PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- For every rube on America's roads singing I'll Be Home For Christmas as they drive to a relative's house for the holidays, there's a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin wondering if it's too late to change the locks.Home? This ain't your home, pal. It's your imposition that you're making on an already overworked relation who isn't expecting much help or financial restitution in return. A survey conducted a few years back by vacation rental website HomeAway ( AWAY) found that 22% of holiday hosts think their guests overstay their welcome after a day or less. They leave stuff strewn all over the house (31%), don't help with the cooking or cleaning (26%), need to be entertained constantly (21%), pick through their hosts' private belongings (2%) and kidnap the television remote long enough to burden the family with their favorite shows about screaming housewives or whiny manual laborers (2%). About 29% of hosts would kick their visiting sibling out of the house this holiday season if they could, while 22% think it's time for their grown child to make his or her own plans for accommodations.
You have about 21% of all travelers who say they'd shell out extra money for roomier accommodations this holiday season. That pairs quite nicely with the 20% of holiday travelers who told HomeAway they'd prefer to stay at a hotel. That insistence on comfort is going to come at a cost, according to travel site Orbitz ( OWW). Hotel room prices in Los Angeles and New York for the holidays are 10% higher than last year. A room in Phoenix, Ariz., meanwhile, will cost travelers 15% more than last holiday season. If your family's in Florida or San Juan, Puerto Rico, however, there's more than just warm air to entice travelers. Daily room rates in San Juan are an average of 12% lower than a year ago, while room prices in Florida's Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale are down 3% to 7%. AXP) found 71% of travelers think the cost of travel has risen since 2011, but only 12% are planning to cut back on their holiday travel spending. "The demand for holiday travel is clearly outpacing any effect of higher prices in some markets," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior travel editor for Orbitz.com. "For many Americans, travel is now part of the holiday tradition." Experts from travel sites including Travelocity and FareCompare also suggest looking into airfare-and-hotel packages to save a little cash. You won't save much on the flight, but hotels will often cut the prices on rooms to sweeten the deal. Vacation rentals
What, you thought HomeAway would go through the trouble of putting together a holiday survey just as a courtesy? They're a vacation rental company and, as such, they're looking to see who'll fill property managers' vacancies during the holiday season. While the percentage of HomeAway users who'll stay at a vacation rental is roughly even with those who'll stay at hotels during the Thanksgiving holiday, a whopping 31% will pick a rental house or apartment for their holiday vacation destination of choice. They can be cheap if you fit enough people into multiple bedrooms, they have kitchens that won't force you to eat out or with the relatives for every meal and can even take in some of the more tolerable relatives if the space is big enough.
Can you guarantee either of the two items in the name "bed and breakfast" when staying with family? We're guessing not, which is why inns and bed and breakfast establishments are an increasingly popular choice among holiday travelers. BedandBreakfast.com, 75% of travelers surveyed say they'll be taking at least one trip this winter. Of those, 50% say they'll be staying at a bed and breakfast during their trip. While destinations known for B&Bs such as Key West, Fla., Charleston, S.C., and Asheville, N.C., are in guests' winter Top 10, BedandBreakfast.com found that inns and houses in spots such as top-ranked New York City, second-place Boston and No. 4 Chicago are also in high demand. Breakfast is still a key draw for 47% of those guests, but rare urban accommodations including free on-site parking (54%) and flexible check-in (50%) are essential for the holiday home. Travelers worried that staying at a bed and breakfast still means enduring the shared bathrooms they were trying to avoid at the relatives' place probably haven't been to a B&B in a while. Of the 11,000 properties in BedandBreakfast.com's stable, only 12% have shared bathrooms. House swaps
Back in 2006, there was an $85 million Hollywood infomercial called The Holiday that focused on the online-house swapping industry. Jilted editor Kate Winslet wanted to escape her dreary English cottage and disinterested boyfriend while workaholic Cameron Diaz sought to flee her Hollywood mansion, the drudgery of film trailer production and her philandering ex. The two swap houses and somehow end up with film score composer Jack Black and single dad Jude Law, respectively.
We really have no other description for it. A vacation rental won't let you just crash on a futon for $10 a night. Hotels don't usually include acreage and mansions among their offerings. Private islands, treehouses, rooms, boats and igloos seldom get thrown under the same heading, but on Airbnb they're all accommodations. The basic gist is that a property owner rents you some space while he or she isn't around. The site takes a fee from both parties involved, provides 24-hour customer service for guest and host and -- thanks to some jackass who thought it would be hilarious to completely trash and burglarize an Airbnb property last summer -- gives owners a $1 million insurance policy to cover potential damages. It's a bit of a risk for the property owner, but for renters it's a low-cost dream that lets them stay in funky little corners of the world for less than the price of a hotel room. Whether you're a single person who prefers coming and going at your leisure without Aunt Martha asking where you're going and who you'll be with or a pair of parents who doesn't see the point in staying out in some relative's subdivision when a city full of Christmas stuff is just a few miles away, Airbnb offers a wide variety of safehouses for your holiday solace. -- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.