Holiday travelers looking for bargains this year
Budget-conscious travelers may be staying closer to home this holiday season or driving instead of flying.
That seemed to be the major finding of the latest American Express Spending and Saving Tracker report.
According to the survey, only 35 percent intend to fly to a holiday destination this year, down 7 percent from 2012. Instead, 70 percent say they plan to drive.
The report revealed that 68 percent of travelers are focusing on trips to enjoy the holidays with family and friends.
The survey revealed that 33 percent marked "budget" as the first deciding factor in planning a trip, 1 percent ahead of destination choice.
Other survey findings revealed:
• 55 percent of travelers (compared to 48 percent in 2012) plan to spend $600 or less per person during the holidays.
• 35 percent of holiday travelers are setting their budget in advance, with plans to save up at least four months in advance of upcoming holiday trips.
• 80 percent are frustrated by all aspects of holiday travel, up from 78 percent in 2012.
Travelers are looking to create value by calling on the assistance of a travel expert, cashing in on reward points or seeking complimentary amenities such as spa treatments and dining credits.
• 75 percent of travelers say they would veer from tradition and give up receiving gifts during the season to head out on a holiday vacation instead.
• 60 percent of travelers believe working with a travel agent would help create a hassle-free holiday travel experience, with 25 percent planning to use a travel agent for some aspect of their trip.