December 18, 2022 BY Jacey Edwards in Newsletter
Weird uncles and Macaulay Culkin. Must be Christmas: NL #125
Home (again) for the holidays
You could say that making the annual pilgrimage back to your childhood stomping grounds for the holidays is just about as American as apple pie. (Or, if you’re my family, chips and queso). But this season, folks are opting to travel earlier and stay longer than in years past.
The travel industry is pretty psyched. Travel workers are (understandably) exhausted. Our moms are probably headed to Costco as we speak to load up on pinwheels and mini quiches. What’s going on here?
Remote work is at an all-time high
According to a recent survey cited on WIRED, 14% of full-time employees in the U.S. are fully remote and 29% work outside the office a few days a week. It makes perfect sense. There can be way more flexibility with travel schedules when you can easily pop in to your Monday morning meeting from the same sofa you used to play the lava game on. This trend is serving to flatten the usual peak travel dates and extend trips by several more days than usual.
Widespread remote work has also inevitably led to the phenomenon of bleisure (business + leisure) traveling. This practical blending of work trips with vacations and vice versa has led to an uptick in travel, with workers taking more trips for fun throughout the year, even if they tend to be shorter than your typical ooo vacation.
FOMO, ho, ho!
Ok, so it’s no secret that folks are looking to cure their pandemic lockdown hangovers stat. As it turns out, getting your tail whooped in Yahtzee by Grandma and catching up on your weird uncle’s pickleball league drama is apparently *not that bad* when you’ve been deprived of it for a couple years. Who knew?
According to new data from PwC, nearly 47% of Americans will travel this holiday season. Even those planning to skip the family festivities aren’t skipping travel. Instead, they’re jetsetting to IG-worthy vacation spots they’ve had their eye on for a while now, just waiting for travel restrictions to lift.
Limited seating, weird flight schedules, and high demand for hotel rooms and rental cars has driven travelers to book trips on non-peak days and in off-season locations. We’re seeing that folks with the work flexibility are more keen to adjust their normal travel routines to save a buck or two and dodge the usual crowds.
All in all, I think what we’re seeing is a massive shift in the travel economy that’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And in my opinion, that’s a good thing. Having more time to spend with family and the chance to check a few spots off your bucket list is the gift that keeps giving. We could all use a little more of that . . . and a few extra mini quiches won’t hurt either.
The FTX collapse. Continued.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested by Bahamian authorities on Monday. His arrest was the first big move by regulators to hold individuals accountable for the multibillion-dollar implosion of FTX last month. The arrest was a slight surprise. Bankman-Fried was expected to testify virtually before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. Guess he was hoping to get a little Vitamin D in before his trip to the Big House. Bummer.
The US Attorney’s Office for New York charged the crypto exec with eight criminal counts. “This is really just old fashioned embezzlement. This is just taking money from customers and using it for your own purpose.”
The big question is, of course, where did all that money go? More than $32 billion were funneled by Bankman-Fried and his associates into four silos, or categories, including WRS, Alameda Research, FTX.com and a variety of venture investments. Bankman-Fried had also donated almost $40 million to democratic candidates, campaigns and political action committees. What a giver.
Apple’s app store will soon have to allow other app stores.
Apple is planning to allow for alternative app stores on iPhones and iPads. The change would allow customers to download apps without needing to use the app store, which would mean developers wold not need to pay Apple’s exorbitant 15 to 30 percent fees. This could appease a lot of companies, including Spotify, Tinder and Twitter.
Is Apple just feeling the Christmas spirit? Not exactly. The changes are designed to placate Euorpean Union lawmakers, who recently passed the bloc’s sweeping Digital Markets and Services Act, which will be initially implemented on the continent before potentially rolling out to other regions.
Opening up to outside app stores could present a major threat to Apple’s fast-growing services business. Of course, Apple holds the advantage of a tenure. The familiarity and security of Apple’s own store makes alternative vendors seem less enticing. Curious how this one will play out.
Best of the Week
A fun thread on the 9 greatest ads and what makes them effective. I remember the first time I saw Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign. And now, 34 years later, my sons wear the slogan on neon tee shirts. Wild.
Apple’s holiday gift guide is fun to look at, and really fun to receive. Our eyes are on the AirPods Max headphones. Or the new Apple Watch. Or the latest Apple TV. Okay, we want all of it.
What to Watch
The Wired’s roundup of the best holiday movies to stream this season. The Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life should be your first choices, in my very humble opinion.
Because nothing says Christmas like child abandonment, breaking and entering and Buzz’s girlfriend. The Home Alone soundtrack will forever be the background music of the holidays. And for good reason.
More News from the Week
- Everyone’s buzzing about Megan and Harry’s Netflix special. In case you’re as invested as I am, Harry is the red head.
- Super Nintendo World is set to open next year. Goodbye vacation time.
- US lawmakers propose measures to ban TikTok. I still haven’t figured out the Applebee’s dance, so this one is stressing me.
- Rumors that Taco Bell might be adding fries to the menu. And we thought COVID was a big deal…