The booking company's new "Happy Next Holidays" tool will help you break the news — and enter you to win a dream vacation.

Perhaps the worst part of this holiday season is having to let relatives know you just won’t be flying, driving, or taking the train home this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, Hotwire is here to help take the sting out of it all with its new “Happy Next Holidays” generator, and with the potential to win a little cash too.

“We know that this year has been tough on everyone, to say the least, and people are really feeling the stress as we head into the holiday season — a time that under normal circumstances, we reunite with family and friends from around the country,” Nick Graham, head of Hotwire, shared in a statement. “While a trip home might not be in the cards this year, we’re committed to giving travelers something to look forward to and a little comic relief in the meantime.” 

That comic relief Graham is referring to is the “Happy Next Holidays” generator, which helps anyone create customized messages that will “break the bad news and are guaranteed to let Mom down gently.” 

It’s super simple to use. All you need to do is head to and follow the prompts to create your “Happy Next Holidays” message and click send via email, text, postcard, or social media post. 

Video call on a laptop screen during Christmas
Credit: Getty Images

As a bonus, using the service also acts as a registration form to enter Hotwire’s “IOU” travel giveaway for your entire family. As part of the giveaway, Hotwire will cover travel expenses, including flights and hotel to a domestic destination of your choice, and the company is even throwing in an extra $15,580 in cash so you can “make up for those activities missed in 2020.” 

But, even if you don’t win this grand prize you could still be a winner as the first 100 participants will receive a special coupon to apply toward future travel on Hotwire.

Stacey Leasca is a journalist, photographer, and media professor. Send tips and follow her on Instagram now.