Tracking school holiday data for better visibility into demand

Myles Parker
Demand Intelligence Specialist

Students are the life of some businesses - understanding when they’re on break can be crucial to your planning

Knowing when K-12 school holidays are occurring and when students will be in or out of school can have a drastic impact on any area. School holidays refers to events, like spring and summer break, as well as national holidays, for both primary and secondary schools throughout the U.S. and the U.K. As families and students are more likely to depart for vacation, these holidays can cause a drastic increase or decrease in your business' demand.

Tracking school holidays will enable you and your team to better understand when families depart for vacations and when students are in session to make better business decisions by planning ahead. For example, if you are a retailer near a school, it’s important to know when students will be at school to understand heightened demand and when you may need additional staff. For hoteliers or businesses in the travel industry, understanding when K-12 holidays are occurring can help you understand when a peak in demand is coming to make decisions around pricing, inventory, and staffing.

Factors surrounding school breaks that are key to track

While it may seem easy to have a general understanding of when your district is on school vacation, accurate business planning comes down to planning for exact dates and how nearby areas are affected by school holidays too. Here’s a few specific factors about school breaks that are necessary to factor in while planning:

  • Start Date: Two nearby districts with similar student counts can have holiday dates that differ significantly from their neighbors. For example, the City of London breaks for Summer on July 7th, while neighboring North Somerset breaks for summer on July 22nd - a difference of over 2 full weeks.

  • District Size: The first step might be understanding when the district actually goes on school holiday, but equally important is quantifying the impact in terms of number of students. A next door district with 10,000 students going on holiday won’t have as much of an impact on your business as a next door district with 80,000 students on holiday.

  • Area of district & its juxtaposition to your business: Separate from your town and neighborhood, understanding where your business operates in terms of school districts is important for realizing the impact of school holidays. If your business operates in more than one district, you can easily visualize the boundaries of that district and how it differs from neighboring ones.

  • What type of holiday or academic event it is: Since we track a number of different school holidays and breaks, understanding not only just when students are out of school, but why is important. Spring, fall and summer breaks can all have different impacts on your business, so preparing differently for each is crucial.


How different industries track district-level school holidays

Whether you’re a coffee chain that employs mostly students or you’re a hotel manager in a popular travel destination, knowing when students will be on a break ahead of time can significantly alter your plans as a business. School holidays in the US and UK cause hundreds of thousands of people to travel and spend money over the course of a year, having a massive impact on demand for many industries, including accommodation, retail, transportation, and tourism. Your business can’t afford to miss out on upcoming demand solely because you aren’t fully aware of these factors.

  • Restaurants & QSR: A waterfront restaurant on the Jersey Shore beachline can anticipate increased demand and staff more employees to maintain quick service and generate more orders by understanding when nearby school districts are going on Spring Break.

  • Retail: A chain of convenience stores tracking nearby districts’ Summer Breaks discovers that while destination locations in Miami and the Florida Keys are ramping up, their suburban stores have dropped in demand as students aren’t there for after school visits.

  • Hospitality/Accommodation: A hotel near a ski resort knows they’ll experience an influx of demand over Winter Break, but needs to understand the start of winter holidays for the nearby districts that have the largest student populations to appropriately price their rooms.

School holidays at a district-level provides a more accurate picture into expected demand. With up to four years of historical data and one year future looking, businesses large and small can pick and choose timeframes that matter most to them to understand pinpointed impacts of school holidays before they happen for better forecasting and operational planning. PredictHQ is the only source of district-level school holiday data

Sign up for a free trial or reach out if you’d like to learn more!