With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, how are your fellow air travelers finding the best deals? Learn this and other travel insights from a new Offers.com survey.
Holiday travel increasing
According to AAA, in 2018 more than 50 million planned to travel more than 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving, an increase of about 5 percent year over year. And more than 100 million planned to travel for Christmas and New Year’s, an increase of about 4 percent over the year prior.
To find out more about air travelers in 2019, Offers.com surveyed more than 5,000 U.S. adults who are planning to travel between November 1, 2019, and March 30, 2020 via Google surveys. They asked respondents when they plan to travel, whether they’ve booked yet and how they prefer to shop for travel deals.
Among their findings
- November is the biggest travel month for those who have already booked travel, but December is the biggest month for those who haven’t booked yet.
- Half of holiday travelers booked their travel by October 1.
- Most holiday and early 2020 travelers don’t plan to take advantage of Cyber Week travel deals.
- 80 percent of holiday travelers plan to stay in the U.S.
- 29 percent of Americans plan to travel from November to March.
- Of those, 54 percent have already booked by October 1.
When travelers are traveling
Thanks to Thanksgiving, one-third—and the biggest contingent—of holiday travelers will hit the road or the skies in November. December is close behind:
November – 33%
December – 26%
January – 12%
February – 13%
March – 17%
Looking for deals?
There are some great travel deals to be had on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, most of those traveling for the holidays and early in the new year won’t be taking advantage of them.
Yes – 11%
No – 69%
I’m not sure – 20%
Among those who will shop travel deals during Cyber Week, they’re booking winter and early-spring getaways. Among those who might/will shop deals during Cyber Week, these are the months they are looking to book:
November – 14%
December – 24%
January – 18%
February – 20%
March – 25%
A note to Cyber Week travel shoppers: Travel deals on these days tend to be very date- and destination-specific. That can make it hard for those traveling during specific dates, but good for those who want a spontaneous getaway.
Online booking/comparison sites are top sources
Those looking for travel deals gravitate toward sites where they can easily see and compare all their options. The survey results show:
Booking sites (Hotwire, Trivago, Expedia) – 30%
Flight search sites (Google, Skyscanner) – 26%
Price-comparison engines (Kayak, Priceline) – 17%
Review sites or forums (e.g. TripAdvisor) – 13%
Airline websites – 4%
Travel agent – 1%
Other – 9%
All three of the top options are aggregators in some form. And travelers’ preferences for these types of sites are clear from the results. In fact, today it’s extremely rare that travelers turn to travel agents or specific airlines’ sites for deals.
Even though consumers’ deal-hunting behavior suggests they’re not loyal to any single airline or hotel, most of them do have travel loyalty accounts (either frequent flier accounts or hotel rewards accounts).
Friends suggest travel destinations
When it comes to choosing a destination, more than half of travelers say they turn to people they know for advice.
Recommendations from friends or relatives – 54%
Price comparison sites (e.g. Kayak) – 18%
Social media feeds (Pinterest, Instagram) – 11%
Travel lifestyle magazines or blogs – 10%
Travel/lifestyle influencers and bloggers – 9%
Travel agent – 8%
Most plan to travel domestically — and with family
For many, “home for the holidays” means staying stateside. The vast majority (80 percent) of U.S. travelers will travel within the U.S. over the holiday season, through spring break.
Because the holidays are such a family-oriented time, it’s no surprise that more than 70 percent of travelers will be traveling with family members.
Who traveling with?
With adult family members – 50%
With children – 21%
With friends – 20%
I’ll be traveling alone – 19%
With my pets – 6%
Hotels and motels are top accommodations choice
Whether because staying with family is just a bit to close for comfort, or because holiday travelers are visiting new places (instead of relatives), hotels, motels and inns are the top choice for holiday accommodations, by far:
Hotels, motels or inns – 45%
Staying with a relative or friend – 25%
House rentals (e.g. Airbnb) – 14%
Cruise or train – 7%
Camping or recreational vehicle (RV) – 4%
Food is the top expense for holiday travelers
Besides transportation and accommodations, food is the biggest line item in travelers’ budgets over the holidays. Still, more than one-fourth say they’ll spend money on entertainment, car rentals and souvenirs during their travels.
When you’re booking your holiday travel, let Hoyt Livery help you with all of your ground transportation at home and at your destination. We’ll get you to and from home, and all around more than 450 destinations in the U.S. and Canada. Contact us today.