New study reveals stress of heading home for Christmas

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The Independent Travel

New research suggests that 45 percent of Americans are planning to travel this holiday season, despite fear and stress caused by airline delays, cancellations, bad weather and high prices.

Tripadvisor polled 1200 travelers about their holiday travel plans, reporting that 80 percent will be heading off to see relatives. This despite the fact that many don't really want to - 40 percent of respondents suggested that they feel pressured to spend time with family over the festive period, and a quarter confessed that they would rather be somewhere else.

"Whether travelers identify more with Santa or Scrooge when it comes to holiday travel, the majority will be spending time with their families this December," said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. "With more people hitting the road, travelers should just try to relax and embrace the spirit of the season when faced with the inevitable stress of holiday travel."

Unsurprisingly, almost half of respondents find the holiday season season stressful, reporting that they were most worried about arguing with a family member (31 percent), accidentally insulting a family member (17 percent), or forgetting to buy a present for someone (13 percent).

Holiday Inn recently launched a UK-based promotion to reduce the stress of hosting in-laws - the hotel chain will be offering a special rate for mothers-in-law who stay in their hotels over the festive period.

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