Christmas 2021 Travel Survey: 122m. American adults (47%) to travel nearly 33m. to fly; 35% to travel 100+ miles | TravelDailyNews International
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Christmas 2021 Travel Survey: 122m. American adults (47%) to travel nearly 33m. to fly; 35% to travel 100+ miles

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12.72% (33 Million American adults) say their primary mode of travel will be by plane. This figure is 6 million people more than the amount that said they would travel by plane in our Thanksgiving travel survey.

The Vacationer conducted a survey to find out how many Americans will travel this coming Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, mode of transportation, how much they will spend on travel, how far they will travel, and activities planned.

The survey included 1,092 American adults over the age of 18 and was conducted online using SurveyMonkey's interface/audience on our behalf on October 17, 2021. I, Eric Jones, analyzed the survey, and I am an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Rowan College South Jersey. A complete methodology is listed at the bottom.

Key Stats:

  • Over 47% (122 Million American adults) will travel for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa this year. Last year’s Christmas survey showed 33.46% intended to travel to a vacation destination or gathering. This year’s figure shows 47.39% intend to travel, which is a 41.63% increase.
  • 12.72% (33 Million American adults) say their primary mode of travel will be by plane. This figure is 6 million people more than the amount that said they would travel by plane in our Thanksgiving travel survey.
  • Nearly 35% (90 Million American adults) will travel at least 100 miles or more for Christmas. Almost 16% of American adults (40 million people) will travel 500 miles or more. Nearly 8% of American adults will travel 1,000 miles or more.
  • More than 23% will spend more than $500 on travel. More than 12% will spend over $1,000.
  • Nearly 34% will take part in more Christmas traveling and activities this year than last. 
  • Nearly 75% will enjoy a meal with friends and family. More than 65% will take part in a gift exchange. 32% plan to attend a holiday party.

Here are the full results:

1. How far will you travel for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa this year?

  • 0 Miles. — 28.00%
  • 1 to 99 Miles. — 37.15%
  • 100 to 499 Miles. — 19.30%
  • 500 to 999 Miles. — 7.78%
  • 1,000 Miles or More. — 7.78%

Key Takeaway — Nearly 35% of American adults will travel at least 100 miles for Christmas in 2021. This equates to 90 million people. Additionally, almost 16% of American adults will travel 500 miles or more. This equates to 40 million people. Lastly, nearly 8% of American adults will travel 1,000 miles or more for Christmas. This means 20 million people will travel at least 1,000 miles for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa.

2. How much will you spend to travel for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa this year? (gas, flights, hotels, tickets, etc.)

  • $0. — 36.41%
  • $500 or Less. — 40.26%
  • $501 to $1,000. — 11.07%
  • $1,001 to $1,500. — 5.58%
  • $1,501 to $2,000. — 3.02%
  • $2,000 or More. — 3.66%

Key Takeaway — More than 23% of American adults said they will spend over $500 for Christmas travel in 2021. This percentage equates to 60 million people. Additionally, 12.26% of American adults or nearly 32 million people will spend over $1,000. Lastly, 3.66% or more than 9 million people will spend $2,000 or more on Christmas travel this year.

3. Which Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa activities will you take part in this year?

  • Meal with Friends or Family. — 73.74%
  • Gift Exchange.  — 65.42%
  • Holiday Party. — 32.57%
  • Decorating Your Home. — 52.79%
  • Baking Cookies or Other Sweet Treats. — 48.40%
  • Attending a Religious Service.  — 24.79%
  • Caroling or Singing. — 9.88%
  • Lighting Candles. — 17.47%
  • Seeing Lights. — 40.16%
  • Volunteering.  — 12.26%
  • A Family Tradition. — 38.06%
  • None of these. (If checking this choice, check nothing else.) — 6.13%

Key Takeaway — Almost 3 out of every 4 American adults or 190 million people will have a meal with friends or family this holiday season. This is a large percentage of the population and shows the strides we’ve made combating COVID over the last year. More than 65% or over 168 million people will take part in a gift exchange which was the second most popular activity. Additionally, the third most popular activity will be decorating homes. 52.79% or 136 million American adults will do this. The least common activity from our list will be volunteering as only 12.26% or 32 million people will volunteer during the holiday season.

4. How much traveling and activities for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa will you be doing this year compared to last?

  • More than Last Year. — 33.85%
  • The Same as Last Year. — 56.63%
  • Less than Last Year. — 9.52%

Key Takeaway — Nearly 34% of all American adults or 87 million people will take part in more Christmas traveling and activities this year than last. With so many more people traveling and taking part in Christmas activities, the holiday may be back into full swing after COVID. Only 9.52% of survey respondents said they would take part in less traveling or Christmas activities. 56.63% said their participation would be the same as last year.

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