How long it takes the average American to get sick of their family during the holidays

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(Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash)

It takes less than four hours before Americans need a break from their extended family during the holidays, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 Americans who are traveling to visit family for the holidays found respondents can spend an average of three hours and 54 minutes with their family before needing a moment to themselves.

Three-quarters will hit a point where they need time away from the crowd, and results revealed that respondents can be creative in their ways of escaping.

One in four of those surveyed have hidden in a relative’s house to take a moment alone, while 37 percent have gone so far as to make an excuse and leave the house altogether.

Commissioned by Motel 6 and conducted by OnePoll, the survey examined the delicate balance between wanting to spend time with family, but also needing a bit of space.

Ninety-five percent of respondents believe it’s important to spend the holidays with family, and two in five of those planning to stay with family admit that it can be a stressful experience.

The top reasons respondents stay with family are because it allows them to spend quality time together (60 percent), they enjoy it (53 percent) and because it’s cheaper/convenient (47 percent).

Despite that, almost one-third (30 percent) of respondents believe they would enjoy the holiday season more if their family wasn’t all under the same roof, and the same number (30 percent) say their family would actually get along better if they had some space.

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“We know how important it is to be with family during the holidays, but for those nights when you need to get away, we’ll leave the light on for you with a clean and affordable place to stay,” said Rob Palleschi, chief executive officer at Motel 6.

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The average respondent is staying with family for three and a half days this holiday season — but the sleeping arrangements might be one reason they’re not staying longer. When hosting family, nearly 40 percent say finding sleeping arrangements is one of the most stressful parts of preparing for guests.

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That could be because there’s not enough space for everyone: Respondents report an average of two people will end up sleeping on something other than a bed this holiday season.

When staying with family, the top concerns were found to be a lack of privacy (22 percent), family getting on respondent’s nerves (20 percent) and drama between family members (20 percent).That’s in addition to feeling like they’re imposing (19 percent) and having the house be too loud or busy (18 percent).

“It’s not just family dynamics causing stress. No matter how you travel, the experience itself can be a source of anxiety for many,” said Palleschi. “We want to keep your holidays stress-free, and your sleeping arrangements couch-free. Stop in for a clean, comfortable and affordable hotel nearby so you can be rested and ready to make memories.”



  • Cleaning 37%
  • Sleeping arrangements 38%
  • Menu creation 31%
  • Making sure everyone is getting along/having fun 28%
  • Finding some alone time 16%
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(GIF via cartuna)


  • Cleaning 51%
  • Sleeping arrangements 37%
  • Menu creation 37%
  • Making sure everyone is getting along/having fun 32%
  • Finding some alone time 18%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<

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