Over 110 million Americans expected to travel for winter holidays, survey says

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Although coronavirus-related travel restrictions are fading further and further into the rearview mirror, roughly 10 million fewer Americans are expected to travel for the winter holidays this year compared to last, according to a new survey.

On Tuesday, The Vacationer released its annual 2022 Christmas Travel Survey, finding that nearly 43% of all American adults (ages 18 and up) plan to travel for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa this year, a slight decrease from the roughly 47% reported in last year’s survey.

The nearly 43% of American adults expected to travel this holiday season equates to about 111 million travelers, based on the most recent U.S. Census data, down from the 122 million projected in last year’s survey.

Although fewer total Americans are expected to travel this year, many of those who still plan to travel are expecting to spend significant amounts of money.

Nearly 33% of survey respondents, representing roughly 84 million Americans, expect to spend over $500 on travel expenses this holiday season. Last year, just 23% of survey respondents, or 60 million Americans, intended to do so.

One of the reasons that many travelers are expecting to spend more this year is because of high inflation rates, with more than 67% of survey respondents saying that inflation rates have impacted their holiday plans.

Roughly 16% said their plans have been impacted by increased travel costs, with about 26% saying they’ve been impacted by increased gift costs, and an additional 24% saying they’ve been affected by both.

“Like on Thanksgiving, the high levels of inflation are not stopping Americans from spending altogether. People may save money by buying fewer gifts, traveling to lesser expensive destinations, or asking relatives to stay at their place this holiday season, but American adults will not forego spending altogether,” said Eric Jones of The Vacationer.

In addition to questions about winter travel, survey respondents were asked which standard holiday traditions they disliked, with gift giving, attending religious services and caroling ranking first, second and third, respectively.

Here’s a look at the full ranked list of most disliked holiday traditions.

  1. Gift Exchange. — 26.72%
  2. Attending a Religious Service. — 24.93%
  3. Caroling or Singing. — 24.23%
  4. Holiday Party. — 22.13%
  5. Decorating Your Home. — 18.94%
  6. Meal with Friends or Family. — 18.54%
  7. Lighting Candles. — 13.56%
  8. Baking Cookies or Other Sweet Treats. — 12.76%
  9. Volunteering. — 11.86%
  10. Santa Claus. — 11.47%
  11. A Family Tradition. — 11.27%
  12. Christmas Trees. — 9.67%
  13. Seeing Lights. — 8.57%

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