AAA Hawaii

November 12, 2010 04:05 ET

AAA Hawaii Holiday Poll Shows Increased Gift and Travel Budgets

HONOLULU, HI--(Marketwire - November 12, 2010) - Local residents plan to spend more money on both holiday trips and holiday gifts in November and December compared to last year, and the percentage of consumers taking holiday trips is expected to remain similar to last year, according to a new poll from AAA Hawaii.

The second annual AAA Hawaii Winter Holiday Shopping and Travel Poll revealed that local travelers are more likely to shop and sightsee on their holiday trips this year than they were in 2009, but are less likely to leave the state for their getaways.

Forty-two percent of surveyed Hawaii residents said they plan to take at least one holiday trip this year, compared to 43 percent last year, while 48 percent will definitely not travel -- a two percent increase from last year's non-travelers in the survey. When they answered the survey last month, 10 percent were still undecided about taking a holiday getaway compared to 12 percent who were undecided last year.

Among those planning to take a trip, 69 percent said they plan to spend at least $1,000 on the getaway, compared to 64 percent of travelers in 2009.

"While consumers are still feeling the effects of the recession in many areas of discretionary spending, members coming into our branches have been more willing this year to book formal vacations," said AAA Hawaii regional manager Diane Peterson.

The top money-saving methods cited by surveyed Hawaii travelers for their holiday trips were:

  • Flying coach rather than first class or business class (40 percent vs. 17 percent in 2009)
  • Staying with friends or family instead of in a hotel (30 percent vs. 36 percent in 2009)
  • Redeeming miles/loyalty points for travel (27 percent vs. 37 percent in 2009)
  • Using an affinity discount program such as AAA to get cheaper hotel rates (24 percent vs. 25 percent in 2009)

During holiday shopping, 69 percent of surveyed Hawaii residents said they plan to spend at least $500 on gifts, compared to 59 percent last year. And while they are more likely to shop at a retail department store (73 percent vs. 64 percent in 2009) or at a luxury brand store (21 percent vs. 12 percent last year), they still plan to keep on the lookout for bargains they can receive via affinity programs such as AAA discounts (24 percent vs. 18 percent in 2009).

"Fewer consumers are planning to save money on gift shopping by seeking out free online shipping or shopping at discount stores," said Peterson. "However, they are still interested in saving money on both travel and shopping when discounts such as AAA are readily available."

Other shopper and traveler habits revealed in the survey include:

  • Top holiday gift categories are gift certificates (75 percent), apparel and accessories (63 percent), and toys (43 percent) -- almost identical to last year.

  • More shoppers say they are doing nothing differently to save money on holiday gifts (35 percent vs. 30 percent)

  • 56 percent of travelers plan to spend $1,500 or more on their holiday trip this year compared to 48 percent last year

  • Travelers are more likely to shop on their trips (58 percent vs. 37 percent last year), and sightsee (49 percent vs. 31 percent last year), and less likely to visit family (44 percent vs. 64 percent last year)

  • 52 percent of holiday trips will be outside Hawaii, compared to 63 percent last year

The AAA Hawaii Winter Holiday Travel and Shopping Poll was taken online by more than 200 AAA Hawaii members between Oct. 4 and Oct. 19. Polled consumers were also surveyed about identity theft, and those results were released Nov. 4 at

Contact Information

    Marie Montgomery
    (714) 885-2320
    Diane Peterson
    (808) 529-5000