PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Congratulations, everybody who gets Good Friday off as a result of the markets closing: You're getting a long weekend on one of the most expensive weekends to travel.
The financial markets shut down on Good Friday, and most of those lucky enough to get the day off will spend it in a pastel-ensconced candy coma. This year, 80.3% of Americans plan to celebrate Easter and spend an average of $137.46 doing so, according to the National Retail Federation. Their combined $15.9 billion investment accounts for roughly 6% of all holiday spending and made Easter the nation's No. 4 gift-giving season behind Mother's Day, Valentine's Day and the winter holidays, according to IBISWorld's last easter estimates.
Just don't spend too much time looking for hotel reservations and plane tickets among the stale jellybeans and plastic grass. According to travel analysts, the reluctance of much of the working world to recognize Good Friday as a day worth losing productivity over (and Easter's stubborn refusal to fall on any day other than Sunday) has just about stripped it of any appeal as a holiday getaway. In fact, as a primarily religious holiday, Easter only boosts demand for family travel and drives up prices.
"We generally don't see much of a spike like you would for the Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but you might see some higher prices with hotel and airfare in high-demand places -- Orlando comes to mind," Anne Banas, editor of SmarterTravel, told us a few Easters ago. "Not much advice to give, except to plan early, compare prices and be flexible."