Anywhere but Home for the Holidays

A new survey by personal travel assistant Mezi finds nearly two-thirds of Americans have anxiety about going home for the holidays.

Nov 28, 2016 · 5 min read

Home for the holidays. It’s a phrase ingrained into our minds since we were mere babes; written in greeting cards, sung gleefully in songs, and murmured by many as we round the corner into mid-November and sprint through to the New Year’s Eve finish line.

So, we’ve gotta ask: Why home for the holidays? Look, we get it — we love our families. We bask in the joy of holiday traditions, we visit old friends and indulge in the seasonal fare; but we also tiptoe around family confrontations (ahem, differing political views anyone?), struggle to find exciting ways to occupy our time, and dodge questions about our relationship status like our lives depend on it.

While the holidays paint a warm, hopeful picture in minds of many, sometimes the reality doesn’t live up to the dream. With so much stress, anxiety and money squeezed into these few precious days each year, maybe 2016 is the year of “Anywhere but Home for the Holidays.”

At Mezi, we’ve devoted ourselves to de-stressing people’s lives with our travel assistant app that uses super sophisticated technology (trust us, or read about it here) to personalize, research, and book your travel in a way that’s as simple as sending a text. From far-flung foreign adventures or weekends in wine country, to tedious work travel and everything in between — Mezi has got you covered to escape the family madness over the holidays. Oh, and did we mention it’s free? (That’s gotta count for something!)

The Holidays Have Us Feeling Pretty Meh ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

We asked more than 1,000 people across the U.S. to share their feelings about going home for the holidays. Despite our hypothesis, even we were a bit shocked by the outcome.

Nearly two-thirds of all people (65%) have anxiety about going home for the holidays.

Women report the most anxious emotions:

  • Nearly three quarters of women, or 72% (as compared to 58% of men) have anxiety about going home for the holidays.
  • This number of angst-ridden rises to 80% among younger women (ages 18–45, predominantly Millennials)

We’re spending too much time visiting home.

  • More than one quarter of Americans plan to visit home for 5 days or longer — a length of time most people (71%) agree is WAY too long of a visit!
  • Over half of all people (53%) would prefer to spend their holiday vacations on the beach, discovering a new city, on the slopes, or chilling at home alone.
  • Top three things people dread most about going home for the holidays are: Being bored and having nothing to do (36%); crazy, unpredictable families (36%); questions about their relationship status (21%)
  • What’s a family get-together without a bit of confrontation? Women ages 18–45 (55%) and people living in the South (49%) are most likely to get into arguments with their families over the holidays.

Going home for the holidays is an emotional AND financial commitment.

  • Nearly one-third (29%) of all people spend between $500–1000 traveling home for the holidays.
  • Seventy percent of people who fly home for the holidays spend $500–1000; 20% spend more than $1000

Permission Slip: Take Off and “Do You” over the Holidays

If you’re feeling bored, stressed or just totally over the idea of going home for the holidays, Mezi has your back.

Mezi’s chat-based interface makes researching and booking a last-minute trip as simple as texting your friends to exchange home-for-holidays stories. The app simply asks you a few questions, and then does the legwork of searching across thousands of travel booking sites to serve up the best personalized options based on your preferences. Once you decide on the location, hotel, and transportation, Mezi does the rest: booking, confirming and managing your entire itinerary. She even travels with you to help along the way. (I know, how did we ever get on without her?!)

So, people are spending $500–1000 to travel home for the holidays. Here’s a taste of the places Mezi could take you with that cash that’ll leave you feeling refreshed, reenergized and content in a way going home for the holidays isn’t getting it done:

Folks living out West are most open to take a vacation over going home for the holidays. You’re already halfway there!

  • Feeling lucky? With bountiful hotels to choose from and a central location in the West, Las Vegas is always a good choice.
  • Much needed guys trip? With over 200 courses in the area, Scottsdale is a golfer’s paradise.
  • Grand Canyon on the bucket list? Check it off with flare by booking a helicopter ride over the famous red rocks.
  • Quit whining and get wine-in’! Napa and Sonoma have countless wineries standing by to share the fruits of their labor.

Midwesterners get most excited about seeing their families over the holidays — perhaps folks in this region should organize holiday destinations for the whole fam-bam. (Just be sure to learn from the mistakes made in Home Alone by the McAllister family. Those Illinoisans had a hard time keeping everyone together during their travels…)

  • Jump on the bandwagon and celebrate with baseball’s latest World Champions in Chicago.
  • Looking for more out of life? We’ve heard everything’s bigger in Texas. Both Austin and Houston exemplify the state’s “go big or go home” mentality.
  • Hit the Mile High city of Denver before skiing the state’s treasured trails atop the nearby Rocky Mountains.
  • Don’t forget your blue suede shoes in Memphis. You’ll, “Thank us very much.” You’re welcome.

According to our survey, folks in the South are most likely to get into family arguments — how about we sit this round out, and sip a Mai Tai on the beach instead?

  • Pensacola’s beautiful protected beaches make for a popular holiday getaway destination.
  • Busch Gardens is sure to thrill everyone in the family — from roller coasters, rides, attractions, shows and animal encounters, Tampa’s got’cha covered!
  • New Orleans, nicknamed the Big Easy, is known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene and spicy cuisine — get there!
  • Experience Country music’s greatest at Nashville’s famous Grand Ole Opry.

Northeasterners believe there truly is no place like home for the holidays. Prove ’em wrong!

  • Forage through NYC’s concrete jungle. But prepare yourself, this city never sleeps!
  • Known for its lush natural landscapes, Vermont offers some of the best skiing (and maple syrup) in the Northeast.
  • Revert to your younger years and bask in the nostalgia at Orlando Theme Parks.
  • With the breathtaking Falls, Hurricane Decks, the Maid of the Mist boat tour, a Niagara Falls vacation is the ultimate getaway.

Found this post useful? Please tap the 💚 button below.

Your personal assistant for travel.

Mezi is your personal assistant for travel. Just text Mezi what you want, and Mezi will get it done. Try Mezi now by downloading it on the App Store, or text Mezi at (415)915–7798.

Meet Mezi

Sharing our ideas, learnings and experiences while building Mezi. Mezi is your personal assistant for shopping and travel. Mezi blends artificial intelligence with commerce to help people make purchase decisions.


Written by


Mezi is building the most advanced AI for travel, because everyone traveling for work deserves a first class experience. It’s go time!

Meet Mezi

Meet Mezi

Sharing our ideas, learnings and experiences while building Mezi. Mezi is your personal assistant for shopping and travel. Mezi blends artificial intelligence with commerce to help people make purchase decisions.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade