Hawaii Holiday Travel Poll ~ What Are Your Plans For This Holiday Season?

Hawaii Holiday Travel Poll: Lower Travel, More Spending

By Sonia Isotov
Article from: MauiNow.com

Local consumers will spend more on holiday trips this season, but slightly less likely than last year to take at least one overnight trip for the holidays in November/December, according to AAA Hawaii’s 3rd Annual Winter Holiday Travel Poll.

39% of polled local residents said they plan on one or more holiday trips, compared to 42% last year, while 50% definitely won’t take a trip (48% last year) and 11% are undecided (10% in 2010).

The 50% not taking a holiday trip cited several reasons, including:

■Too many other expenses (43%)
■Rising prices for travel (38%)
■Rising household expenses for items other than gas (30%)
■High gas prices (29%)
Of those who will be traveling in November and December, 77% plan to spend more than $1,000 on their getaways, compared to 69% last year who said they would spend more than $1,000.

64% of surveyed holiday travelers will take one trip in November or December, 29% will take two, and 7% will take three or more. Last year, 65% said they would take one trip, 30% were taking two, and 5% were taking three or more.

Many more Hawaii residents plan to visit family over this holiday season compared to last year (56% compared to 44% in 2010), while fewer local travelers will be shopping (46% vs. 58% last year) or sightseeing (40% vs. 49% last year).

“We are definitely seeing some price sensitivity on the part of travelers because of the economy and high gas prices, but we also see that travel is viewed as a high priority and people will continue to fit trips into their budgets however they can,” said Diane Peterson, AAA Hawaii regional manager, in a written statement. “Fortunately, travel providers are recognizing this also and are offering many family budget-friendly deals and significant discounts for early bookings.”

Of those polled who indicated they would travel this holiday season, 36% will take at least one trip within Hawaii, while 42% plan to visit Nevada, and 33% will visit California.

AAA Hawaii offered the following tips for saving on holiday travel:

■If you fly to your destination, consider mailing holiday gifts ahead of time to avoid high baggage fees. Also, wrapped gifts can cause problems with the TSA screening process, so if you do bring gifts on the plane, wrap them at your destination.
■The last-minute holiday deal is back for many travel providers because of lower demand due to the economy. To take advantage, do some online research or let a travel agent do it for you. Travel agents don’t charge for their services, so you’ll get the same price on the deal and also save time.
■For long-distance road trips, plan your stops for gasoline with a tool like the AAA TripTik app for smartphones, which lists gas prices at stations all along your travel route. Price differences can be as much as 50 cents per gallon because gas stations near airports and key freeway locations may charge much higher prices, so it’s worth it to shop around first.
■Avoid speeding. It’s tempting to drive 75 miles an hour or more on an open highway, but doing that on a long-distance road trip could cost you $20 to $30 more per day in wasted fuel.
AAA Hawaii’s Holiday Travel Poll was conducted online by the AAA Marketing Research Department along with the Holiday Shopping Poll, which was released last week. The poll surveyed 361 AAA Hawaii members between Oct. 4 and Oct. 20. It has a margin of error of +/-5% and the differences between 2011 and 2010 results were tested for statistical significance at a 95% confidence level.