Most Americans won’t visit relatives during 2020 holiday season, survey says

(Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images)

Travelocity has released the results of its recent "2020 Holiday Travel Outlook" survey, which indicates that nearly 60% of Americans won’t be going home for the holidays this year. Among those who said they won’t be traveling to see family and friends this holiday season, one in three reported that they don’t plan on celebrating the holidays at all.

As sad as that sounds, and somewhat surprisingly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they plan on staying at home this winter. One in four Americans surveyed said that they’ve planned a personal vacation before year’s end, and 45% of families with kids under 18 years of age are scheduling leisure trips later this year.

"It's going to be a nontraditional holiday season this year, so families are gearing up to make the most of it by planning a holiday away from home and using their vacation days to travel," said Travelocity’s General Manager, Katie Junod. "Our survey found that 80% of travelers who have taken a trip since the start of COVID-19 rated their experience as excellent or good, and that's given them the confidence to plan that next vacation at a time when they need a break from at-home school and work.

MORE NEWS: Amazon Prime Day 2020: What to know about the online sales event

"Two-thirds of respondents said they've been able to travel to see friends and family since COVID-19 started, and almost half say they're feeling happy and calm about the upcoming holiday season," Junod revealed.

Holiday Travel Outlook:

The survey showed that those who are still planning to travel during the 2020 holiday season are getting a jump on things. Nearly two-thirds of respondents who’ll be traveling for the Thanksgiving and December holidays said they’ve already booked their lodging and transportation for those trips. A further 20% said they’ll be booking their holiday travel during the month of October.

Based upon the results of its survey and demand data, Travelocity anticipates the following 2020 holiday travels trends:

  • Hotels Stays: More travelers (43%) are planning to stay at a hotel or rented accommodations this year, with hotels leading slightly in terms of popularity.
  • Road Trips: Almost 80% of those surveyed said they plan on driving to their holiday destinations, while the remaining 20% said they’ll be flying.
  • Long Weekends: Over half (53%) of holiday travelers plan on taking advantage of long weekends, planning stays of one to four days, instead of trekking for day trips.
  • Closer to Home: Two-thirds of holiday-goers said they’re keeping their trips within 250 miles from home this year.

The Travelocity 2020 Holiday Outlook online survey was fielded from Sept. 18 – 21, 2020, among a sample group of 1,016 U.S. adults.

Get updates on this story from