Nearly two thirds of Americans are planning to travel at least once between Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day this year, according to the Orbitz Holiday Travel Insider Index. The survey is based off the popular site's consumer research and booking data, which also indicates that 60 percent of travelers are willing to spend as much as $2,500 on their getaway. Most travelers (68 percent) plan to spend Christmas away, with Orlando and Cancun being the destinations of choice.
Not surprisingly, hotels and airfare will cost more this year too. For Thanksgiving, hotel costs will be 5 percent higher and airfare is expected to be 2 percent higher. For Christmas, the exact opposite is true — prices for airfare are expected to be 5 percent higher and hotels, 2 percent higher. For New Years, prices for both are expected to be 3 percent higher.
Here are the top five destinations and the average airfare for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years according to the survey:
|Thanksgiving||Avg. Airfare||Christmas||Avg. Airfare||New Year's||Avg. Airfare|
|Chicago||$378||Los Angeles||$443||San Juan, Puerto Rico||$445|
|New York||$393||Miami||$500||Las Vegas||$392|
|Los Angeles||$407||San Juan, Puerto Rico||$614||New York||$320|
What if you are not flying?
If your holiday travel plans keep you closer to home, you'll no doubt be happy to know that gas prices are expected to stay low through the holiday season. The price per gallon has recently been falling below $3 in many states, and that is very good news for everyone's budget!
Have you been planning for your holiday travel all year long?
The best way to fund these expenses is to include a line item in your budget and save the right amount every month. At $2,500, you would need to have saved $208 every month. If you didn't budget this year, oops. But you might consider setting up a new online savings account that lets you track different goals and automate transfers into your account for next year. You could (almost as easily) open a new savings account and track the balances for each goal in a spreadsheet just as well. Basically, anything you can do to plan for the holidays during the year will likely reduce the stress you might feel as the season begins and life gets a little more hectic.
So are you traveling during the holidays? Do you expect to spend more or less than the travelers in the survey, and how did you save for the expense?