Spending the Holiday Season on Vacation
The holiday season is typically a time for family, cheer, and presents. Yet, as extended families are more and more dispersed throughout the county, travel and holiday plans become logistical nightmares. The prospect of long flights, coordinating present lists, planning parties—not to mention the price tag that comes along with it—can be anxiety-inducing.
We surveyed travellers to discuss their plans, destinations, budgets, gifting habits and more. We also picked the brains of those who choose to go on vacation for the holidays, to see if they might be onto something. Check out the results of how and why people get away during the holidays.
Hectic Holiday Travel
Last year, an estimated 107.3 million Americans travelled during December 23-January 1, according to AAA. The busy time of year means long lines, higher fares, traffic jams and overall congestion. Travellers agreed that the holiday season comes with a fair amount of headaches. When asked what they find most annoying, 29% said that crowds, closely followed by the high cost of travel at 28%, then delayed flights at 27%. Going home for the season comes with its barriers.
Home for the Holidays
For those travelling, 78% plan to spend the holidays with family or friends, and they’re prepared to go the distance. Nearly half (49%) will travel anywhere from 200-1000 miles away to see their family, with 23% planning to journey more than 1,000 miles. While you can’t put a price tag on time with loved ones, more than one-third of travellers (35%) will spend more than $500 to reach their family destination. That’s not including the cost of buying and bringing presents. Even with the popularity of Amazon and direct shipping, 62% of travellers will be hauling their gifts with them while they travel.
Some travellers find if they are going to brave the holiday chaos, spend money and their PTO days, they’d rather book a proper vacation. In our survey, 21% of travellers opt to skip holiday festivities and vacation instead. In fact, 66% of those vacation-bound travellers have skipped Christmas before, with 17% choosing to go on vacation every year.
The time frame when travellers go on trips is evenly split, with 42% spending the actual holidays (Christmas and New Years) on vacation, and 42% going the week between Christmas and New Years.
The most popular motivations behind ‘skipping Christmas’? 42% say it’s to unplug and spend time with immediate family or friends, 32% want to avoid the expense of buying gifts and hosting parties. While 26% of travellers surveyed want to escape the winter weather and be somewhere tropical and warm.
If you’re going on vacation, you might as well stay a while, or at least longer than you would at a family members house. More than half the people that go on vacation (59%) are gone for five or more days, while 58% of those who visit family spend less than four days on their trips. Staying in a guest room or pull-out couch isn’t quite as lovely as a resort-style hotel.
For those going on a vacation this holiday season, the second most popular destination (behind the continental US) is the Caribbean. Which makes perfect sense, the islands offer beautiful year-round weather and the perfect escape from the holiday hustle and bustle.
Travellers are willing to invest in their holiday getaways. Nearly half of those going on vacation (47%) plan to spend more than $1000 on themselves, with 21% paying more than $2500.
Activities and Experiences
When vacationers arrive at their destination, they’re more focused on the experience rather than material presents—34% only give a few small gifts, and 19% choose not to exchange at all.
As far as activities and experiences on vacation, we polled travellers on their preferred pastimes. The favourites are:
#2) Culinary experiences
#3) Exploring local sights
#4) Pampering spa treatments
#5) High adrenaline activities like scuba diving, recreational vehicles or ziplining
Ready to relax this holiday season?
The holiday season is a time for peace and joy, however, sometimes it can be anything but. Travelling to see family, dealing with traffic, buying gifts, hosting parties — it can all add up to stress and high credit card bills. A vacation can provide a way to relax and recharge, miles away from your everyday life, family drama or cold, blustery weather.
Each year, we see an influx of happy families and individuals come to Rose Hall to spend their holidays in a more intimate, relaxing and tropical setting. Our unique and historical estates offer beachside relaxation, award-winning resort amenities and a pristine golf course—overall a fabulous way to round out your year!