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Holiday Travelers Need A Vacation After Visiting Family, Survey Finds

Over a third of US holiday travelers consider traveling home for the holidays as not a true 'vacation', says new poll.

Visiting your family for the holidays? According to a new survey, you might need a vacation after your vacation.


In the poll of 2,000 US holiday travelers, a third (34%) don’t count traveling home for the holidays as a true “vacation.”

In fact, 71% of them said they’d likely need a separate vacation afterwards to unwind and relax.

In order to feel relaxed again, the study — commissioned by IHG Hotels & Resorts and conducted by OnePoll — found people would gladly jump at the chance to take a nap in a large, comfy bed (60%), soak in a jacuzzi (46%) or book a spa day (42%).

Visiting your family for the holidays? According to a new survey, you might need a vacation after your vacation. ARTEM KNIAZ/UNSPLASH

Over half (57%) of travelers are planning to stay with friends and family for the holidays this year, while 34% are looking to stay elsewhere.

Six in 10 said they love to visit their friends and family over the holidays, but admit they feel “exhausted” by the end of the trip.

When visiting family, 43% said it makes them feel like they’re being parented as if they were a kid again. For a quarter of respondents (28%), that means being left feeling annoyed, frustrated or sad.

Meanwhile, those choosing to not stay with friends and relatives are finding sanctuary in hotels (55%), bed-n-breakfasts (40%), hostels (40%) or in short-term rentals (25%).

According to holiday travelers, the perks of staying in a hotel include having more space to themselves (34%), being able to relax and get taken care of by someone else (34%), getting some quiet time (32%), being themselves (29%) and not having to clean after meals (27%).

The first thing they’ll do after checking into a hotel usually includes the simple pleasures: enjoying the silence (23%), booking a massage (18%) or just taking a nap (17%).

“The holidays often go hand-in-hand with traveling to see loved ones – but as much as we enjoy visiting friends and family, it can leave us feeling drained,” said Connor Smith, Vice President of Masterbrand Strategy at IHG Hotels & Resorts. “When that happens, people want to relax, be taken care of and not worry about cleaning their room in the morning.”

The poll found 86% of travelers prefer to stay somewhere quiet and clean to relax in after the hubbub of visiting with family all day during the holidays.

Likewise, 83% also want to stay somewhere where they can have their own space and be able to recharge while they’re traveling.

Visiting your family for the holidays? According to a new survey, you might need a vacation after your vacation. MAGIC K/PEXELS

And more than two-thirds (69%) want to stay somewhere festively decorated if they’re traveling during the holiday season.

“Staying at a hotel over the holidays gives travelers the opportunity to recharge and rejoin the holiday festivities on their own terms,” continued Smith. “When travelers are ready for a break during or after the holiday season, they can show up as themselves and leave the rest to us.” 


  • More space for themselves – 34%
  • They can relax and be taken care of – 34%
  • They can get some quiet time – 32%
  • They can be their authentic self – 29%
  • They don’t have to clean up after meals – 27%
  • They can sleep better in a hotel room – 27%
  • They don’t need to worry about making their bed or doing chores – 25%
  • They can have room service and eat it in bed – 24%
  • There are more amenities than they would otherwise have – 24%
  • They have more space for their own family/travel companions – 23%

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who plan to travel this holiday season was commissioned by IHG Hotels & Resorts between November 8 and November 13, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).


Produced in association with SWNS Research

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