2016 Thanksgiving Fun Facts

Thanksgiving is an extremely popular travel time, as people hit the road to see friends and family. All this traveling leads to some pretty staggering Thanksgiving stats.

So, just the Thanksgiving travel facts are as follows.

How many travel?

  • 48,700,000 Americans travel for Thanksgiving

Why do they travel?

  • 40% travel to have dinner with family 4% travel to have dinner with friends

How far do they go?

  • 50 miles or more on average

Where do they go?

The 5 most popular cities to travel to for the holiday are:

    • New York City
    • Orlando
    • Chicago
    • Los Angeles
    • San Francisco

How do they get there?

  • 43,500,000 travel by car
  • 3,300,000 travel by plane
  • 1,200,000 travel by bus, train or ship

When do they leave?

  • 27% of drivers leave on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving – the busiest travel day
  • 64% plan to travel during off-peak hours to avoid heavy traffic

Where do they stay?

  • 44% of travelers stay at the home of family or friends
  • 42% stay at a hotel or vacation rental

How do they book their tickets and accommodations?

  • 57% of travelers use a mobile device in the booking process

How much do they spend on travel?

  • $384 is the average domestic airfare
  • $162 is the average hotel rate

What about the food?

  • 235,000,000 turkeys are raised in the U.S. each year
  • 46,000,000 turkeys served for Thanksgiving dinner
  • 736,000,000 pounds of turkey served for Thanksgiving dinner
  • 16% of people eat at a restaurant on Thanksgiving

How much is spent on the feast?

  • $49.04 is the average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people
  • $21.65 is the average cost of a 16-lb. turkey
  • $75 or more is the average for a ready-to-eat meal from a grocery store

Ski Trips by Motorcoach

“Hey, let’s all pay a bunch of money to go have a terrible time in the mountains,” said by no one…ever.

We want it to be a great success, right? Sure you do!

Here are three tips to help you and your crew have the time of your lives while avoiding the common traps that lead to a trip that’s “just okay.” 

1. Be Prepared for anything

It’s rare for a group trip to go exactly as planned.

That’s because there are an enormous amount of variables involved in creating group ski packages – from unpredictable weather to delayed flights to over-booked resorts…the number of things can go wrong is almost innumerable. In essence, group trips are a lot like technology.

More moving parts = more complexity = more potential problems.

The only solution is to anticipate these problems before they arise as best you can. While it’s impossible to plan for everything, it is entirely possible to improve your ability to deal with the unexpected.

Be methodical about this. Go step-by-step in your itinerary and consider what potential issues might arise for each and every item. Then include reasonable game plans/alternatives for those items in the event something goes awry.

2. Travel Light, Travel by Motorcoach

This is something we all know to be helpful, yet so few of us seem to actually do! Yes, Winter can be the most challenging time of year to lighten your luggage. So many layers! So much gear!

Still, if you want to minimize the hassle you and your group experience on your trip, keep your travel items to a minimum. For example, things can get pretty crazy when your trip goers are trying to keep tabs on their luggage while loading onto a charter bus outside in the snow.

Here are some things I recommend you leave at home when traveling with a large group:

  • Skis and snowboards
    Unless you’re a hardcore powder enthusiast with custom skis or boards, it’s almost always best to rent them. You’ll save yourself those airline bag fees and avoid a huge headache from always keeping a nervous, watchful eye on your stuff.
  • Extra jackets or boots
    Need them for survival? Cool. Just mixing up your wardrobe so no one thinks you’re wearing the same thing every day? Not cool. It’s completely acceptable to rock the same look when on the slopes and you can still mix up the lighter, easier to pack items when out on the town.
  • Use Motorcoaches to get where you need to go
    When it comes to skiing, the only thing better than a day on the slopes is a day on the slopes with your friends and family. Winter driving can be difficult, parking can be a nightmare and let’s face it, after a long day of shredding the last thing you want is to sit in traffic trying to get back down the hill. Motorcoaches make ski trips a dream, so relax and leave the winter driving to an expert!

3. Know Your Group

A truly memorable group ski trip includes activities beyond just skiing or snowboarding.

This can be difficult for group leaders to remember since they are often the biggest powder enthusiasts within their group. From my experience traveling over 100,000 people over the years, there are almost always people within each group that are more excited about the mountain experience than they are the skiing experience. These people want to take in all the resort has to offer.

This means you’ve got to know what they’re into. What activities do they like? Where do they expect to be located within the resort? What are the top three things they’d like to do on the trip besides skiing?

Put together a list of questions like the ones above and get answers from your group.

Pro Tip: If your group is small enough, just contact them personally. If you’ve got a larger group, consider using survey software.

It can’t be said enough about researching ski resorts in advance. All ski resorts are not created equal…especially when it comes to group travel. In fact, depending on the size of your group, many resorts may not even have enough lodging or resources to accommodate you.

You’ve got to methodically research ski resorts and ski areas several months, if not a year, in advance of your trip. Compiling a list of preferred resorts and comparing them to the interests of your group (as discussed above) is a great first step.

Whatever you do, do not assume anything. Don’t assume that your favorite ski resort is the best choice for your group. And, don’t assume that all ski resorts have the same lodging, amenities, activities, etc.

A little research upfront will deliver happy trip goers… pretty much guaranteed, but you certainly can’t do it all on your own.

You’ll want to get help. The fact is, planning a group ski trip is extremely exhausting work (if it wasn’t, SkiSync wouldn’t exist)! Staple tasks like travel logistics, payment collection, resort/lodging selection, rate negotiations and other necessary activities take time and expertise. There are specialized travel companies out there, like ours, who’ve built their business upon creating wonderful vacation experiences for ski groups. Perhaps most importantly, some of these companies have amassed high enough volumes of travelers, allowing them to obtain better pricing than what’s found online or direct through resorts.

Getting the right help is not only a time and energy saver but a money saver too.