Travelers are changing their vacation plans to avoid blowing their budgets amid high inflation, according to a new Bankrate survey.
Forty-three percent of American adults plan to take overnight leisure trips between Thanksgiving and New Year’s; of them, 79% adapt to rising travel prices in various ways, according to the survey.
For example, 26% shorten their trips, 25% choose cheaper accommodations or destinations, 24% take fewer trips, 23% travel shorter distances and 23% drive instead of flying, according to the survey.
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The dynamic disproportionately affects travelers with lower household incomes: 86% of those with less than $50,000 in annual income are adjusting their travel plans versus 70% of those making more than $100,000, according to Bankrate.
“Travel costs have increased, so it’s important to plan and factor these expenses into your overall vacation budget,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.
“I suggest making flight and hotel reservations earlier than previous years as demand is likely to outstrip supply,” he added. “This summer, air travel was particularly messy as consumers unleashed demand and industry failed to keep up.”
The cost of airfare, hotels and rental cars had risen rapidly through 2021 along with consumer prices in the broader US economy, although they have pulled back slightly in recent months.
Flight prices in August rose 33% compared to the previous year and by 9.3% compared to 2019, according to the consumer price index, an inflation gauge.
Meanwhile, car rental prices fell by 6.2% compared to August 2021, while hotel accommodation rose 4.5% and petrol prices increased by 25.6% over the same period. Eating out in restaurants is also 8% more expensive.