They’re Leaving on a Jet Plane

About 40% more people are planning holiday travel this year, according to a survey from an online travel comparison site.

While an improving economy may have led to the uptick in people making travel plans for the holidays, about a third of those surveyed said a personal financial situation would keep them from travel. Last year’s travel survey, by LowFares.Com, showed a similar percentage of people pointing to personal finances as a reason preventing them from making travel plans.

This year’s survey saw 16% of respondents blaming worries over the fiscal cliff as a reason not to make travel plans. Slightly less than a quarter (23%) of those surveyed had not yet decided if they would travel during the holidays, and 37% of respondents who had travel plans, before Hurricane Sandy, to New York, New Jersey or New England, decided to cancel because of the storm’s impact.

The year-end holiday travel survey shows signs that the travel industry is continuing to recover, said Raj Beri, general manager of LowFares. The past summer saw some initial improvements and has remained strong since then. “However, the survey also indicates that personal financial situations continue to keep a significant number of people from making holiday travel plans far in advance,” Beri said.

As a result, the company said they expect consumers to take vacations nearer to home and scour the Internet for last-minute deals.