Holiday season looms and travel schedules are filling up

Survey shows that two-thirds of Americans will be hitting the road during the Christmas season

By Janeen Christoff TravelPulse

One of the busiest travel seasons of the year is right around the corner.

As the holiday season approaches, new research from the Travel Channel reveals insight into the travel plans and preferences of Americans —most importantly, how many of them are planning to take an end-of-year vacation.

Clearly, U.S. travelers have been saving vacation days. The Travel Channel survey found that 67% of Americans plan to use vacation days and/or paid time off to hit the road this holiday season. Nearly a quarter of these travelers (24 percent) are planning to travel for longer than six days.

Forty-two percent of respondents said that they are traveling to their hometowns to visit family and friends, while 48% indicated that they are traveling elsewhere.

Get ready for busy roadways during Thanksgiving and winter breaks. The vast majority of travelers (72 percent) said that they will drive to their destinations. Forty-four percent are planning to travel by air.

The holidays don’t come cheap. The Travel Channel research showed that nearly one-third (28 percent) are planning to spend in excess of $500 on the trip.

Many (27 percent) are traveling with family while one in 10 travelers are traveling to a vacation destination with a significant other or friends.

Mariel Clark, vice president of digital video and editorial for the Travel Channel, provided a number of tips.

For families traveling in groups, she advises keeping options open:

“When traveling with a large group or multiple generations, not everyone will be interested in the same activities. Be sure to allow for some time to divide and conquer, giving everyone the space for their must-see activities,” she said.

Involving older kids in travel plans is also a smart move, noted Clark.

“If traveling with a teenager, make them a stakeholder in the trip by having them pick activities they’ll enjoy, too,” she said.

Streamlining your gear is a good way to make traveling with small children a breeze.

“If traveling with a young child, downsize your bulky stroller for a simple umbrella stroller to travel —it’s easier to carry, tote and pack,” said Clark.

“Pack by outfits, especially for younger kids,” she added. “Try coordinating pants, shirts, underwear and socks in a stack together with PJs. Repeat for the number of days in the trip and add extras like jackets, as needed.”

(TravelPulse is a leading travel authority on the web, providing consumer travel news and insider tips and advice for an ever-changing travel world. Read more stories at travelpulse.com)

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