As the holiday season approaches you may find yourself humming along to the popular carol, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” The holidays usually see the year’s biggest uptick in travel, but with COVID-19 still active, a recent survey by Travelocity found that almost 60% of Americans report they won’t be traveling this year. Nearly one-in-three said they won’t celebrate the holidays at all. 

That doesn’t mean people are staying at home entirely either. The Travelocity 2020 Holiday Outlook survey conducted in mid-September, found that travelers are feeling surprisingly optimistic when it comes to leisure travel for the remainder of the year. One-in-four respondents said they have a personal vacation planned later this year, and nearly half of family travelers  with kids under the age of 18 are taking a leisure trip before the year’s end.

Travelocity is predicting the following trends based on the data collected:

  • Stay at a Hotel this Holiday: More travelers (43%) say they plan to stay at a hotel or vacation rental this year, with hotels being the slightly more popular option.
  • Get Road Trip Ready: Nearly 80% of respondents plan to drive for November and December holidays, and 1-in-5 will fly.
  • Pack for a Long Weekend: Holiday travelers say they’ll stay through the long weekend. More than half (53%) plan to stay between 1-4 days opposed to shorter day trips.
  • Celebrate Close to Home: Two-thirds of holidaymakers plan to travel 250 miles or less.

How-To Holiday Away from Home:

  • Keep travel plans flexible: The controlled spread of COVID-19 in a travelers’ origin or destination is now the top consideration in determining whether to travel. Because travel plans can change, search for hotels with free cancellation and flights without change fees.
  • Find hotels using enhanced cleaning filters: One-third of travelers say that safe accommodations at their travel destination will determine whether or not they travel this holiday season. Travelocity provides an enhanced cleaning search filter to make finding hotels and activities easy.
  • Search for flights with safety in mind: More than half of travelers who booked flights this holiday season (53%) said they are worried about flying right now. With new flight badging on Travelocity.com, it’s easy to know which airlines require masks, temperature checks and more.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

Featured photo: Marissa Daeger on Unsplash

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