TripAdvisor Presents Annual Holiday Travel Survey

19% Plan to Spend More on Holiday Travel this Year, 60% the Same Amount as '09

Dec 07, 2010, 06:00 ET from TripAdvisor

NEWTON, Mass., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site, today 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.

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

  1. Orlando  
  2. New York City
  3. Boston
  4. Chicago
  5. 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:

  1. Airline delays and cancellations – 24%
  2. Inclement weather – 21%
  3. Bad traffic – 13%

Top Three Favorite Holiday Songs to Hear During Holiday Travel:

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

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

  1. "Santa Baby"
  2. "Jingle Bell Rock"
  3. "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."  

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features (including Flights search, TripAdvisor Mobile and TripAdvisor Trip Friends) with seamless links to booking tools.

TripAdvisor® Media Group, operated by TripAdvisor LLC, attracts more than 50 million unique monthly visitors* across 17 popular travel brands**. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 40 million unique monthly visitors***, 20 million members, and over 40 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 26 countries worldwide****, including China under TripAdvisor also operates TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor's millions of monthly visitors. The division includes Business Listings, which allows hoteliers to connect directly to millions of researching travelers, and Vacation Rentals, which helps property managers and individual home owners list their properties and showcase hotel alternatives. 

TripAdvisor Media Group websites have been recognized as top travel resources in 2010 by Conde Nast Traveller, Good Housekeeping, TIME magazine and Travel + Leisure.

TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Group are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE).

TripAdvisor and the TripAdvisor logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TripAdvisor LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

©2010 TripAdvisor LLC.  All rights reserved. 

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Media Group Sites, Worldwide, August 2010

** In addition to TripAdvisor, The TripAdvisor Media Group of websites includes:,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

***Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, August 2010

**** TripAdvisor sites operate in 26 countries worldwide:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

SOURCE TripAdvisor