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With Labor Day Weekend Over, Florida Residents Already Planning for Holiday Travels

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Even with the Labor Day weekend just having ended, a new poll shows that Floridians have already begun planning their holiday travels.

A poll from AAA shows that more than half of Floridians–61 percent–have already started to plan a vacation over the holiday season.

The economy is one of the reasons why Floridians are already planning their holiday vacations. More than half of Florida residents who plan to travel over the holidays–57 percent–plan to book their travel early due to higher prices. Just over two-thirds of Floridians who plan to travel over the holidays–68 percent–are planning to fly.

“Whether you plan to book a flight, cruise or visit a theme park, it’s best to get ahead of the holiday rush and finalize your plans now,” said Debbie Haas, the vice president of travel for AAA and the Auto Club Group. “This will help ensure you get the itinerary you want at a competitive price. While it’s possible that those who wait until the last minute could catch a lower rate, their preferred options may already be gone.”

The Sunshine State should expect a busy Thanksgiving as more than half of Floridians who plan to hit the road for the holidays–55 percent–expecting to travel over the November holiday. Most of those travelers–61 percent of them–plan to book their Thanksgiving trips by the end of September.

AAA offered some tips for those Floridians.

“The busiest travel days will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday. Consider booking a flight Sunday or Monday before Thanksgiving and Saturday after the holiday. Airports should be less busy and flights should have more availability,” AAA noted.

Floridians have been less aggressive in making travel plans for Christmas. By the end of the month, only a third of Floridians planning to travel over the holidays–33 percent–will have finalized their plans by the end of September. More than a quarter of these Floridians–28 percent–plan to book their travel plans in October, while another 26 percent plan to finalize their plans in November.

“Regardless of what date Christmas falls on, most travelers depart two to four days prior to the holiday. Since Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year, travelers should expect the busiest days at the airport to be Friday and Saturday, before the holiday,” AAA advised. “Book early for the best combination of availability and price. Most travelers want to skip layovers and get right to their destination. That means nonstop flights, especially those going cross-country and internationally, will fill up fast. Book a direct flight that leaves early in the morning. Afternoon and evening flights are more susceptible to delays/cancellations due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Connecting flights multiply the risk of something going wrong.

Consider traveling a day or two earlier than planned. Even if you face delays, you are still likely to arrive on time. If your flight has connections, build in a couple hours between flights. This way, if your first flight is delayed, you are less likely to miss your second one.”

Still, a third of holiday travelers from the Sunshine State–33 percent–say they are less likely to fly thanks to flight delays.

“Given recent challenges with air travel, we are seeing more and more passengers opt for travel insurance,” Haas said. “Travel Insurance is such a valuable resource for air travelers, because it provides financial benefits for lost or delayed luggage, flight cancellations, and flight delays of as little as three hours.”

The poll of 400 Florida residents was taken from Aug. 1 through Aug. 7 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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