Spring Break: Another Lost & Found Surge

Buckle up, travel industry! Spring Break is here. Airports, airlines, hotels, short-term rentals, cruises, rideshare apps, rent-a-cars, bars, clubs, beaches –– are you ready? 

As travel surges once again, every department’s tech stack and internal operations will be stress-tested to the max. 

According to TravelPulse, Expedia data shows flight searches for March and April travel have increased by 40% compared to the same time last year, with international hotspots like Punta Cana, Tokyo, and Cabo San Lucas up double-digits compared to Spring Break of 2022. To top that off, even Frontier Airlines’ CEO, Barry Biffle, told CNBC that this Spring Break travel demand is probably the best they’ve ever seen.

As the first “normal” Spring Break since the start of the pandemic, travelers are excited to hit the road and fly abroad with friends and family. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans are traveling this Spring Break throughout March and April, set to break travel records from 2019. Over half are staying in a hotel, and 21% are staying in rentals. And on average, 59% of those traveling during March and April are willing to spend anywhere between $500 to $2,000, with 21% willing to pay beyond that (IPX1031)

As part of these travel surges, Spring Break flight prices are rapidly jumping due to high travel, rising to an average of $264 per round-trip ticket, a 20% increase compared to 2022 and a 5% increase over pre-pandemic levels (Hopper’s Spring Break 2023 Guide). 

But unsurprisingly, flights aren’t the only increasingly-expensive part of travel. 

On average, staying at a hotel costs $316 per night, a 64% increase over 2022 Spring Break months. Short-term rental homes in top markets are averaging under $300 per night for these coming months. Car rentals are averaging $56 a day as well. 

Even if your airport is not a spring break destination, you are still impacted as you’re likely to be a transfer destination. College students and those alike looking for a Spring Break getaway often look for the cheapest flight, even if that means booking a connecting flight, or two, or three. 

In our world of lost and found, this means more lost items found by our partners. More phones, sunglasses, backpacks, wallets, passports, headphones, and more will be left behind at our partners’ locations, driving an increase in claims, matches, and returns throughout March and April. 

The bottom line for those not yet partnered with Boomerang is that it will be tough to tackle these travel surges and meet customer expectations, especially companies in those hotspot travel destinations. 

For businesses who have yet to up their lost and found tech stack with a Boomerang partnership, it’s going to be a tough few months ahead to absorb the surge in calls, emails, and found items. I hope this is the last surge season you have to be stress-tested.

We’re here to help.

Skyler Logsdon

CEO, Boomerang