Bad Economy Won’t Hit Travel Plans: Survey

Sixty-six percent in a survey 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.

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TripAdvisor, a leading travel site, today (Dec. 7) announced the results of its December holiday travel survey of more than 1,000 U.S. travelers.

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.

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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.

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Top five U.S. cities travelers plan to visit for the holidays are: Orlando, New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas.

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.

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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.

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 TripAdvisor survey also reveals that the number one travel-related gift respondents would like most is the iPad, according to 19 percent.

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Rakesh Raman