Trends

America’s Most Popular Holiday Travel Destinations

Airplane landing

Fliers this year can expect to pay about 8 percent more for holiday airfares and 5 percent more for New Year’s airfares to top destinations than in 2011, according to a study released by Orbitz Monday. But some locations saw prices for flights and hotels drop.

The Orbitz Holiday Travel Insider Index analyzed hotel and flight booking data from its website to rank the most popular holiday destinations for 2012. The study provides the top 10 holiday destinations for Christmas and New Year’s, evaluating the average airfare and daily hotel rates in each of the most popular markets.

Airfares have risen all year, mainly due to higher fuel prices and airlines offering fewer seats for sale by flying smaller aircrafts.

The travel periods studied were December 23-27 for Christmas and December 30-January 2 for New Year’s.

Thanks in part to price drops, Orlando took the top spot for both periods. The family-friendly destination is seeing a 4 percent decrease in average airfare and 7 percent decrease in hotel rates during Christmas from 2011 levels. And Orlando’s New Year’s airfare and hotel rates dropped 7 percent each from last year.

If you’re looking to save money regardless of location, New Year’s airfares and hotel stays are cheaper on average than Christmastime. Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Denver and San Juan hotel and airfare prices decreased from last year during New Year’s.

Top 10 Christmas Destinations in 2012

1. Orlando (Average airfare: $412; Average nightly hotel rate: $144)

2. New York (Average airfare: $406; Average nightly hotel rate: $354)

3. Fort Lauderdale (Average airfare: $457; Average nightly hotel rate: $198)

4. Denver (Average airfare: $421; Average nightly hotel rate: $127)

5. Los Angeles (Average airfare: $518; Average nightly hotel rate: $164)

6. Tampa (Average airfare: $401; Average nightly hotel rate: $108)

7. Fort Myers (Average airfare: $470; Average nightly hotel rate: $159)

8. Cancun (Average airfare: $716; Average nightly hotel rate: $409)

9. San Juan (Average airfare: $660; Average nightly hotel rate: $236)

10.Phoenix (Average airfare: $407; Average nightly hotel rate: $121)

Top 10 New Year’s Destinations in 2012

1. Orlando (Average airfare: $291; Average nightly hotel rate: $130)

2. New York (Average airfare: $371; Average nightly hotel rate: $435)

3. Las Vegas (Average airfare: $337; Average nightly hotel rate: $216)

4. Cancun (Average airfare: $513; Average nightly hotel rate: $349)

5. Fort Lauderdale (Average airfare: $318; Average nightly hotel rate: $209)

6. Los Angeles (Average airfare: $488; Average nightly hotel rate: $182)

7. Denver (Average airfare: $347; Average nightly hotel rate: $134)

8. San Juan (Average airfare: $494; Average nightly hotel rate: $222)

9. Island of Maui (Average airfare: $717; Average nightly hotel rate: $373)

10. Fort Myers (Average airfare: $290; Average nightly hotel rate: $144)

America’s Most Popular Holiday Travel Destinations” was provided by CNBC.com.