Inflation Has Become The Latest Travel Disruptor in The US

Inflation Has Become The Latest Travel Disruptor in The US wsjdigitalsubscription

With the end of Covid, inflation has become the most significant reason not to travel.

Andi Garland, originally from Louisiana, could not see her relatives in the last 2 Christmases due to the pandemic; this year, the biggest obstacle is inflation.

Compared to last year, the tickets had a big increase, so the 22-year-old girl who works in a dermatology clinic decided not to visit her father and her new wife in Atlanta.

“The ticket was $600” “She was surprised and a little upset,” she said.

After 2 years of suffering the effects of the pandemic, we hoped that this holiday season would be the time when families could come together. However, inflation increased the prices of everything, including plane tickets, food and gasoline. So the covid is no longer the reason for not seeing your relatives; it is the high cost reported The WSJ Print Edition.

Despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to aggressively increase interest rates, the latest reading of inflation rose 7.7% compared to the previous year and airfares registered an increase of 43%. This is a problem with no clear end in sight.

Hopper Price Tracker reported that the average price of a domestic plane ticket rose to $307 on average, 36% more than last year and 41% more than in 2020.

Cheaper alternatives

Hunter Malloy, a Brooklyn resident, decided not to attend his family’s Thanksgiving celebrations in Orlando, Florida. This is after seeing the costs of the plane ticket. Although it is normal for prices to be high at this time of the year, this time, the 23-year-old was surprised.

Malloy took the bus to Virginia to celebrate Thanksgiving. She hopes to get home by Christmas if she can find reasonably priced airfare.

“I will be sad if this is the first Christmas I haven’t seen my family because of finances,” Malloy said.

Nearly 80% of Americans who travelled this year for the holidays changed their plans due to inflation, according to a recent Bankrate survey. The study showed that the most common ways to reduce costs are to travel on fewer days, engage in cheaper activities, and select less expensive destinations and accommodations.

22% of travellers feel pressured to spend more than they feel comfortable with.

Holiday Hacks

Travelers are finding ways to cut costs as inflation pushes up prices.

According to Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, check to see if they have credit card rewards, frequent flyer miles or hotel points. A good time to collect them,” he said.

Teresa McGill opted to purchase the plane tickets for Thanksgiving with a pay-later service. Usually, it costs about $250 to fly from Austin to her family in St. Louis, but this time she spent more than $310. These services allow consumers to pay for purchases in four instalments over a few weeks.

“It was overwhelming and frustrating,” she said. “I’ve been wondering which purchases I’m going to eliminate. I have to be more conscious when I go to the supermarket and things like that”.

Road trip

After the summer peak, gas prices drop, so some travellers drive home for vacations instead of flying.

Although the average price of gasoline in the country is $3.77 per gallon, according to AAA, it’s still almost $5 off the summer peak but up from $3.41 last year.

Rosalind Kidwell, who lives in New Orleans, drives 10 hours to see her family in Orlando on Thanksgiving Day after realizing that the plane ticket that used to cost $200 is now $500.

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