[Alvin Brickman for Metrosetter Wire]
If you plan on minimizing transportation and lodging expenses this weekend while giving thanks, you’re not alone. According to a marketplace report by HomeAway, nearly half of travelers plan on staying with a friend or relative during “Turkey Day” weekend. And if you’re a father visiting a child, you’re likely the most welcome guest in the house.
The report found that about a quarter of Americans (26 percent) say they’ll travel over Thanksgiving, compared with 17 percent last year. The number of people traveling in December for the holidays is expected to nearly double, increasing from 22 percent in 2011 to 40 percent this year….
While more people are traveling during the year-end holidays, they aren’t traveling as far as they did last year. The percentage of people traveling more than 250 miles for Thanksgiving is expected to drop to 52 percent this year from 61 percent last year, with three quarters (75 percent) traveling by car. The number of people traveling more than 500 miles over the December holidays is expected to fall from about 58 percent in 2011 to 51 percent this year, with slightly more traveling by car (54 percent) than by plane (45 percent).
When they get to their destination, 44 percent of people plan to stay at a friend or family member’s house for Thanksgiving; 38 percent have the same plan for the Christmas holiday.
As Extra Fees Add Up, Travelers Take a Stand by Packing Less and Forgoing Flights
According to the HomeAway report, travelers will spend an average of $434 per person for Thanksgiving-related travel and $926 per person for travel during the December holidays. Contributing to the cost of holiday travel is the rise in additional fees charged by airline companies and others in the travel and tourism industry, which has left many travelers frustrated.
Travelers who choose vacation rentals over hotels do so for more personal space and to avoid fees:
With the rise in fees associated with traveling, many people are changing their travel habits to take a stand against travel fees. Nearly a third (31 percent) of travelers pack less to avoid airline luggage fees; 30 percent fly on different airline carriers every time to get the best deal; and about a quarter (25 percent) drive rather than fly. Almost one in five (18 percent) stay in alternatives to hotels, such as vacation rentals, where fees aren’t as prevalent.
While 35 percent of travelers refuse to pay for any conveniences, some people may shell out some extra dough for additional space. Twenty-one percent of travelers say they’d pay more for roomier accommodations, and 20 percent would pay more for additional space on a plane. Access to a kitchen (21 percent), pool/hot tub (12 percent), and laundry facilities (11 percent) were also among the perks people say they’d pay extra for when traveling….
While 36 percent of travelers enjoy staying with friends and family during the holidays, 64 percent aren’t overly thrilled. In fact, 29 percent feel the worst part of staying with family and friends over the holidays is the lack of personal space, and 28 percent say the lack of comfortable sleeping arrangements. Five percent say the worst part is their actual relatives, two percent say the noise levels are unacceptable and one percent say they aren’t fond of their host’s cooking.
Luckily for Fathers, Dad is the least likely person people are to ask to find separate accommodations:
While most people say they would prefer to host the holidays at their house, when asked to name the relative for whom they’d most like to find separate accommodations, about one in three (29 percent) say they’d send their sibling packing while 22 percent said their grown child could stay elsewhere. Fathers and fathers-in-law were the most welcome during the holidays, with only 6 percent saying they’d want to find separate accommodations for dad and only 4 percent naming their father-in-law as an ideal candidate to stay somewhere else.
It’s unclear if fathers-in-law are the most “welcome” because people feel the least uncomfortable around them, or simply because people feel the most uncomfortable asking them to find separate accommodations. I’m thinking it’s the latter!