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How Stock Investors Can Play Holiday Travel

This post is part of a regular series written by ETF Trends editor Tom Lydon, special for CNBC.com.

If you’re like millions of other Americans right now, you’re thinking about loading up the car or getting on a plane to visit loved ones and eat all the turkey you can stomach. All this flying and driving presents an exchange traded fund (ETF) investment opportunity.

Holiday travel is expected to be down this year from last year, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t be flying the friendly skies or putting the pedal to the metal. According to a study by Deloitte, nearly 45 percent of Americans plan to take a vacation in the period beginning next week and running through March 2010.

18 percent will travel overnight and stay at a lodging facility during the Thanksgiving week and weekend. 22 percent will travel overnight and stay at a lodging facility during December. 37 percent plan to spend as much as they did last year; 27 percent plan to spend more.

Three ETFs give investors the opportunity to play the holiday travel season:

- Claymore/NYSE Arca Airline holds the stocks of airlines around the world, including Delta , Continental and Southwest Airlines

- PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment holds car, hotel and flight reservation sites Priceline and Expedia ; both companies also reported strong third-quarter earnings

- iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average primarily holds the stock of rail and trucking companies, but there are airlines to be found in smaller amounts, including Southwest , JetBlue and American

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Tom Lydon is the editor of ETF Trends and author of iMoney: Profitable ETF Strategies for Every Investor.

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