Economy Curbs Holiday Travel Americans stay home or scale back vacation plans By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted Dec 18, 2009 4:20 PM CST 2 comments Comments In this Oct. 27, 2009, baggage handlers are seen at Lambert St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) (Newser) – The weak economy is taking a toll on Americans' plans for holiday travel, forcing cash-strapped would-be vacationers to alter trips or abandon them altogether. A recent poll found that, of those who planned to travel more than 100 miles for the holidays, a third said they had been forced to abandon plans because of financial concerns, while 35% of the remaining travelers said they were changing their plans to cut costs—driving instead of flying, or traveling to a closer destination. "I crunched the numbers, checked numerous airlines and it just wasn't a possibility," said an Arizona mom who wanted to take her kids to Chicago to visit family they haven't seen in almost a decade. Still, there is a silver lining to decreased travel: Delays at airports and congestion on highways will likely be less common, USA Today reports.