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Holiday Travel: Americans Ready to Hit the Road

A new study found that Americans plan to hit the roads and skies for the holidays, but health and financial concerns still weigh on their minds.

According to Deloitte’s 2021 Holiday Travel Survey, an estimated 30 percent of Americans plan to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday period, while another 42 percent plan to take a trip between Thanksgiving and mid-January.

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Of the Americans traveling for the holidays, 70 percent plan to drive to their destinations, while 37 percent will book flights. The survey also found that higher-income respondents are almost twice as likely to travel this holiday season compared to people reporting lower income.

As for traveler spending, 58 percent of respondents said they expect to spend about the same on travel as they did in 2019, with another 20 percent admitting they would spend significantly more, driven by higher-income households.

“Nearly two years into the isolation brought on by the pandemic, people are eager for the warm embrace of family and friends,” Deloitte vice chair Mike Daher said. “Americans are ready to travel and experience holiday celebrations together, and the industry has been preparing to welcome them back.”

“Travel companies who can stay true to their offerings and provide the best customer experience this holiday season, will be well positioned to succeed,” Daher continued.

While traveler confidence continues to rise, survey respondents continue to be concerned about COVID-19 and are embracing mitigation measures, saying they are more likely to book a flight if masking (64 percent) or vaccinations (58 percent) are required.

Workplace flexibility is also giving holiday travel a boost, spurring 75 percent of travelers who plan to work during their trips to add extra days because of the ability to work remotely.

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