Europeans spend more on traveling home for Christmas than they do on gifts

The average Irish person travels an estimated 814 kilometers to get home for Christmas, placing them amongst the furthest-traveling Europeans for the holidays.

Read More: Joy of being home in Ireland for Christmas

Only the Portuguese beat out the Irish in travel distance for the holidays as they travel an estimated 891 kilometers, according to new research conducted by Fly Research for MasterCard.

The research, which surveyed 10,000 people from 19 countries across Europe, also found that the average European spends more on traveling home (€322) for the holidays than they do on Christmas presents (€238).

Perhaps not surprisingly, most people surveyed said they travel at the holidays in order to see their parents, but 29 percent said they would travel to see their pet too.

The survey found that December 24, Christmas Eve, is the most popular day for travel.

Read More: What Irish food make immigrants homesick at Christmas

Sadly, not everyone can make it home for the holidays. Of those surveyed across Europe, 20 percent said they aren’t able to travel home. A quarter of that portion can’t go home due to finances, while another 22 percent said they have to work during the Christmas period. Of those who can’t make it home, a third said they plan on Skyping or Facetiming with their family back home on Christmas day.

Read More: Home from America - three Irish families reunited for Christmas

Rose Beaumont, the Senior Vice President of Business Enablement and European Comms at Mastercard, said: “We live at a time where people travel more and build careers and lives in new cities and countries around the world, but Christmas is still a time for getting home to be with family.

“Christmas has always been a major spending occasion, but with more and more people living away from their hometowns it has become one of the biggest travel occasions of the year too.”

Traveling to Ireland in 2019: IrishCentral now has a sister travel company called Irish Studio Travel who can help you vacation in Ireland no matter your budget. With Irish Studio Travel, you can book your entire Irish vacation leaving all the hard work for us to handle. 

Are you hoping or planning to travel to Ireland this year? Join with other travelers, adventurers and lovers of Ireland in our dedicated travel group, where you can find top tips, great recommendations, and air out any of your concerns and questions. 

Are you traveling home for the holidays? Tell us about your plans in the comments!