Travel website Priceline.com reviewed its data for holiday flight destinations, and found that Mainers who are hitting the skies for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas periods are largely headed to Florida.
Priceline looked at flights booked between Nov. 20 and Nov. 27 to gauge Thanksgiving air traffic, as well as between Dec. 19 and Dec. 31 to get an idea for where folks are going for Christmas.
During both periods, the Sunshine State is the top destination for Mainers booking flights.
Florida’s popularity among Maine holiday travelers shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Florida’s the top choice among most East Coast states — during the Thanksgiving period, it’s the No. 1 destination for travelers in 19 states, and it’s the go-to Christmas location for those in 25 states.
Plus, there are direct and nonstop flights from Maine to Florida, which can’t be said of the country’s consensus No. 2 holiday destination, California. So going south is by far the most economical option for Maine travelers who want to spend their holidays someplace warmer.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Priceline data just reflects flights booked through that particular site, although it is one of the top travel sites and could probably be considered a decent representative sample.
These numbers also don’t include travelers going by car to their holiday destinations, who figure to make up a large portion of the people moving around over the coming months.
That said, the No. 2 flight destination for Mainers during the Christmas stretch is Massachusetts. That might seem perplexing when you consider that — in the time it takes to show up early, park your car, check your bags, get through security, board the plane, take the flight, get off the plane, get your bags and be on your way — you could just drive down and probably shave off at least 20-30 minutes of that time.
The second place destination over the Thanksgiving break for Mainers is the aforementioned California, followed again by Massachusetts, South America and New York.
After Florida and the Bay State, Mainers are next most likely to fly to Asia, Europe and South America for Christmas, in that order.