Americans Paying More for Airfare to the Capital and Beach this Christmas & New Year’s Eve, Still Deals to Score

By Andrea Charriez

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner, so we took a look at the hundreds of millions of queries conducted on KAYAK for holiday travel this year and compared to last year and found more Americans are splurging this season. Unlike last year, when Florida was the overall winner for both holidays, this year, our data shows Washington DC as the top trending destination for Christmas with a 10% search share increase as well as a 10% increase in average airfare ($409.37), compared to 2012. For anyone looking for a festive hotel in DC, according to our hotel reviews partner and aggregator, TrustYou, the top-rated hotel for Christmas decorations is The Willard Inter Continental. Travelers can plan to pay an average of $155.71 for a hotel in DC this Christmas.

As for New Year’s Eve, Americans are overwhelmingly headed to the beach with 9 out of 10 of the top trending destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida. The New Year’s winner: St Thomas, a U.S. Virgin Island, saw a whopping 30% increase in search share compared to 2012. Americans are spending 5% more than last year to get to St Thomas with an average airfare of $936.28 and hotel rate of $471.36. To ensure a top-notch stay, try the Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove: the highest rated-hotel in St Thomas, according to TrustYou.

One Florida destination that stood out this year was West Palm Beach. The city came in as the second highest trending destination for both Christmas and New Year’s Eve with 9% and 21% increases in search share, respectively. The catch?Average airfare is up 15% from last year at $480.98. For those travelers willing to pay more for airfare to the sunshine state, they can top it off with a stay at the best-rated hotel in West Palm Beach according to TrustYou: Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham.

Happy holidays from KAYAK.

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