Survey Reveals Holiday Travel Plans

Despite the current economic climate, 76 percent of respondents in a survey said the economy has not impacted their December holiday travel plans. Forty-three percent are planning to travel over the festive season this year, up from 38 percent who did so in 2010.

TripAdvisor, a leading travel site, announced Tuesday the results of its annual December holiday travel survey of more than 2,100 U.S. travelers.

The majority of travelers intend to hit the road for the Christmas holiday, with 34 percent planning to travel, up from 32 percent in 2010 – while 16 percent plan to travel for New Year’s, up from 13 percent last year. Among those traveling, 59 percent will visit family or friends, 18 percent are planning a sunshine getaway and 11 percent intend to take a city break.

While driving is the top choice among those traveling for the December holidays this year (48 percent), fewer motorists will take to the roads than in 2010, while airport traffic should see an increase compared to last year, the survey said.

Additional Holiday Travel Tidbits:

  • 23 percent have purchased last-minute gifts en route to their December holiday destination, with airports the top pick for face-saving purchases (11 percent).
  • 22 percent of those traveling plan to pack ornament earrings or other holiday-themed jewelry, 17 percent will carry holiday sweaters and 10 percent will travel with Santa hats.
  • Among those who have traveled over the December holidays in years past, 23 percent think travelers behave towards one another with worse manners than usual during the “season of goodwill”, while 16 percent consider manners to be improved.
  • 49 percent of those traveling plan on using a smartphone or tablet device to plan or assist in their holiday travels this year.
  • Among these mobile users, 80 percent will check the weather, 58 percent will research restaurants and 50 percent will use their device for navigation purposes.

“When it comes to traveling over a busy period such as the December holidays, preparedness is key – and with 43 percent of Americans planning to take to the skies, roads and more this festive season, travelers should anticipate significant crowds,” said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor.

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