NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO—A survey by ORC conducted on behalf of Generali Global Assistance’s Travel Insurance division found that 99.8 million people in the United States—about 40 percent of the population—plan to travel over the course of the 2017 holiday season. Millennials plan to travel more than any other age demographic (48 percent) and those with children are the segment most likely to travel at 54 percent.
The survey broke travelers out into two buckets: those planning to travel to see family and those planning to travel for vacation. Of those planning to travel to see family, most (73 percent) will spend less than $1,000. Those traveling for vacation will spend significantly more, with over half spending more than $1,000 and 18 percent spending between $2,500 and $5,000.
Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance, said, “For many, the holidays are an important time of year to connect with loved ones and going to see family is by far the primary reason to travel during the holiday season, with 87 percent of Christmas travel and 64 percent of New Year’s travel being dedicated to going to see relatives. For those traveling to see family, becoming closer as family was the primary importance at 68 percent, followed by relaxation (66 percent), reading or learning new things (18 percent), and sports activities (13 percent).”
For vacationers, becoming closer as a family was still important at 32 percent, but it ranked behind relaxing or finding peace of mind (65 percent) and discovering new cultures or enjoying a change of scenery (44 percent). Vacationers were also more interested in reading or learning new things (29 percent), sports activities (26 percent), and fostering a new romantic relationship (26 percent).
For travelers going to see family, 85 percent will stay within the continental U.S. versus 58 percent for vacation goers. The Caribbean was the most popular choice for vacation travel outside the U.S. While travelers going to see family will stay relatively close to home, they won’t be too close—nearly 40 percent will stay within 100 miles versus 7 percent staying within 10 miles. For vacationers, 18 percent will remain within 100 miles of home and a quarter will venture more than 1,000 miles away from their abodes.
Travelers going to see family will primarily get there by car (68 percent) versus vacationers (43 percent), who are more likely to take a flight to their destination (40 percent versus 29 percent of travelers going to see family).
When the primary purpose of travel is to see family, 68 percent of travelers will stay with family or friends. For those going on vacation, only 20 percent will stay with family or friends.