While summer vacation plans may have not been at the top of everyone’s list during the last two years—and rightfully so, given the state of the world—you may have held out hope this year would look a little different. However, with the way travel costs have been inflating, sources are predicting it may just be a local summer after all.
Compared to 2021, when people still spent a lot of time at home with little movement, let alone travel, everything may seem more expensive. From gas to groceries, we have indeed felt the squeeze, but let’s just make it clear: travel is playing a major part in inflation, too. In fact, according to Bankrate, travel costs have soared to record highs, which is actually not so surprising when you factor in all the causes. After calculating the stagnation of the last two years, as well as the revenue the economy needed to recover, yes, inflation is indeed real and happening. But what does it mean when prices are even higher than they were pre-pandemic?
Looking at airfare in particular, the cost of the average round trip domestic flight as of April 17, 2022, was $358 on Hopper. That price is about $100 more than the average in 2021. Looking at pre-pandemic fares, the average cost on April 17, 2018 was $320, so, an over ten percent increase has still occurred. On top of flights, other important means of travel, such as car rentals and lodging options have skyrocketed as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, car and truck rentals in the average U.S. city are currently around 40 percent more expensive than the previous 10-year average. According to data from February 2022, prices are up 24 percent since the same month in 2021, and up 38.6 percent since February 2020.
Lodging options have similarly peaked while amenities like housekeeping and room service have either disappeared or now come at a significant additional charge. In general, July 2021 saw lodging prices increase by 47 percent, reaching their highest level in the Consumer Price Index. Even in 2022, they are still at record highs.
Despite playing this game of high and lows, we don’t want you to completely cancel your leisure time and travel plans. Vacations play a huge part in unplugging and can be looked at as essential to preventing burnout. To keep your destination plans in motion, we suggest you just rework your vision with a view to discounted packages for certain times of the year and using credit card perks. Below are all of our suggestions for successful travel amid inflation.
Credit Card Reward Perks
It’s always a good idea to sign up for travel-friendly credit cards if you are a frequent flyer, but now it is a good idea for anyone eyeing travel in 2022. When you sign up for a new travel-friendly credit card, most of the time you receive perks, bonuses, rewards, and points. Make it a habit to start checking where you spend to receive points toward your vacations so you can worry less about inflation and focus more on having a good time.
Pay-as-you-go options like Affirm have seen much success since 2020 and inflation is a major reason why. With higher prices and maybe even slower checks for some, the wisest way to make travel an option for summer might be to do it via payment plans. Before booking a vacation destination, make sure your flight, hotel, or package deal has pay-as-you-go options. Prepare for all-inclusive trips that include food and beverage months ahead of time, with pay-as-you-go options in mind so you’ll likely be less affected by inflation prices by the time your trip appears.
Packages, Deals, and Discounts
Besides Groupon, there are multiple websites that provide great deals and discounts on excursions, tours, wellness, and restaurants based on the city you are in, and CityPass is one of them. Take a look at those websites to see where the most friendly packages can be found, and create your itinerary based on amazing deals, discounts, and rewards that fit your travel budget.
Noel Cymone Walker is an NYC-based writer specializing in beauty, fashion, music, travel, and cultural anthropology. She has written and produced visuals for several notable publications such as The Recording Academy/ The Grammys, The Fader, Billboard, OkayPlayer, Marie Claire, Glamour, Allure, Essence, Ebony, and more.
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