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More than 3 mln Hungarians to travel home for Christmas

More than three million Hungarians are planning to travel home to see their families during Christmas, according to research commissioned by credit card company Mastercard.

The company says that traffic will be heaviest during Christmas Eve.

On average, Hungarians travel some 396 km during the Christmas holiday, which is the rough equivalent of the distance between Budapest and Ljubljana. While most Hungarians take the bus or drive to their destination, some 12% travel by plane.

On average, Hungarians spend HUF 58,000 on Christmas trips, which does not deviate significantly from the European average. However, they only spend HUF 63,000 on presents, some HUF 12,000 lower than the average.

"We live at a time where people travel more and build careers and lives in new cities and countries around the world, but Christmas is still a time for getting home to be with family,” said Rose Beaumont, senior vice president, business enablement and European comms at Mastercard. "Christmas has always been a major spending occasion, but with more and more people living away from their hometowns it has become one of the biggest travel occasions of the year too."

Only 7% of Hungarians take a vacation away from home, mostly to avoid end-of-the-year stress and family arguments. Those who do visit relatives say that they do so to see their parents and family, but every eighth respondent said that seeing their favorite pet is the main underlying reason.