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51% Say Economic Conditions Make Holiday Travel Less Likely

The number of adults who expect to travel away from home during the holiday season has slowly increased in recent years, but half still say the current economy makes them less likely to do so.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 21% will be traveling away from home this holiday season. That’s up from 17% last year and 14% the year before.  However, 78% don’t plan on doing any traveling this season, showing no change from last year. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-one percent (51%) say current economic conditions make them less likely to go away this year, up from 42% a year ago. Only 12% say the economy is making them more likely to travel, while another 35% say it has no impact on their travel plans.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of those who plan to travel over the holiday season are more likely to go by car, up 10 points from last year. Only 15% plan to travel by plane this year, down 15 points from last December. A train or bus is the method of choice for five percent (5%) of travelers each. One percent (1%) plan to holiday on board a ship.

Most travelers (78%) are visiting family and friends for the holidays, while 17% say they are going on a vacation.

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults nationwide was conducted on December 13-14, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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