclement weather – 21%
Bad traffic – 13%

Top Three Favorite Holiday Songs to Hear During Holiday Travel:

"White Christmas"
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

Top Three Most Irritating Holiday Songs to Hear During Holiday Travel:

"Santa Baby"
"Jingle Bell Rock"
"The Hanukkah Song"

All I want for Christmas is…

Forty-five percent of respondents would choose a tropical getaway as their dream destination for the holidays, 24 percent selected a European destination and 14 percent would like to travel to anywhere that loved-ones reside.

The number one travel-related gift respondents would like most is the iPad, according to 19 percent.

"Over 40 million travelers look to TripAdvisor each month for their travel research and plans; more than any other travel site in the world," said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. "There's a useful tool on for every traveler this holiday season, from flight, hotel and vacation rental suggestions to inspirational travel trips to give loved ones, and from information on fun holiday events to free mobile apps for research on the go."

Results of annual holiday travel survey released
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