AAA Hawaii

November 12, 2009 15:25 ET

AAA Hawaii Holiday Travel Poll Shows Economy's Effect on Residents' Trip Plans, Budgets

HONOLULU, HI--(Marketwire - November 12, 2009) - Despite continuing economic challenges, 83 percent of Hawaii residents who plan to travel over the November and December holidays say they will spend the same amount or more on their upcoming holiday getaways, according to a new poll conducted by the AAA Market Research Department.

The online survey of AAA Hawaii members also found that 52 percent of those planning holiday trips say they'll spend less than $1,500 on holiday travel, while 82 percent plan to spend $3,000 or less.

Nearly half (46 percent) of all those polled said they will definitely not take an overnight trip at least 50 miles from home this holiday season, and another 12 percent are still undecided about whether they will travel. Among those who say they definitely won't travel, 32 percent cited the economy as a major or sizeable influence on their decision, while 41 percent said it had little to no influence on deciding not to travel.

"We will find out in the next few weeks whether to expect an increase or decrease in Thanksgiving and December holiday travel compared to last year's holidays, but we do see many local travelers seeking ways to save money and taking advantage of travel bargains created by the economic downturn to get even more for their money," said AAA Hawaii acting manager Warren Moore. "For example, 25 percent of our members in this poll said they plan to use an affinity program such as AAA Discounts to get reduced hotel rates."

Other popular ways that holiday travelers in the poll said they planned to save money on their upcoming trips included:

1)   Redeeming loyalty points/miles for free/reduced cost plane ticket
     (37 percent)
2)   Staying with friends/family instead of a hotel (36 percent)
3)   Reducing shopping/souvenir budget (29 percent)
4)   Using an affinity program such as AAA Discounts to get a reduced
     hotel rate (25 percent)
5)   Redeeming loyalty points/miles for free/reduced cost hotel stay
     (20 percent)
6)   Reducing budget for meals/snacks on the trip (17 percent)
7)   Flying coach instead of business/first class (17 percent)
8)   Taking a shorter vacation (16 percent)
9)   Staying in a less expensive hotel (16 percent)
10)  Cutting the vacation entertainment budget (16 percent)

The most popular activities during holiday trips, according to the poll, are visiting family (64 percent), visiting friends (39 percent), celebrating the holiday (38 percent), shopping (37 percent), sightseeing (31 percent), maintaining a family tradition of traveling during the holidays (14 percent) and spa/relaxation (14 percent).

Of the Aloha State residents planning to take at least one holiday trip the rest of this year, the most popular destinations included traveling out of state (63 percent), traveling within Hawaii (26 percent), going to a gambling destination such as Las Vegas (20 percent), traveling internationally (14 percent) and going to a tropical destination (five percent).

The travel poll was part of a survey that also asked Hawaii consumers about their overall holiday shopping plans. The shopping portion of the poll revealed that most consumers don't plan to cut back on the number of people on their holiday gift lists, but a majority of them do plan to cut their holiday shopping budgets this year.

More information about AAA discounts on lodgings, restaurants and other travel is available at or at the AAA Hawaii office, 1130 Nimitz Highway, Suite A170, where members can get the new Member Saver booklet outlining discounts and special offers for members.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Warren Moore
    (808) 593-2221