Here’s why holiday travel drives us crazy: study
From arguments with significant others to friends or even strangers, a survey of 2,000 Americans – who have ever traveled for a winter holiday – found this is just one of the things respondents will encounter on the way to their destination.
In addition to that, the average respondent will face eight moments of stress along the way and will worry about being late to their destination four separate times.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of parking app SpotHero, the survey examined how Americans travel for the holidays and the associated stress points.
Results revealed respondents are so worried about holiday travel, they build an extra 102 minutes into their journey to account for unexpected delays – adding up to almost two hours.
And the average respondent will begin to stress about their trip five days in advance. Travel for the holidays isn’t always smooth, and 93% said they become more stressed when something goes awry, like unexpected delays or heavy traffic.
Turns out, the most stressful part of traveling for the holidays isn’t security lines at the airport or losing luggage, but instead, it’s hazardous road conditions due to winter weather (44%).
Another top stress point was finding a parking spot at the airport (36%) – which was ahead of unexpected departure delays at the airport (33%) and even long TSA security lines (31%).
Other top points of stress included heavy traffic on highways (41%) and losing something while traveling (37%).
“While holiday travel can be stressful, there are some simple ways to set yourself up for success and minimize headaches, reduce travel time and save money in the process,” said Mark Lawrence, co-founder and CEO of SpotHero. “Checking into your flight early, paying bag fees online, and booking a guaranteed parking spot near the airport a few days in advance can all go a long way to reducing anxiety on the busiest travel days of the year.”
Luckily, the stress of the holidays doesn’t last forever.
For those driving for the holidays, the stress is most likely to dissipate once their car is packed (26%), once they’re parked at their destination (18%) or when they start driving (16%).
On the other hand, for respondents planning to fly, they can count on their stress levels to go down once when they arrive at the airport (22%), get through security (18%) or when they unpack at their final destination (17%).
Three in 10 of those who fly also said they prefer to drive themselves and park their own car at the airport.