Travelers tell-all: confess top travel annoyances and their

own naughty behavior in this year’s Vacation Confidence Index 


This holiday season, Americans aren’t just opening up their wallets to buy presents for family and friends – they’ll also spend 12 percent more on holiday travel, according to the fourth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index released today by Allianz Global Assistance USA.  Following cautious holiday-travel spending last year, this year’s spending is on the rebound with Americans set to spend $72.9 billion, a $7.7 billion increase from 2011.

“With consumers spending more on travel this holiday season, it’s more important than ever for them to protect their investment with travel insurance,” said Alan Josephs, Chief Marketing Officer of Allianz Global Assistance USA.  “Holidays are stressful enough as it is, and travelers who purchase Allianz Travel Insurance can rest assured that our dedicated team, available 24/7, will provide travel assistance to help with any issues that may arise as they travel to their holiday destination.”

Nearly six in ten (56%) of Americans are confident that they will take a holiday trip this year, with more saying that they are “very confident” (45 percent this year versus 42 percent last year).  Those who are likely to travel are budgeting to spend $1,116 on average, a significant increase from last year’s travelers who budgeted $980 for holiday travel. 

Top Travel Annoyances Reveal GPS Angst

For the fourth year in a row, travel by car continues to be the top mode of transportation for holiday trips, weighing in at 59 percent.  But before hitting the road this holiday season, Americans might want to double check their directions and consider leaving the backseat driver at home: three in ten (26 percent) say that their biggest travel annoyance is a GPS/navigation system that fails or provides outdated directions, while nearly one quarter (22%) say their biggest pet peeve is the backseat driver that shouts driving tips.  Other top travel annoyances include the passenger who needs to stop to use the restroom every other hour (15 percent), and the driver with no taste in music who insists on controlling the songs (10 percent).

Screaming Babies and Inconsiderate Passengers Irritate Fliers Most

One third of Americans intend to fly to their holiday destination this year, keeping air travel at the second most popular mode of transportation for the fourth consecutive year.  Air travel is not without its frustrations, either – nearly half (39 percent) say that they’re most annoyed by a kicking and screaming baby sitting in the seat behind them, while 17 percent say that watching another passenger smash their carry-on items bothers them the most.  Sitting next to a passenger who gets up multiple times to use the bathroom and loud music coming from a neighboring passenger’s headphones are the next two on the list, respectively at 15 and 12 percent.

Naughty or Nice?  Travelers’ Top Confessions Include Buying Airport Gifts for Loved Ones

Nearly one in five Americans (19 percent) have confessed to being less-than-perfect holiday guests.  Among the top holiday travel faux pas they’re guilty of committing?  At least one in ten brought last-minute holiday shopping to a whole new level, buying gifts at either an airport gift shop or at a rest stop on the interstate, while eight percent admit to having one-too-many drinks in the airport or on the flight on the way to their holiday destination.  Seven percent opted to skip out on holiday festivities altogether, and made up an excuse on why they couldn’t travel.  Five percent of Americans can expect to receive a lump of coal this year, having admitted to all of the above.

Allianz Travel Insurance provides its customers with coverage should a planned trip be cancelled or interrupted for unforeseen circumstances that are included in the purchased policy.*  For additional information on Allianz Global Assistance USA products, or to purchase Allianz Travel Insurance for holiday travel, visit

The Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index is based on a telephone survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs from November 7 – 12, 2012 of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S.  With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

* - Conditions, limitations and exclusions apply. For a complete description of the coverage, carefully review the terms and conditions of the certificate of insurance. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakwood Terrace, Ill), or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), depending on the insured's state. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are brands of AGA Service Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage because of the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company.




Allianz Global Assistance USA

Allianz Global Assistance USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 29 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) insures 13 million customers and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans.

In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers event ticket protection and unique assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for health insurers, property and casualty insurers, and credit card companies.

For more information about Allianz Global Assistance USA, please visit To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance plans, please visit or Like us on Facebook at


Allianz Global Assistance

How can we help?

International leader in Assistance, Travel Insurance and health, life & home care services, today Allianz Global Assistance counts more than 10,920 employees who speak 40 different languages and work throughout the world with a network of 400,000 service providers and 180 correspondents. 250 million people, or 4% of the world’s total population, benefit from its services, which the Group provides on all five continents.



Allianz is the 20th largest company in the world (Forbes Global 2000, 2011) and 62nd most valuable global brand (Interbrand, 2012). Allianz has 151,000 employees worldwide and 76 million customers in more than 70 countries. In 2011, Allianz had over 103 billion euros in revenue and over 1.6 trillion euros under management. In the US, Allianz brands include:

Allianz Life

Allianz Global Investors


Fireman’s Fund

Euler Hermes

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty


Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world.  In the U.S., UK and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and the Hispanic polling partner of Telemundo Communications Group, a division of NBC Universal providing Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world.

Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.  To learn more, visit:

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