Monday, November 17, 2008

39% of Consumers Traveling for Thanksgiving

PRNewswire/ -- With the economy in distress it wouldn't be surprising if people chose to stay home for the holidays this year. Yet, a recent Harris Interactive survey commissioned by, a leading travel discount site, found that Thanksgiving is a holiday that people won't skip.

According to the survey, 39 percent of consumers will be traveling this Thanksgiving, which while seemingly low, is the same as those who opted to travel last year. And, similar to last year, of those consumers who will be traveling this holiday, 74 percent will travel shorter distances of 200 miles or less for the holiday.

"In an economic downturn, one might expect consumers to be more hesitant to travel even during the holidays," said Clem Bason, vice-president and travel expert at Hotwire. "However, our data shows that despite the tightening of purses, travel is inevitable this time of year and consumers should know that there are still great deals to be had on sites like Hotwire(R) if they are interested in hotel rooms, car rentals or even airfare."

As business travelers vacate for the Thanksgiving holiday, the number of empty hotel rooms increases. Hotwire has special relationships with major hotel suppliers to help them fill these hotel rooms that would otherwise go unsold, which means deep discounts for holiday travelers looking to take advantage of these great rates and stay in a hotel as opposed to a packed holiday house.

"This is a time when people look out for, not only their own bank accounts, but those of family and friends," said Clem Bason. "Thirty-five percent of the survey respondents are willing to spend up to $100 on a hotel room to help family or friends or avoid staying in a packed house. By booking unsold rooms on Hotwire, they will have a lot of great deals to choose from."

For example on Hotwire, a four-star hotel room in Downtown Los Angeles over Thanksgiving will run just $89 a night.* But, that's not only over the Thanksgiving holiday. Throughout the year, Hotwire delivers deals you can't find on other travel sites by helping hotels fill rooms that would otherwise sit empty.

Clem Bason has the following suggestions to help consumers save money this Thanksgiving and winter holiday season:

-- Go opaque: Sites that offer unsold inventory, like Hotwire, provide deep discounts to consumers because they help top travel providers fill empty airline seats, hotel rooms and extra car rentals.

-- Sign-up for travel alerts: Flight prices can vary from day-to-day. By signing up for travel alert services such as TripWatcher (, consumers can make sure that they get the biggest bang for their buck.

-- Rent a car: With gas prices going down and extremely cheap car rental prices, consumers have a chance to save big and avoid putting wear and tear on their own cars by renting a car. By booking through Hotwire, consumers can rent a car from just $13.95 a day.

*Based on a Hotwire search conducted on November 13, 2008.

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