This holiday season, Americans arent just opening up their wallets to buy presents for family and friends theyll also spend 12 percent more on holiday travel, according to the fourth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index released today by Allianz Global Assistance USA.
Following cautious holiday-travel spending last year, this year’s spending is on the rebound with Americans set to spend $72.9 billion, a $7.7 billion increase from 2011.
“With consumers spending more on travel this holiday season, it’s more important than ever for them to protect their investment with travel insurance,” said Alan Josephs, Chief Marketing Officer of Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Holidays are stressful enough as it is, and travelers who purchase Allianz Travel Insurance can rest assured that our dedicated team, available 24/7, will provide travel assistance to help with any issues that may arise as they travel to their holiday destination.”
“Holidays are stressful enough as it is, and travelers who purchase Allianz Travel Insurance can rest assured that our dedicated team, available 24/7, will provide travel assistance to help with any issues that may arise as they travel to their holiday destination.”
Nearly six in ten (56%) of Americans are confident that they will take a holiday trip this year, with more saying that they are “very confident” (45 percent this year versus 42 percent last year). Those who are likely to travel are budgeting to spend $1,116 on average, a significant increase from last year’s travelers who budgeted $980 for holiday travel.
Top Travel Annoyances Reveal GPS Angst
For the fourth year in a row, travel by car continues to be the top mode of transportation for holiday trips, weighing in at 59 percent. But before hitting the road this holiday season, Americans might want to double check their directions and consider leaving the backseat driver at home: three in ten (26 percent) say that their biggest travel annoyance is a GPS/navigation system that fails or provides outdated directions, while nearly one quarter (22%) say their biggest pet peeve is the backseat driver that shouts driving tips. Other top travel annoyances include the passenger who needs to stop to use the restroom every other hour (15 percent), and the driver with no taste in music who insists on controlling the songs (10 percent).
Screaming Babies and Inconsiderate Passengers Irritate Fliers Most
One third of Americans intend to fly to their holiday destination this year, keeping air travel at the second most popular mode of transportation for the fourth consecutive year. Air travel is not without its frustrations, either – nearly half (39 percent) say that they’re most annoyed by a kicking and screaming baby sitting in the seat behind them, while 17 percent say that watching another passenger smash their carry-on items bothers them the most. Sitting next to a passenger who gets up multiple times to use the bathroom and loud music coming from a neighboring passenger’s headphones are the next two on the list, respectively at 15 and 12 percent.
Naughty or Nice? Travelers’ Top Confessions Include Buying Airport Gifts for Loved Ones
Nearly one in five Americans (19 percent) have confessed to being less-than-perfect holiday guests. Among the top holiday travel faux pas they’re guilty of committing? At least one in ten brought last-minute holiday shopping to a whole new level, buying gifts at either an airport gift shop or at a rest stop on the interstate, while eight percent admit to having one-too-many drinks in the airport or on the flight on the way to their holiday destination. Seven percent opted to skip out on holiday festivities altogether, and made up an excuse on why they couldn’t travel. Five percent of Americans can expect to receive a lump of coal this year, having admitted to all of the above.
The Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index is based on a telephone survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs from November 7 – 12, 2012 of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Allianz Global Assistance USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 29 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) insures 13 million customers and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans.
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