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Orbitz.com Insider Index Says Two-Thirds of Americans Will Hit The Road At Least Once Between Thanksgiving and the New Year

CHICAGO, Oct. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry and you'd better hurry up and book your holiday travel plans, according to the Orbitz.com Holiday Travel Insider Index, with nearly two-thirds of Americans planning to travel over the six weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year's putting demand on prices and inventory.

Orbitz.com consumer research and booking data found that 65 percent of those surveyed plan to take a trip between Thanksgiving and New Year's and two-thirds of those travelers will take at least one flight during that period.1 The Index identifies the most popular destinations as well as average flight and hotel prices for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve based on Orbitz.com bookings. Average airfare is up 3 percent overall to the Top 10 destinations over the holiday season, while hotel rates are also up 3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Unlocking the Holiday Pricing Puzzle

Because timing is key when it comes to booking travel during the busiest time of the year, Orbitz.com has created an interactive calendar with the best days to book to help travelers navigate booking that holiday trip.

  • Historically, more than half of Thanksgiving travelers book travel by Oct. 16
  • Procrastinators booking Thanksgiving travel after Nov. 18 will pay top dollar for airfare – upwards of 5% more
  • The best deals will happen before Oct. 21, so travelers should book now

To help lighten the load the entire holiday season and into 2015, Orbitz.com is running a promotion for 10 percent off hotels with code: HOLIDAY. Book by Dec. 31, 2014 for travel through March 31, 2015.

"Customers should take advantage of deals and get creative around booking holiday travel to beat the crowds and pay less. Avoid flights the Wednesday before Thanksgiving; instead fly on Monday, Nov. 24 to arrive with your cheerful holiday spirit – and budget – intact," said Jeanenne Tornatore, Senior Editor at Orbitz.com. "The Holiday travel season is also a vacation window for more and more Americans as well, with nearly half of those traveling opting for a vacation this year instead of heading to grandmother's house."

Traveler Personalities

New this year, Orbitz.com tapped its Consumer Insights team to study the travel behaviors of more than 1,000 travelers to identify unique characteristics and personalities that emerge when traveling during the holidays. While it may be the holly-jolly season, some travelers find the trip itself to be too stressful.

"After finding that one in three travelers are more stressed out during the holiday travel season than any other time of year, we honed in on booking behaviors to identify stressors and personality types," said Stacey Symonds, Senior Director of Consumer Insights for Orbitz.com. "Three distinct personalities emerged – the 'Frazzled', the 'Calm', and the 'Super Chill' traveler. While the festive season can bring out the frazzled in all of us, more than half (52 percent) were 'Calm' and more than a third were 'Super Chill' (37 percent), with only 11% in the truly 'Frazzled' group. Possibly due to inexperience in regular travel, Millennials make up more than half of the 'Frazzled' group while Boomers were the largest demographic in the 'Super Chill' personality group."5

Orbitz.com 2014 Holiday Travel Insider Index

The Orbitz.com Holiday Travel survey found that only 11 percent of travelers anticipate spending less this holiday season – while about 30 percent plan to spend more. Other key highlights from the survey include:

  • 60 percent of travelers are willing to spend up to $2,500 this year on holiday travel while refusing to budge on shelling out more cash for incidentals like parking and baggage
  • Christmas is the most traveled holiday, with 68 percent planning a trip

Orbitz.com has identified the Top 10 destinations travelers plan to visit for the 2014 holiday travel season. The Index not only provides the Top 10 holiday destinations for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's based on bookings, but also evaluates the average airfare and daily hotel rates in each of the most popular markets. Orlando leads as the top booked destination for Thanksgiving and Christmas, while Cancun overtakes the theme park mecca this year for the number one New Year's Eve hotspot.

Top Thanksgiving Destinations & Prices2

Those booking hotels for Turkey Day will find costs up this year by 5 percent and air up a mere 2 percent.

Rank Destination Average Airfare % Change YOY Average Hotel % Change YOY
1 Orlando, FL $369 9% $139 17%
2 Cancun, Mexico $585 1% $248 -2%
3 Chicago, IL $378 -2% $227 -13%
4 New York, NY $393 3% $355 -1%
5 Los Angeles, CA $407 5% $184 49%
6 Phoenix, AZ $390 -2% $122 14%
7 Las Vegas, NV $394 -3% $99 0%
8 San Francisco, CA $426 12% $174 0%
9 Boston, MA $364 0% $164 -5%
10 Dallas, TX $386 -4% $132 -5%

Top Christmas Destinations & Prices3

Christmas travelers will find airfares up 5 percent while hotels prices are up 2 percent to the top 10 destinations.

