You’d think that as the Thanksgiving holidays approach, business travel would slow down. And during Thanksgiving week it does. But the week before Thanksgiving, you’ll see the year’s biggest crowds of business travelers, according to a new report.
Concur, a company that specializes in tracking business travelers’ expenses, did a day-by-day analysis of business travel volume over the course of a full year, and found that the Wednesday and Thursday of the week before Thanksgiving were the busiest days of the year for business travelers. (This year, that’s November 15 and 16.)
Of course, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after are some the busiest days overall, but most of that traffic is from leisure travelers.
But there’s significant surge among business travelers that week before: The company said the number of business travelers on the road during those days is 58 percent higher than on the average weekday. Also, the bulk of travelers during those two busiest days are infrequent business travelers, Concur said, who take only one to three business trips a year.
The level of business trips drops below average during Thanksgiving week and the following week, the study found, and the lowest volumes of the entire year came during the last two weeks of December and the first week of January. (The number of business trips during the week between Christmas and New Year’s was 86 percent below the average week.)
By contrast, the weeks with the highest above-average levels of business trips came from early September through early November. Looking at full months rather than weeks, July was the slowest month for company trips, while October and November were the busiest.
And where are road warriors going during their busy season? During the busiest travel dates, Concur said, the busiest domestic air travel routes, in order, are Chicago-New York, New York-Los Angeles, Dallas-Chicago, New York-San Francisco and Boston-New York. The busiest international routes are New York-London, San Francisco-London, Toronto-New York, Toronto-Chicago and Boston-London.
Concur offers these additional tips for business travel:
- The earlier in November you travel, the better. So start planning your pre-holiday travel now.
- If meetings and clients allow, shift your travel days to Mondays, Tuesdays or Fridays.
- Consider alternate local airports beyond the traditional major hubs.
- Avoid costly last-minute fares by booking between eight to 14 days in advance. After that, prices tend to jump 44%.
Where will YOU be this Thanksgiving? Which days will you avoid? Please leave your comments below.