Thanksgiving Travelers Drove Close and Stayed With Family

In a snapshot poll taken in the three days leading up to the American Thanksgiving break, Ipsos Marketing's travel and tourism division found that 19% of Americans planned to travel out of town this Thanksgiving, which was down slightly from the number who traveled for Thanksgiving in 2008. Even though Thanksgiving is one of the most important travel periods of the year, a large majority of Americans are not Thanksgiving travelers, as 78% didn't travel last Thanksgiving and 79% had no plans to travel this Thanksgiving.

Despite the economic downturn, 35% of travelers planned to spend more money this year as compared to 2008 on their Thanksgiving travel. Those who planned to spend less in 2009 accounted for 13% of all travelers while the remaining 41% planned to spend as much in 2009 as they did in 2008.

Dave Pierzchala, Vice President of Ipsos' travel team explains, "Thanksgiving travel is as much of a tradition as turkey with all the trimmings and these results show that the need to be with friends and family does not disappear even in strained financial times."

Thrifty Thanksgiving travelers say that this year they

  • 22% planned to stay with friends and family instead of a hotel
  • 17% planned to drive instead of fly
  • 14% planned to take shorter trips (14%)
  • 41% said that nothing changed for their Thanksgiving travel plans this year

Dave Pierzchala, Vice President of Ipsos' travel team explains, "In the current economic times Americans are finding ways to continue to connect with loved ones and in some cases the pull-out couch or long car ride is the necessary sacrifice."

Among Americans who had no travel plans this Thanksgiving, a primary reason is that:

  • 25% had the pleasure of hosting their friends and family
  • 13% planned to avoid travel this Thanksgiving because it was too expensive
  • 5% said too crowded
  • 5% are watching their travel budget
  • 3% have suffered a loss of employment
  • 21% simply didn't want to travel this Thanksgiving

An Ipsos online study conducted from November 23, 2009 to November 26, 2009 with 1,114 U.S. adults (18+). The results are considered accurate within 2.94 percentage points, 19 times out of 20

For more information from Ipsos, please visit here.






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