DALLAS, Texas—New data from Motel 6 found that U.S. travelers who are celebrating a winter holiday are planning to participate in an average of 10 or more gatherings this year. In its sixth annual holiday travel survey, Motel 6 heard from over 2,000 respondents who celebrate a winter holiday and found that their festivities are expected to lead to an increase in travel. Eighty-four percent of respondents plan to travel to at least one gathering, and of those, over half (52 percent) expect to take more trips than last year.
This holiday season, 85 percent say the joy of spending time with friends and family outweighs the challenges of travel. When it comes to lodging, two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents traveling plan to stay at a hotel, an increase of nearly 20 percent since last year. And they’re bringing pets with them. Three out of five (60 percent) respondents note that pets will be joining their holiday journeys, up from 22 percent in 2022.
Gathering once just isn’t enough: Respondents plan to celebrate some holidays multiple times, bringing the average number of holiday gatherings per person to more than 10.
The winter season continues to be a time to come together with loved ones, with two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents noting a preference for a traditional holiday celebration with family, while only 20 percent opt to take a solo trip. Still, U.S. travelers agree that the excitement of family gatherings can cause social batteries to run down quickly. Over half (53 percent) of respondents look forward to alone time four hours into a holiday, while nearly one in five (19 percent) say it takes just one to two hours for them to start looking forward to alone time.
“The final months of the year are filled with love, excitement, and festivities with friends and family. No matter where the road takes you this season, Motel 6 will be there as your resting place,” said Julie Arrowsmith, president and CEO of G6 Hospitality, parent company of Motel 6 and extended stay brand Studio 6. “From Friendsgiving to New Year’s Day, we are here to offer affordable rates and discounts on our My6 app so you can focus on making memories with loved ones, including those with four legs.”
It’s no surprise that nearly all (82 percent) of those celebrating winter holidays say the economic climate is impacting their plans this year. More than half are hoping to receive experience-based gifts (56 percent) this year, such as travel, and will be opting for affordable lodging (55 percent) for their journeys.