Holiday Travel Data: Christmas-Skippers Are Unapologetic Sun Chasers

New data from Switchfly reveals that many Americans use the Christmas holiday to fly somewhere warm – or to rendez-vous with Lady Luck in Vegas.

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Switchfly, Inc., the travel technology company powering travel search/booking and loyalty program engagement for the world’s most celebrated brands, today released data about where Americans will be flying over the Christmas holiday. The data reveals that – as with those traveling abroad at Thanksgiving – those Americans traveling both internationally and domestically over the Christmas holiday are chasing warmer weather – or going to Las Vegas.

“Summer begins in December in the Southern Hemisphere, so travel to, or South of, the equator is an excellent choice”

Frosty…the Sandcastle?

While average temperatures in much of the United States in December will range from highs of 30-50 degrees to lows in the frigid single digits, Americans will find themselves much more comfortable in top international Christmas destinations – sunny Brazil (#1), the Bahamas (#2), and Mexico (#3) – where December temperatures are typically between 75-80 degrees.

Top International Christmas Travel Destinations:

  1. Brazil
  2. Bahamas
  3. Mexico
  4. Argentina
  5. Dominican Republic

This is consistent with Switchfly’s international travel data for Christmas last year, in which top international travel destinations included four different cities in Brazil: Porto Seguro, Macelo, Natal, and Recife.

“Summer begins in December in the Southern Hemisphere, so travel to, or South of, the equator is an excellent choice,” said Daniel Farrar, CEO of Switchfly. “Additionally, fewer people travel internationally over the holidays, so it’s a great time for travelers to find bargains on international flights. And travelers should consider traveling on Christmas day itself – they could potentially see even better deals on airfare and will likely miss the holiday travel mobs at the airport.”

If not sunshine, then gambling

Even those traveling domestically will be flying South. Last year’s top domestic destinations included sunny Orlando and San Diego.

This year, in addition to the major hub cities of New York (#3) and Denver (#5), the top domestic destinations for Christmas travel include Orlando (#2) and Miami (#4).

Top Domestic Christmas Travel Destinations:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada
  2. Orlando, Florida
  3. New York , New York
  4. Miami, Florida
  5. Denver, Colorado

Topping the list of domestic travel destinations, though, is Las Vegas.

“Las Vegas is a top destination year round,” said Farrar, “and it’s even more affordable from November through February. In fact, it is one of the most affordable destinations you will find. For this reason, it is frequently booked as a vacation for the entire extended family.”


Switchfly, Inc. is a global technology company that powers travel commerce, loyalty program engagement and ancillary product offerings for some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Leading airlines, hotels, online travel agencies and financial service providers depend on Switchfly to power their omni-channel travel experiences because it uniquely combines a highly scalable and secure architecture with deep product and content inventory. Powerful analytics and real-time decision engines foster contextually-rich customer engagement and enable brands to offer a wide range of customized travel services to their customers. Headquartered in San Francisco, Switchfly generates more than $2 billion USD in revenue for its clients annually and facilitates the redemption of more than 40 billion reward points and miles each year. The company’s global client roster includes American Airlines, JetBlue and LAN Airlines; IAG Avios, Lufthansa Miles & More and United MileagePlus; InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts; Groupon and Living Social. For more information, visit


for Switchfly
Gaby Perez-Silva, 714-369-2920