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Nearly Half Of Americans Will Hit The Road For The December Holidays

NEWTON, Mass., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site* today announced the results of its December holiday travel survey of more than 1,300 U.S. respondents. Forty-five percent of travelers are planning to travel during the December holidays, up from 42 percent who did so last year.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/57942-tripadvisor-december-holiday-travel-survey

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121211/MM26429)

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080902/TRIPADVISORLOGO)

Of those taking trips, 63 percent will travel for Christmas, 31 percent will do so for New Year's and four percent will travel for Hanukkah. Sixty-one percent of travelers will visit family for the December holidays, and 23 percent will visit friends. 

Holly Jolly Journey

While driving is the primary mode of transportation among those traveling for the December holidays this year (48 percent), fewer motorists plan to hit the road than in 2011 (52  percent). Air travelers should expect longer lines at the airports as 46 percent among those traveling plan to fly to their destination, up from 42 percent last year.

Good Cheer in the Air

While airports will be bustling in late December, 62 percent acknowledged that sky-high airfares affected their holiday travel plans. Of those affected:

  1. 51% - Booked their flight early
  2. 29% - Will drive to their destination instead of fly
  3. 5% - Still waiting for prices to come down

Silver and Gold Spend Trends

The economic outlook may be uncertain, however, 92 percent said the news of a "fiscal cliff" will not prevent them from packing their bags and overall spending will actually increase.

  • 42% will spend more on December holiday travel compared to 2011
  • 43% will spend the same on December holiday travel compared to last year
  • 15% will spend less on December holiday travel compared to last year

Among those traveling, 49 percent will spend $1,000 or more on their holiday travel and 31 percent will spend at least $2,000.

Hunker Down for the Holidays

Forty-nine percent of travelers plan to stay at the home of family and friends, 42 percent plan to hole up in a hotel, and nine percent will unwind in a vacation rental.

Top Spots for Holiday Travel

The top U.S. cities travelers will visit during the December holidays, according to the survey:

  1. New York City
  2. Boston
  3. Chicago
  4. Los Angeles
  5. San Francisco

Shaking Off Holiday Stress

Forty-two percent of travelers report that they expect to be stressed by traveling this holiday season – here are the top three ways they plan to cope:

  1. 40% - Will travel at off-peak hours
  2. 20% - Will load their smartphone or tablet with music, games or movies
  3. 14% - Will pay for accommodations rather than stay with friends or family

Festive Frustration and Santa Songs

  • Twenty-seven percent cite airline delays and cancellations as the most frustrating part of traveling for the holidays, while 20 percent are most aggravated by inclement weather
  • The favorite holiday song to listen to while traveling is "White Christmas"
  • Respondents named "Santa Baby" the most annoying holiday song to listen to while traveling

Looking Ahead at 2013

  • Seventy-three percent say they have already begun travel planning for 2013

"Despite the stresses of holiday travel, nearly half of U.S. respondents will face unafraid the plans that they made to celebrate the festive season with the ones they love," said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor.

About TripAdvisorTripAdvisor ® 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 with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 60 million unique monthly visitors*, and over 75 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under  daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 19 other travel media brands, and together the sites attract more than 74 million unique monthly visitors.** TripAdvisor, Inc.'s travel media brands include www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.onetime.comwww.seatguru.com, www.sniqueaway.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travel-library.com, www.travelpod.com, www.virtualtourist.com, www.whereivebeen.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, July 2012

**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Worldwide, July 2012

©2012 TripAdvisor, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Stock quotes in this article: TRIP 

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