NEEDHAM, Mass. - October 26, 2005 -Fifty-three percent of the more than 1,500 TripAdvisorTM travelers recently surveyed said they are likely to take a vacation that does not include family during the holidays. When asked specifically about this year's holiday season, the vast majority are staying home. Fifty-eight percent are staying home for Thanksgiving, 51 percent for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza and more than 71 percent will be home for New Year's.
TripAdvisor asked "Who are you most likely to 'escape' by going away for the holiday?" Respondents chose friends first, surprisingly ahead of in-laws and parents. Eight percent admitted that they'd most like to escape their spouse.
For those who are traveling for the holidays, the majority will be taking car trips and taking them early or late in order to avoid the heavy holiday traffic, according to the survey. It seems there will be less traffic at the airports this holiday season, as 49 percent of respondents intend to avoid flying.
While nearly half of the survey respondents may not fly, those who are willing to take flight chose an exotic beach destination as the most desirable holiday escape, with 42 percent of the vote. An escape to a popular city came in second, with 23 percent. Only five percent chose a skiing getaway.
What's the best way to alleviate holiday stress? Forty percent said, "Go someplace warm and sunny;" 28 percent said, "Get some sleep;" 13 percent said, "Help the needy;" 11 percent said, "Get some drinks;" and eight percent said, "Buy something for yourself."
What are the top traveler gifts this year, according to the survey respondents? A pre-paid/planned trip was the most popular choice, followed by a new camera and travel literature.
When asked how to avoid security delays, 28 percent were defeatists and said, "There is nothing you can do;" 27 percent advised, "Pack lighter and bring fewer carry-ons;" 19 percent said, "Bring unwrapped gifts;" 13 percent said, "Wear slip-on shoes;" and 13 percent said, "Pack any metal objects in your checked bags."
"It's noteworthy that such a large number of travelers like to get away from family at the holidays," said Michele Perry, TripAdvisor spokesperson. "What's really surprising is that travelers are more inclined to escape friends during the holidays than in-laws or parents."