NEW YORK — If only we all had a sled and set of magical reindeer to help us get around. While holiday travel is a breeze for Saint Nick, the rest of us usually aren’t so lucky. Travel can end up becoming a nightmare no matter what time of year it is, but the holidays tend to be extra intense. Now, a new survey of 2,000 Americans finds that holiday travel is so stressful, it is causing many people’s blood to boil.
Whether it be with their partner, friends, family, or strangers, the survey finds that the average American will engage in a staggering 12 arguments or disagreements over the course of holiday travel. Besides such confrontations, the average traveler this year will experience eight especially stressful moments, and worry about arriving late to their destination four times.
According to the research, which was commissioned by the parking app SpotHero, most adults get so anxious about their holiday travel that they allot themselves an extra 102 minutes of travel time for unexpected delays.
Additionally, the average respondent starts to worry about an upcoming holiday trip a full five days before even walking out the door. In all, 93% said they become even more stressed and agitated whenever something inevitably goes wrong while on their way.
So, what are Americans’ biggest holiday travel stressors? The number one answer among respondents was poor road conditions causing by winter weather (44%), followed by bumper to bumper traffic (41%), losing something while traveling (37%), finding a parking spot at the airport (36%), and packing (36).
Other frequently cited stressors were: Forgetting an ID at home (35%), unexpected airport delays (33%), long TSA security lines (31%), anxiously waiting for bags at the baggage claim (31%), and flight cancellations due to poor weather conditions (30%).
On a positive note, many respondents admitted that their stress usually subsides at a certain point. Many reported feeling relieved after packing their car (26%), while others can finally relax after finding a parking spot (18%) or hitting the road (16%).
Among those who take to the skies for their holiday travel, 22% said they feel much better after arriving at the airport, 18% feel a sense of relief after passing through security, and 17% take a breath after finally arriving and unpacking at their destination.
Regarding actually getting to the airport, three in 10 respondents who usually fly for holiday travel said they prefer driving themselves to the airport and parking their car nearby. Similarly, 28% of those who plan on flying said they’re not likely to take a ride-share to the airport. When asked why, 40% indicated that ride-sharing in unreliable, and 37% believe ride-shares take too long to pick them up.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.