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Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Mandi Albright/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

More than half of survey respondents plan to travel this holiday season

Travel Channel research shows 67% have been saving vacation days to take a longer break

One of the busiest travel seasons of the year is right around the corner. As the holiday season approaches, new research from the Travel Channel reveals insight into the travel plans and preferences of Americans — most important, how many of them are planning to take an end-of-year vacation.

U.S. travelers apparently have been saving vacation days. The Travel Channel survey found 67% of Americans plan to use vacation days and/or paid time off to hit the road this holiday season. Nearly a quarter of these people (24%) are planning to travel for longer than six days. 

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Forty-two percent of respondents said they are traveling to their hometowns to visit family and friends, while 48% indicated they are traveling elsewhere. 

Get ready for busy roadways during Thanksgiving and winter breaks. The vast majority of travelers (72%) said they will drive to their destinations. Forty-four percent are planning to travel by air. 

The holidays don't come cheap. The Travel Channel research showed that nearly one-third (28%) are planning to spend in excess of $500 on the trip. 

Many (27%) are traveling with family, while one in 10 travelers will head to a vacation destination with a significant other or friends. 

Mariel Clark, vice president of digital video and editorial for the Travel Channel, provided a number of tips. 

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For families traveling in groups, she advises keeping options open: 

"When traveling with a large group or multiple generations, not everyone will be interested in the same activities. Be sure to allow for some time to divide and conquer, giving everyone the space for their must-see activities," she said. 

Involving older kids in travel plans is also a smart move, Clark noted. 

"If traveling with a teenager, make them a stakeholder in the trip by having them pick activities they'll enjoy, too," she said. 

Streamlining your gear is a good way to make traveling with small children a breeze. 

"If traveling with a young child, downsize your bulky stroller for a simple umbrella stroller to travel — it's easier to carry, tote and pack," Clark said. 

"Pack by outfits, especially for younger kids," she added. "Try coordinating pants, shirts, underwear and socks in a stack together with PJs. Repeat for the number of days in the trip and add extras, like jackets, as needed."

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