Would you halt Santa's sleigh?

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
December 12, 2018
RubberBall Productions/Getty Images

What would you say if your family decided to cancel Christmas? Chances are, you probably wouldn't be too pleased. Would you feel any better if it was to go on an amazing vacation in its place? Well, 66% of parents say they would cancel Christmas this year to travel instead.

These findings come from vacation tour company, Trafalgar, in a survey of 2,500+ parents from across the United States. In addition to the 66% who said they'd be for canceling Christmas altogether if it meant going on a vacation, 78% responded that they would prefer to buy a vacation for a loved one instead of physical gifts.

Their holiday survey also found that parents' stress levels rise 41% over the holidays, compared with a meager 4% spike while on vacation. The responses revealed that one in three parents plan to spend between $800-$1,200 on each of their children's gifts for the holidays and 56% of parents are planning to spend up to $5,000 on the holidays this season. As Trafalgar pointed out, a week in Europe for a family of four (without flights) on their guided seven-day Irish Highlights Trip through 10 cities costs $3,900. This shows that a vacation overseas can cost a similar amount to a lavish spread of gifts.

"We've noticed an upward trend of more families booking travel over the holidays and taking advantage of off-season travel within Europe. As a brand that has trips that cater to families we wanted to dive deeper into this insight and compare the holidays at home vs. abroad for families. [T]he results illuminate a compelling list of reasons — from stress levels [to] cost and time — why the vast majority of parents would cancel Christmas to travel instead," says Melissa da Silva, global president of Trafalgar.

"Personally, enjoying a home-cooked dinner and full-bodied wine in a local's home in Tuscany with my family, is a nice shake up to the traditional hours of shopping, wrapping, cooking and cleaning that I would have to manage at home. Old traditions are great, but it's exciting to introduce my family to new traditions from locals, tapping into culture and delicious cuisines," added da Silva on the experience of family travel.

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We wonder how these results would have been impacted if parents were told they had to cancel Christmas cookies all season long, too.