While Millennials, GenZers Say They'd Rather Vacation This Christmas Than See Family, Many Would Cherish One More Holiday With Loved Ones

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The British Royal Family and Great Britain is spending their first Christmas in decades without Queen Elizabeth II. A year ago, Queen Elizabeth was navigating her first Christmas without her beloved Prince Philip by her side. The fact that I do not have my sisters with me at Christmas still stings, and still leaves me feeling adrift. Celebrations just have not been the same.


So, imagine my disdain over reading about this survey taken by One Poll US, which says that 58 percent of Millennials and Gen Z would rather be traveling during the holiday season instead of dealing with the holiday stress–including being with their families.

This is the generation that helped to keep Democrats from a total shellacking in the midterms. So, no surprise there.

Does Thanksgiving or Christmas on the beach or a luxury hotel sound better than spending it in a family member’s guest room? A survey of 2,000 Americans looking at how people travel during the holiday season reveals that three in five people would rather be on a relaxing vacation than dealing with the stresses of the holidays (61%).

It’s not all about getting away from family, though. Some would would rather take the vacation with family, and spend the holidays in a non-traditional way.

Many may be counting the days to their trip, especially since seven in 10 Americans look forward all year to spending the holidays with their loved ones and two-thirds say it’s the highlight of their year.

This year, half of Americans want to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones in a completely new way. Those who are traveling for the holidays this year are going to visit loved ones (48%) and spend time with their kids (33%) or their partner (33%). Interestingly, Gen Z will be traveling to keep up with tradition (26%), while millennials just need some time off of work (40%).


It does give me hope for humanity that two in three would rather be with family, either in a traditional fashion or on a destination vacation. In my travels this week, I ran into a family that came to Sedona for their daughter’s wedding, and the joy and community was palpable throughout the restaurant where it was held. As it should be, when you come together for nuptials as well as holiday togetherness.

To the Millennials and Gen Zers who prefer to travel to escape family and loved ones, I say: you’re just a bunch of selfish ingrates. My friend Anna lost her mother in March. Part of my travels was to meet with her and spread her mother’s ashes in Arizona. Like me, she would give her right arm to have her mother with her for the holidays, as I would my sisters. But this is the way of all flesh. If you haven’t experienced it, one day you will—just keep on living.

Then I think of the elders, who have no family or have lost family, and are essentially alone this Christmas. They probably would prefer to deal with the holiday stress and have their family here, rather than their present reality.

I’m all for adventure, but you can take a vacation any time. Choosing temporary pleasures over opportunities to spend time with your family is short sighted, not to mention self-centered. I understand that some people’s families are hard to deal with—I have had a few of those moments in my family, too. However, as I age, I realize that part of the holidays is learning to take the good with the bad, and learning to embrace those you love and who love you while you have the chance.


It will not always be the case, and once it’s gone, there is no bringing it back.


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