Average traveler will journey over 600 miles between now and New Year’s

A new survey from Motel 6 and OnePoll found just how far people can expect to travel this holiday season. (Photo by why kei on Unsplash)

Out of all the Americans hitting the road this holiday season, three in five are doing so specifically to visit friends and family.

A study of more than 2,000 Americans with holiday travel plans found that of those polled, one in three (32%) stayed home last year.

Now in 2021, a whopping 82% believe it’s important to share the holiday festivities with loved ones.

In particular, they’re most excited to reconnect with their siblings (46%), parents (45%) and extended family (42%) this year.

The study, carried out by OnePoll and commissioned by Motel 6, found that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the average traveler will be journeying a total of over 600 miles.

Seven in 10 (70%) will be road-tripping to their destination.

Almost two-thirds of survey respondents are planning to travel with their immediate family this holiday season, while 38% will be bringing along their pets.

American holiday travelers are hopeful for a more peaceful experience this year, with nearly three-quarters (67%) of respondents anticipating their holiday trips to be more relaxing in 2021 compared to last year.

“We are thrilled to see the continued resurgence in travel across North America,” said Rob Palleschi, CEO of G6 Hospitality. “Those looking for a place to rest this holiday season can count on Motel 6 to provide a clean and comfortable room at an affordable rate, whether we are part of their journey or their destination.”

Once they reach their destination, travelers are looking forward to indulging in classic holiday traditions with loved ones.

In fact, the most eagerly anticipated traditions among those polled this year include baking cookies (51%), watching holiday movies (50%) and decorating the home (43%), followed by volunteering with or donating to a non-profit organization (26%).

But out of those who changed their holiday up a bit in 2020, 88% admitted that last year’s newly minted traditions will be following them into this holiday season.

For example, one in three (35%) cited Zoom holiday calls with extended family as their favorite new holiday activity.


  • Immediate family (64%)
  • Pets (38%)
  • Extended family (36%)
  • Friends (34%)

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