Eighty-four Percent of Families Plan to be Together This Christmas, Even Though Two-thirds Predict an Argument with Relatives, According to New International Survey

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Two-thirds of parents, whose children still believe in Santa, say kids worry Santa may not know where to find them; HomeAway, Inc., provides solution with RerouteSanta.com

RerouteSanta.com a simple and interactive way to reassure kids that their gifts will arrive from Santa at their holiday destination.

HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY) polled over 4,000 people across eight countries in Europe and the U.S.* and found that almost two-thirds of respondents (61 percent) anticipate arguing with immediate relatives and friends over the holidays, and approximately one-third (34 percent) of those polled feel that their relatives normally overstay their welcome after one day or less at Christmas.

Shockingly, despite the staggering anticipation of family friction over the holidays, the survey results revealed that 4 in 5 (84 percent) people will still spend Christmas with family and over half (51 percent) of people are actually looking forward to sharing quality time with those relatives.

“The research findings clearly indicate the want and need for families to be together at Christmas, but it also reveals that there are challenges that sometimes make this precious time together stressful and uncomfortable,” said Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway.

Fitting the extended family into one house is a common challenge, as respondents of the survey said they would spend Christmas with seven family members on average this holiday season. One in five (18 percent) families report that insufficient space is a barrier to accommodating their relatives and friends and 40 percent of respondents have been forced to sleep on the couch or floor to accommodate relatives. This could explain why an equally significant number (32 percent) would prefer their parents and in-laws to stay in separate accommodation at Christmas.

As a result, “Millions of families will choose to stay in a vacation rental home this holiday season because it alleviates stress and increases comfort at a better value than a hotel,” Sharples adds. “In fact, 29 percent of survey respondents not staying at home or with family will stay in a vacation rental for the holidays and we are seeing a 26 percent increase in vacation rental inquires during the week of Christmas on HomeAway sites. Whether it’s down the street from Grandma’s house or around the globe at an exciting new destination, families want to enjoy and celebrate together.”

Adults are not the only family members stressed around the holidays. According to the parents polled, another cause for holiday stress occurs because nearly two-thirds of kids who still believe in Santa worry that Santa may not know where to find them while they are travelling over Christmas. HomeAway is alleviating this additional holiday fear with RerouteSanta.com, a simple and interactive way to reassure kids that their gifts will arrive at their holiday destination. On confirming their whereabouts on the RerouteSanta.com website, children will receive a personalized letter from Santa and his team, which can be saved or shared with family and friends.

HomeAway eases the concerns of holiday travel, especially for the one in three survey respondents who would prefer to do something different this season, but feel the cost of travel and accommodation prevents them from doing so. While each person has a unique idea of what constitutes a perfect holiday, the survey revealed trends based on country of residence including:

  • British (29 percent), Americans (36 percent) and Dutch (16 percent) prefer to hit the beach,
  • Spanish (28 percent) prefer a rural retreat,
  • Portuguese (26 percent) would opt for a city break, and
  • Italians (40 percent), French (27 percent), and Germans (29 percent) are all keen to celebrate in the snow.

*Note to Editors: The survey was conducted by Research Now in October and November 2015, amongst 4009 randomly selected US and European adults age 18+ in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S. (The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 1.69%. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.)

About HomeAway
HomeAway, Inc. based in Austin, Texas, is the world leader in vacation rentals, with sites representing over one million paid listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries. Through HomeAway, owners and property managers offer an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations. The company also makes it easy for vacation rental owners and property managers to advertise their properties and manage bookings online. The HomeAway portfolio includes the leading vacation rental websites HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States; HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom; HomeAway.de in Germany; Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France; HomeAway.es and Toprural.es in Spain; AlugueTemporada.com.br in Brazil; HomeAway.com.au and Stayz.com.au in Australia; and Bookabach.co.nz in New Zealand. The Asia Pacific short-term rental site, travelmob.com, is also majority owned by HomeAway.

HomeAway also operates BedandBreakfast.com, the most comprehensive global site for finding bed-and-breakfast properties, providing travelers with another source for unique lodging alternatives to chain hotels. For more information about HomeAway, please visit http://www.HomeAway.com.

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Maddi Bourgerie
HomeAway.com
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