Friday, November 13th, 2015 - NewsMaker

Skip the Trimmings and Make Travel Your New Holiday Tradition

BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired) -- Nov 12, 2015 -- Have you already noticed the Christmas lights and holiday decorations at local malls and stores? The snow hasn't even hit the ground and yet, like clockwork, the minute Halloween ends, Christmas begins. Planning for the holidays -- shopping, decorating, meal preparations -- can be fun, but it can also be stressful and quite costly. This year, perhaps a different approach is in order. With Holiday or vacay: Trading seasonal traditions for travel, the experts at, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, take a look at the hidden -- and not so hidden -- costs of the holidays and shows how skipping some (or all) of the traditional trimmings can unlock budget for new seasonal adventures.

Whatever you are celebrating -- Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or simply enjoying time off from work -- foregoing the holiday craziness and giving yourself the gift of travel may be just what you need this year (especially since Christmas and New Year's Day fall on Fridays, giving most Americans back-to-back three-day weekends). Below are five costs associated with seasonal spending and some suggestions for how to use that money toward a different kind of holiday cheer:

  • Holiday gifts - The average amount estimated to be spent on Christmas gifts in 2015 is $812, according to a Gallup poll on holiday consumer spending. Why not take a ski trip instead? A weekend getaway with air from Atlanta, Ga., to Aspen, Colo., with budget hotel accommodations costs nearly the same. Not to mention, if a newlywed couple skips buying gifts, they could use the $1,624 to take a second honeymoon to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic or Mexico instead. Now that's the true spirit of the season!

  • Christmas tree - Consumers spent an average of $39.50 on a real Christmas tree and $63.60 on a fake Christmas tree in 2014, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Skip the tree and apply that money toward a day pass for an airport lounge like Virgin America Loft at LAX ($30/day), American Airlines ($50/day) or United Club ($50/day).

  • Holiday cards - The average price of a greeting card is $2 to $4, according to the American Greeting Card Association. If you forgo one greeting card, you could put that $2 toward a muffin, Pringles, animal crackers or a hot coffee on Spirit Airlines. Skip buying a $4 card and you could get a headset, watch premium TV channels or enjoy fresh food on Virgin America. And most folks typically send more than one holiday card. The average amount spent on cards and postage is $28.67, according to the National Retail Federation. You could put that cash toward the checked baggage fee on American Airlines and Delta Air Lines (both charge $25 for the first checked bag) and still have money left over for an inflight snack or drink.

  • Holiday decorations - Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, the average amount spent on decorations is $53.02, according to the National Retail Federation. You could use that cash on a rental car to take a day or overnight trip.

  • Holiday food - Food is a big part of the holidays. Skip the big dinner, which shoppers spend an average of $107.80 on, according to National Retail Federation, and you could spend the night at a fancy hotel instead. Have a staycation in your city or ring in the New Year with a mini vacay. If you typically host a holiday dinner for 12, use the additional savings to extend your hotel stay and enjoy a spa day, too!

To find out more about the costs of seasonal celebrations and how that could translate into travel dollars, check out's complete Holiday or vacay: Trading seasonal traditions for travel at

About, part of the Momondo Group
Momondo Group is an online travel media and technology company that is driven by the belief that an open world is a better world. The group now serves travel search and inspiration to over 17.5 million visitors a month -- plus 8 million travel newsletter subscribers -- via its Cheapflights ( and momondo ( brands. Skygate began the sourcing of complex air-travel data in 1992, while Cheapflights pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users in 1996 and momondo launched meta-search in the Nordic countries in 2006. The Group has offices in London, Copenhagen and Boston with a consumer base across more than 30 core international markets but users all over the world.

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