Recent studies say the percentage of Americans traveling for the December holidays actually has increased from last year, with
87.7 million people traveling 50 or more miles from home, according to AAA's Leisure Travel Index.
"I think we're very quick to assume that things happening in the market -- from unemployment to the tail end of a recession -- all have a pretty strong impact on consumers," said Bryan Saltzburg from TripAdvisor.com. "But when push comes to shove, it's really not coming at the expense of people's willingness to travel."
This is not to say that making the decision to travel was easy this season.