After 2 years of pandemic confinement, many people are itching to start travelling again. But now, instead of worrying about a fast travelling virus, we’re worried about fast rising prices that may restrict travelling.
In February, the consumer price index rose 7.9% over a year ago. The price of everything has gone up, and it is starting to affect many people’s wallets. With inflation rearing it’s ugly head, are our future travel plans in jeopardy?
As the Washington Post points out, many aspects of travel have increased in cost due to inflation. The U.S. Travel Association’s travel price index shows prices rising more than 14.4% higher in October last year compared to 2020.
One of the most significant factors affecting travel is the price of oil, and hence gasoline. The best way to combat the rising prices – over $6.00 per gallon in some areas – is to drive less.
And last November, it was reported that hotels and motels had prices skyrocket to over 25% from what was seen from a year ago. Is this a good thing?
The Pandemic Factor
The pandemic caused a lot of fear and angst. Prices fell, and airlines and travel industries suffered from a lack of income. People stopped leaving their houses, entire countries closed their borders, and air travel became so complicated that it left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
John Horn, professor of Economics at Olin Business school, said, “…as the economy is recovering from COVID and the shutdown, there has been an increase in demand for things people weren’t buying over the last year due to uncertainty about job future or lack of opportunity – like travel and dining out. As demand increases, so do prices. That’s one driver.”
As the pandemic is ending its rein on fear, there is an increase in demand for hotels, airlines, food, and gasoline. The increased demand creates an increase in prices. So even as more people try to travel and start booking stays, the price will continue to rise because of the increased demand.
Will Inflation Disrupt Your Travel Plans?
Inflation is going to continue to rise for travel.
On the bright side, as the world continues to normalize, demand will eventually start to fall, and prices will become less of a threat to our wallets. However, for the time being, taking necessary steps to find better deals and travel cheaper is the best route.
The rise in jet fuel costs will cause concern for many travelers as they will see flights go up in price. Delta president Glen Hauenstein said, “We need to recapture somewhere between $15-20 each way on a ticket.”
Airlines will do what they can to combat the higher fuel prices, so we too must take action. It may be prudent to start booking travel sooner rather than later. There is a possibility that flights may get more expensive from higher fuel surcharges on international flights.
3 Ways to Combat Higher Travel Prices
It is possible to save money and travel – if you follow these three suggestions.
Start Travel Hacking
Travel Hacking is one excellent tool to allow you to travel cheaper.
As costs of things rise, you do not want to spend a whole budget just trying to get to one place. However, there are plenty of great credit cards and strategies that can allow you to accomplish your feat of achieving free travel. You can sign-up for them, hit the bonus, and use those to buy flights through travel partners or travel portals.
Saving money on flights offsets many of the other costs associated with travel – a win, win!
Traveling During Off-Peak Times
Traveling during off-peak times can mean having cheaper hotels, cheaper flights. It also helps to target a travel destination that is less crowded with tourists.
Steering clear of popular times during the year to travel, such as school holidays, religious holidays, or certain seasonal events, can allow you to find better deals and save money.
If you cannot avoid certain holidays, try working around peak travel days. Try flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. These days typically have fewer people flying, and allow you to find and take advantage of better deals.
Become Financially Responsible
Financial responsibility is key to saving money and traveling more. As we make travel plans for the summer, create a workable budget and cut unnecessary spending, to allow for the increase costs of many of the items that we enjoy.
Curating new financial habits can allow you to travel cheaper, better, and enjoy your experiences more. Create your budget, track your spending, and set financial goals to achieve your travel dreams. For example, cutting back on your spending for going out leaves money to budget for eating while on your travels.
Changing habits may not be easy, but making your dreams happen takes a few steps.
These three ways combine to combat inflation, and allow you to have enjoyable travel plans this summer without money worries.
By Steve Cummings