Some Travelers Canceling Holiday Flights in Favor of Driving

Some Travelers Canceling Holiday Flights in Favor of Driving

DONALD WOOD | TravelPulse.Com

Troy Warren for CNT #Travel

A new survey found that 61 percent of Americans traveling for the winter holidays will drive to their destinations and another 20 percent have canceled flights in favor of hitting the road.

According to data from Cars.com, 42 percent of respondents choose to hit the road by car because they don’t want to take other forms of public transportation, citing ongoing concerns related to coronavirus.

The study found that 39 percent of Americans will visit a destination more than 100 miles away during the holiday season and another 56 percent will travel 50-plus miles from home, an increase of 30 percent compared to 2020.

“The holidays are a time for gathering, and with lingering pandemic concerns and the rise in remote work, travel trends are changing,” Cars.com senior editor Mike Hanley said. “Our data state 1 in 5 travelers had a flight booked this holiday season but canceled it to drive instead.”

“And with newfound flexibility at work, Americans are choosing to drive to their destinations and stay longer with family,” Hanley continued. “Time will tell if these travel trends continue, but one thing hasn’t changed: Americans love their road trips.”

Data also showed that almost 70 percent of remote and hybrid employees say the ability to work out of the office has impacted winter holiday travel plans. Another 32 percent of holiday travelers are planning a trip of at least a week more than 50 miles away, an increase from the 27 percent reported during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

As for when travelers will take to the roads, 38 percent will start no sooner than the morning of December 23 and around 33 percent will be heading toward warmer southern climates.

In total, AAA Travel estimates more than 109 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more during the winter holiday season. Eased travel restrictions will result in a nearly 34 percent increase from the total number of people who hit the road for the holidays in 2020, totaling over 27.7 million more people traveling in 2021.

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By Troy Warren

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