Holiday travel can either be an exciting or stressful. With all of the recent fuel cost increase, how does this year holiday travel look? During the Thanksgiving break many worried about airfare, gas, hotel, and other costs while some just worried about weather delays and other unexpected problems that tends to happen on a regular occurrence such as baggage loss. However, it was reported that travel for Thanksgiving went much smoother than usual. There were not as many flight delays because of nice weather, gas prices did not sky rocket like usual, and many consumers took advantage of cheaper forms of travel such as the MegaBus and trains. While last weeks travel may have gone smooth, how does the Christmas holiday look?
Christmas is usually one of the largest holidays of travel. This is when most families have the longest similar breaks from school and work so it is much easier. The travel concerns consumers have during the winter season is mainly cost and convenience. As of yesterday, the Detroit Free Press has reported that airfare for the holiday travel is up from last year. Many airlines have increased their ticket prices along with plenty of hotels. On average it will cost about 8% more for a plane ticket this year than what it cost last year with about 10% price increase for hotels. Fortunately enough, many of the popular vacation destinations have lowered their hotel fees for the season. So why is there such large variations of prices from last year to this year? The airlines and hotels are trying to take advantage of consumer’s holiday travels. They know that consumers are willing to pay more to see family; they also know that around this time of year many workers are going to try to use up their unused vacation days from the year. The price variation in cities verse popular vacation destinations could have to do with where family is located compared to if family are traveling in smaller groups during this season instead of summer months when vacation destinations are larger.
There are a few steps to overcome these rising prices. Many travel agents have also recommended extending your options of when you are able to begin to travel and the day you are willing to come back. This leaves more room to choose days that are cheapest and not as busy. Recently there has also been an increase in joint booking of airfare and hotel. Allegiant Airlines have been very successful with this option and offer large discounts when you choose this option.
A few other things people usually get concerned about during the holiday time are the delivery of their important packages and timeliness. The roads become more congested, companies are receiving many more orders, and things can become very hectic. According to Derby Supply Solutions, the holiday season is a time when consumer demand can make or break a business. The holiday sales make up between 20-25% of the annual sales for most companies and reach almost 40% some retailers. That is a large increase of demand in such a small amount of time (1/12th of the year). This not only increases package delivery requirements for companies but also cause them to rethink how to handle this much business within the office, warehouses, manufacturing, and much more. UPS currently has an average 15.8 million packages delivered on a daily basis. They suspect nearly a 12 million-package increase (average daily volume) during the season. That 12 million-package increase alone is still larger than UPS’s nearest competitor’s average daily delivery volume of less than 11 million (UPS). To adjust to this busy time of year most companies hire seasonal employees, additional flights scheduled, and have extended business hours.
212 million shoppers visited stores or online websites on Black Friday.
23 million people were shopping on Christmas Eve
62% of shopping is done between November and December
The average consumers planned on spending almost $700 on gifts
There are 32 shopping days and only 21 shipping days
UPS will hire 55,000 seasonal employees
UPS expects to deliver 500+ packages during the holiday
December 18th is the busiest online tracking day of the year
December 20th will be UPS’s peak day of delivery with 28 million deliveries
Delivering 28 million packages a day is equal to about 300 packages per second!