The US travel industry hoped that the 2020 holiday season would be incrementally better than the rest of the year. Trends looked positive with each summer and fall holiday seeing an increased number of people heading away from home. However, that’s not how things are playing out. The major airlines have drastically cut schedules for December due to the demand not being there. For those who are traveling over the Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Year holidays, where they’re going and the length of their trips are much different from 2019.
The folks at TripIt have released a summary of the travel reservations they’re managing for the 2020 holiday season and comparing it to the plans people had in 2019. The changes show how people are making adjustments to travel plans based on the current environment.
They looked at which days were the most popular to travel for a Thanksgiving trip. These plans usually involve a large family reunion for many of us, but that’s strongly not recommended due to COVID-19. The Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving are the busiest days for flights but not as popular as last year. In 2020, people are extending their visits and the Friday and Saturday BEFORE Thanksgiving are almost as popular as the days right before the holiday.
Besides leaving earlier, people are staying at their location longer. There’s an 11% increase of people flying home on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. There’s also a large increase in travelers who are staying anywhere from 2 weeks to all the way through New Years.
Where people are going is also shifting. If people are avoiding the large family gatherings, they’re opting to take a vacation where it’s warmer (and places welcoming to tourists.) New York dropped from the top spot to 11th on this year’s list. Orlando moved up from 7th to 3rd and Cancun rocketed from 26th to 8th. Several other Florida locations made the top 20 along with Las Vegas and the Hawaiian islands Maui and Oahu.
The trends continue for post-Thanksgiving travel. People are taking longer trips and headed to smaller locations instead of big cities.
If you want, you can take a deeper dive into the data at the TripIt website. I also want to add that if you aren’t already doing so, here’s why you should use TripIt to keep all of your travel plans organized.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary