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Orbitz Insider Index Navigates 2013 Holiday Travel Landscape from Thanksgiving to New Year's

New survey finds nearly three quarters of Americans plan to travel this holiday season, ranking visiting family a priority over gifts

CHICAGO, October 28, 2013 - With airline capacity growth constrained and airfare and lodging prices higher than 2012, 86 percent of travelers planning a trip between Thanksgiving and New Year`s have already booked at least part of their travel, according to the Orbitz Holiday Travel Insider Index. The Index identifies the most popular destinations as well as average flight and hotel prices for the 2013 holiday travel season, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year`s Eve based on Orbitz bookings. The Index shows average airfare up 7 percent overall to the Top 10 destinations, while hotel rates are up 10 percent compared to the same period last year.

In its survey of over 750 self-identified travel consumers, 72 percent of holiday travelers are planning to stay at a hotel over crashing in the bunk beds in their old room.1 Some travelers apparently cannot escape the guilt trip from grandma because 86 percent actually would prefer to stay at a hotel. Additionally, the survey found travelers are making fiscally-conscious considerations this year, with 62 percent of respondents stating they were willing to forego purchasing gifts to cover the costs of traveling to be with family. Other key highlights from the survey include:

  • Thanksgiving and Christmas are the most traveled-for holidays, with 60 percent planning to head home for a turkey dinner and 75 percent of respondents traveling to swap gifts with friends and family
  • 71 percent are budgeting $3,000 or less for holiday travel
  • The most popular cost saving methods this holiday season include: booking early (51 percent), traveling on off-peak days (39 percent), staying with family/friends for at least part of their trip (35 percent), and packing light to avoid baggage fees (32 percent)
  • 69 percent of travelers plan to check an extra piece of luggage to either take or bring back holiday gifts
  • The average family of four plans to travel with at least one computing device per person - with nearly half expecting to pack a combination of at least seven smartphones, tablets and laptops.

"The wait-and-see game does not apply to holiday travel - with costs steadily increasing earlier in the year, consumers need to lock in their plans as quickly as possible," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior travel editor for "We are already seeing Orbitz customers taking advantage of the new Orbitz Rewards loyalty program which allows members to book flights, earn Orbucks and then immediately use their rewards on the booking of a hotel room for that same trip. Travelers are telling us they love the easy rules and no blackout dates to allow them to use their loyalty rewards during even the busiest travel time of the year."

Tornatore said that other holiday promotions of the Orbitz Rewards program also fit nicely with holiday travel budgets such as saving on checked bag fees. The Orbitz mobile apps have a "Zap that Bag Fee" feature that allows customers who booked their flight on Orbitz to easily take a picture of their checked baggage fee receipt, send it to Orbitz and earn $25 in bonus Orbucks through November 30.

Orbitz 2013 Holiday Travel Insider Index

Orbitz has identified the Top 10 destinations travelers plan to visit for the 2013 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.

Top Thanksgiving Destinations & Highlights2
Airfares over the Thanksgiving holiday increased by 15 percent, with ticket prices up in nine of the 10 most popular locations. No doubt thanks in part to the popular Macy`s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York ranks as the top destination for Thanksgiving travel. San Francisco was the sole destination with a year-over-year decrease in airfare. While flight prices may be up overall, holiday jet-setters can still find great bargains on hotels. In fact, more than of half of the top 10 destinations have hotel rates averaging under $150 per night.

Rank Destination Average Airfare % Change YOY Average Hotel % Change YOY
1 New York, NY $400 13% $353 16%
2 Orlando, FL $365 11% $108 -11%
3 Chicago, IL $393 11% $208 -3%
4 Los Angeles, CA $407 1% $141 21%
5 San Francisco, CA $396 -2% $175 9%
6 Boston, MA $373 10% $176 10%
7 Phoenix, AZ $404 13% $117 -5%
8 Washington, D.C. $356 11% $136 9%
9 Las Vegas, NV $393 15% $99 flat
10 Denver, CO $353 11% $102 4%

Top Christmas Destinations & Highlights3
While temperatures may fall over the Christmas holidays, airfares do not. Still, travelers can find some refuge with hotel rates less than $150 a night on average at half of the top 10 destinations. Travelers are flocking to warmer weather this Christmas, with Florida, Mexico and California leading the charge as the most favored destinations.

Rank Destination Average Airfare % Change YOY Average Hotel % Change YOY
1 Orlando, FL $457 11% $142 27%
2 Cancun, Mexico $738 7% $351 25%
3 Los Angeles, CA $446 3% $149 2%
4 Fort Lauderdale, FL $477 12% $173 17%
5 New York, NY $378 10% $335 12%
6 Denver, CO $391 13% $111 -22%
7 Phoenix, AZ $429 10% $88 -15%
8 San Francisco, CA $449 9% $168 11%
9 Honolulu, HI $1,177 6% $278 38%
10 Las Vegas, NV $380 1% $111 -8%

Top New Year`s Destinations & Highlights4
Ringing in the New Year always motivates travelers to descend upon some of the country`s hot party spots. This year`s top 10 destinations see a mix of price increases and decreases for flights. Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas took top honors as the most popular destinations, but travelers can still find affordable fares and hotels at a number of the country`s top locations. Watching the ball drop live from Times Square is within reach this year with hotel prices in New York showing the smallest increase, with prices rising just 4 percent over 2012.

Rank Destination Average Airfare % Change YOY Average Hotel % Change YOY
1 Orlando, FL $341 5% $131 30%
2 Cancun, Mexico $651 6% $356 25%
3 Las Vegas, NV $378 3% $167 -5%
4 New York, NY $350 8% $347 4%
5 Fort Lauderdale, FL $387 18% $231 33%
6 Los Angeles, CA $379 -10% $140 -26%
7 Honolulu, HI $764 -5% $262 28%
8 Maui, HI $711 -2% $623 44%
9 San Juan, Puerto Rico $461 -6% $223 8%
10 Fort Myers, FL $381 7% $77 34%

1The Orbitz holiday survey was fielded by Orbitz from October 2 - 6, 2013 via insightexpress. 753 U.S. adults aged 18 and older who had traveled within the past twelve months were surveyed.
2The Thanksgiving 2013 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 for travel between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2.
3The Christmas 2013 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 for travel between Dec. 20 and Dec. 28.
4The New Year`s 2013/2014 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 for travel between Dec. 28, 2013 and Jan. 2, 2014.

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About 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, has become one of the world`s largest online travel sites. 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. Customers can earn up to 5% towards future hotel stays when booking hotels and 1% towards future hotel stays when booking either standalone flights or eligible vacation packages. is the #1 way to book travel on mobile devices, be it using our apps (get them at or our smartphone-optimized website (, both of which are tailored for smartphones and tablets. The Orbitz app for iPhone is one of only 48 apps out of more than 1 million available apps chosen by Apple to be inducted into its App Store Hall of Fame. Orbitz members get exclusive access to Steals hotel deals, promotions and other saving opportunities. Follow Orbitz on Facebook, Twitter and through the Orbitz Travel Blog. is operated by Orbitz Worldwide (OWW).

About Orbitz Worldwide
Orbitz Worldwide (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 (, ebookers (, HotelClub ( and CheapTickets ( Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Partner Network ( 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 ( delivers managed travel solutions for companies of all sizes. Orbitz Worldwide makes investor relations information available at

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