Half of All Adults in the Largest U.S. Cities Plan to Travel This Holiday Season

Despite an uncertain economy and high travel costs, many Americans still plan to get away this holiday season, according to new research released today by private vacation club Inspirato.

Inspirato The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive for Inspirato, polled more than 2,500 adults in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and found that overall 49 percent plan to take at least one personal trip over the upcoming holiday season. Holiday travel is most popular this year among residents in Atlanta (57 percent), San Francisco (59 percent) and Washington, D.C. (59 percent), while residents in Boston (41 percent), Los Angeles (45 percent) and Philadelphia (45 percent) are least likely to report travel plans.

Spending time with family (67 percent) is the top reason adults in these cities will be traveling during the holiday season, which was defined in the survey as beginning around Thanksgiving and ending right after the new year. Vacation is the second most popular reason to travel (36 percent) – and a particularly popular reason among Los Angeles residents (47 percent). Seven percent of respondents plan to travel to escape the chaos of the holiday season.

Overall, this holiday season may not hold many surprises for the travel industry. More than half of respondents report their plans are similar to their travel habits last year, including a similar number of trips (58 percent), similar travel distances (55 percent), similar durations (53 percent), and similar travel budgets (56 percent).

Additional survey findings include:

  • The majority (73 percent) of holiday travelers this year will do so via car or SUV. But 46 percent of younger adults (ages 18-49) plan to travel by plane (compared to only 34 percent of adults ages 50 and over), as do 48 percent of adults with incomes of $75,000 or more (compared to 31 percent of those with lower incomes).
  • Most travelers (72 percent) plan to visit another state this holiday season; 36 percent are traveling to another state in a different region of the country. Five percent are traveling to Canada or Mexico, while another 8 percent are leaving North America entirely.
  • Men are more likely to be traveling for personal reasons this holiday season than women (54 vs. 45 percent).
  • On average, travelers are planning to spend around $1,300 on their upcoming holiday travel, including transportation, accommodations, food and entertainment. Residents in New York City are expected to spend about $2,000 on travel this season – the highest figure of any city polled. Atlanta residents plan to spend the least, about $900.
  • The top reason adults cite for not traveling this holiday season is a lack of funds (47 percent). Overall, women (51 percent) are more likely than men (41 percent) to cite finances as a reason not to travel this season. Interestingly, adults earning $75,000 or more per year are more likely than those earning less than $75,000 to point to high travel expenses during the holidays as a reason not to leave home (26 percent vs. 13 percent).
  • Approximately one in 10 adults across all 10 cities said budget is not a factor in their holiday season travel plans, while about one in five report their budget completely dictates their holiday season travel plans.
  • Other reasons why adults report not traveling this holiday season include spending the holidays with family in town (43 percent) and simply enjoying being home for the holidays (38 percent). About one in five adults report avoiding holiday travel because they particularly dislike it.
  • More than one in 10 respondents plan to take a vacation in 2013 specifically to recuperate from the 2012 holiday season.

This study was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Inspirato between October 4-15, 2012 among 2,507 respondents 18 years or older in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available. Data tables can be found at:

About Inspirato

Designed specifically for a new generation of luxury consumers, Inspirato (In – spuh – rah – toh) offers the best of destination club consistency and service, together with unmatched value, flexibility and low-cost membership. Our members have access to an ever-growing portfolio of luxury vacation homes in the world's top destinations, including California, the Caribbean, Colorado, France, Hawaii, Italy, London, Mexico, New York City and more. By leasing vacation properties (rather than owning), Inspirato is able to keep membership fees low, offer up to 50 percent off market rates, and easily add homes and destinations as demand increases. Our innovative business model has led to rapid growth since our January 2011 launch, placing Inspirato at the forefront of the "luxury for less" movement. For more information, please visit

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