Rank Destination Average Airfare % Change YOY Average Hotel % Change YOY
1 Orlando, FL $474 11% $183 10%
2 Cancun, Mexico $752 5% $470 -4%
3 Los Angeles, CA $443 2% $209 7%
4 Miami, FL $500 1% $322 -7%
5 San Juan, Puerto Rico $614 8% $271 -2%
6 Fort Lauderdale, FL $493 12% $235 -3%
7 New York, NY $379 0% $355 -7%
8 Denver, CO $395 7% $164 16%
9 Phoenix, AZ $403 -5% $141 5%
10 San Francisco, CA $436 8% $196 1%

Top New Year's Destinations & Prices4

Travelers looking to ring in the New Year away from home should prepare to shell out more money this year – Orbitz.com is tracking both hotel and airfare prices up 3 percent.

Rank Destination Average Airfare % Change YOY Average Hotel % Change YOY
1 Cancun, Mexico $519 -2% $410 -2%
2 Orlando, FL $327 11% $145 5%
3 San Juan, Puerto Rico $445 5% $260 4%
4 Las Vegas, NV $392 12% $252 9%
5 New York, NY $320 -10% $351 -4%
6 Fort Lauderdale, FL $361 7% $256 2%
7 Los Angeles, CA $405 12% $226 3%
8 Miami, FL $376 2% $308 1%
9 Honolulu, HI $691 -8% $282 5%
10 Vallarta, Mexico $585 -2% $349 11%

For more holiday travel tips and deals visit www.orbitz.com/holiday.

1The Orbitz holiday survey was fielded by Orbitz.com from September 12-16, 2014 via Google Surveys. 750 U.S. adults aged 18 and older who had traveled within the past twelve months were surveyed.

2The Thanksgiving 2014 average airfare and average daily hotel rate data is based on all air (standalone air and air as part of a package) and all hotel (standalone hotel and hotel as part of a package) bookings made on Orbitz.com for travel between Nov. 26 and Dec. 1.

3The Christmas 2014 average airfare and average daily hotel rate data is based on all air (standalone air and air as part of a package) and all hotel (standalone hotel and hotel as part of a package) bookings made on Orbitz.com for travel between Dec. 22 and Dec. 27.

4The New Year's 2014/2015 average airfare and average daily hotel rate data is based on all air (standalone air and air as part of a package) and all hotel (standalone hotel and hotel as part of a package) bookings made on Orbitz.com for travel between Dec. 27, 2014 and Jan. 2, 2015.

5 The Orbitz.com holiday traveler profiling and stress study was fielded by Jigsaw Research USA on behalf of Orbitz.com September 11-15, 2014 with 1,002 US adults aged 18 and over who regularly travel for the holidays.

About Orbitz

Orbitz.com is a leading travel website that enables consumers to search for and book a broad range of hotels, flights, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages and destination activities. Since launching in June 2001, Orbitz.com has become one of the world's largest online travel sites. Orbitz.com now offers the groundbreaking Orbitz Rewards loyalty program—the only program where customers can earn rewards immediately on flights, hotels and packages, and redeem instantly on tens of thousands of hotels worldwide. Use the Orbitz Rewards Visa® Card to earn even more rewards. Orbitz.com is the #1 way to book travel on mobile devices, whether it is using our apps (get them at www.orbitz.com/mobile) or our smartphone-optimized website (m.orbitz.com), both of which are tailored for smartphones and tablets. The Orbitz app won the 2014 Appy Award for best travel app. Orbitz also ranks #1 in Online Travel Website Customer Satisfaction in the 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index. Follow Orbitz on Facebook, Twitter and through the Orbitz Travel Blog. Orbitz.com is operated by Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW).

About Orbitz Worldwide

Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW) is a leading global online travel company using technology to transform the way consumers around the world plan and purchase travel. Orbitz Worldwide operates the consumer travel planning sites Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), ebookers (www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (www.hotelclub.com) and CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com). Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Partner Network (www.orbitz.com/OPN) delivers private label travel technology solutions to a broad range of partners including some of the world's largest airlines and travel agencies, and Orbitz for Business (www.orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed travel solutions for companies of all sizes. Orbitz Worldwide makes investor relations information available at investors.orbitz.com.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Marita Hudson Thomas, +1-312-260-8304, marita.thomas@orbitz.comSource:Orbitz Worldwide