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For busy holiday travel season, Florida is hot [Google+ Hangout]

December 18, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • Orlando emerged as the most searched Christmas destination on Kayak, likely due to Mickey Mouse and his snazzy Magic Kingdom.
Orlando emerged as the most searched Christmas destination on Kayak, likely… (Joe Burbank/Orlando Centinel/MCT )

Americans reportedly plan to travel in big numbers this holiday season, setting new records in Southern California and the state at large.

But the hottest Christmas destinations are in the Sunshine State, not the Golden State.

Orlando beat out New York and Chicago as the top Christmas destinations among travelers using the travel website Kayak.com.

And, compared with last year, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando had the biggest increases in searches for Christmas travel, according to the website.

For New Year's Eve travel, Orlando came in third, behind New York and Las Vegas.

The biggest increases in airfares compared with last year were for flights to Miami (12.6%), Phoenix (10.3%) and Orlando (10.3%), according to the website.

Join us for a live video chat at 3 p.m.

The Automobile Club of Southern California predicted that 11.7 million Californians will travel at least 50 miles for the holiday season, with 7.3 million coming from Southern California. Both numbers represent a 1.8% increase over last year and a new record.

How bad will the roads and airports be over the holidays? Join us at 3 p.m. for a live video chat with the Auto Club's Marie Montgomery and travel industry reporter Hugo Martin.

Join in on the conversation by leaving your comments and questions below.

To save money on holiday travel, Rick Seaney, co-founder of the travel review site Farecompare.com, suggested travelers consider visiting Boston, Denver or Los Angeles.

He said these destinations are served by several low-cost airlines and are located near smaller regional airports, giving travelers more choices.

"These are destinations blessed with a lot of low-cost airline competition, a plethora of nearby airports or both," he said.

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