Skift Take

Financial concerns are causing a large percentage of Americans to approach holiday travel cautiously, a major sign there are still limits to the seemingly unrestrained travel demand coming out of the pandemic.

High levels of inflation are contributing to a decline in Americans making travel plans for December holidays this year. Almost 43 percent of U.S. adults intend to travel for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, a 4 percentage point decrease from the figure recorded last year, according to a recent survey from travel industry website The Vacationer.

More than 67 percent of American adults said that inflation is affecting their plans for either Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, with 41 percent responding that soaring prices were impacting their travel plans for Christmas specifically. Close to 42 percent of respondents said they’re not intending to spend any money on travel for a December holiday this year, a little more than a 5 percentage point jump from 2021.

Those planning to take a trip for Christmas this year are planning to spend more on travel than they did in 2021. Roughly a third of American adults said they will spend more than $500 to travel for Christmas this year, compared to 23 percent in 2021.

“This proves many people are prepared to spend more money to travel despite inflation,” said Eric Jones, co-founder of The Vacationer.

“And those who do not want to spend more money to travel will cut back on their travel plans by doing things such as cooking in sometimes instead of eating out or staying at a family member’s house as opposed to a hotel.”

Source: The Vacationer

Roughly 111 million American adults said they intended to travel for a December holiday this year, nearly identical to the number that stated they made travel plans for Thanksgiving last month. Nearly a quarter of respondents — which works out to roughly 64 million American adults — said they made plans to travel both for Thanksgiving and a December holiday this year.

“I am surprised because with so many people saying high levels of inflation are affecting both their Thanksgiving and Christmas plans, I would have thought that some people would forego holiday travel altogether,” Jones said.

“And the TSA checkpoint traveler numbers approaching 2019 totals is even further evidence of people not foregoing travel altogether. So while people may adjust their travel plans, they are still going to travel. If slightly less Americans do in fact travel for a December holiday this year, it will be less by car.”

The survey of 1,003 American adults also found that younger adults are more likely to travel for a December holiday this year. Nearly 26 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 said they intend to travel for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa in 2022. However, a little more than 18 percent of Americans between the ages of 30 and 44 plan to do so while that figure drops to 11 percent for respondents over the age of 60.


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Tags: holiday travel, holidays, survey, survey data, surveys, united states

Photo credit: A woman relaxing at home on Christmas. Concerns about inflation are a reason fewer Americans are making holiday travel plans. Vadim Vasenin / Deposit Photos

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