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Perceptions Around Holiday Travel

The holidays are quickly approaching and much like the rest of 2020, travel trends and behaviors have been more different than could ever have been predicted the year before.

According to the most recent Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, half of American travelers are currently planning to stay home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year's Eve. A similar percentage reported that COVID-19 will greatly impact their travel decisions in the next six months.

A recent Travelocity survey backs up those findings, with data indicating that almost 60% of Americans report they won't be traveling to see friends and family this year and of those, nearly one-in-three said they won't celebrate the holidays at all. However, that doesn't mean they're staying home this winter, either.

The Travelocity 2020 Holiday Outlook survey, conducted in mid-September, found that some travelers are feeling optimistic when it comes to leisure travel for the remainder of the year. One-in-four respondents said they have a personal vacation planned later this year, and nearly half of family travelers (45%) with kids under the age of 18 are taking a leisure trip before the year's end.

Based on survey results and demand data, Travelocity is predicting the following holiday travel trends:

  • STAY AT A HOTEL THIS HOLIDAY: More travelers (43%) say they plan to stay at a hotel or vacation rental this year, with hotels being the slightly more popular option.
  • GET ROAD TRIP READY: Nearly 80% of respondents plan to drive for November and December holidays, and one in five will fly.
  • PACK FOR A LONG WEEKEND: Holiday travelers say they'll stay through the long weekend. More than half (53%) plan to stay between one to four days, opposed to shorter day trips.
  • CELEBRATE CLOSE TO HOME: Two-thirds of holiday-makers plan to travel 250 miles or less.

The survey also indicated that almost two-thirds of holiday-goers say they've already booked transportation and lodging for Thanksgiving or December holidays.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Groups Today.


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