Inflation Is Going To Change Holiday Travel In A Major Way

According to a new study, inflation and rising costs will have people reducing holiday travel this year.

By Gabriella Acuna | Published

Record-high inflation has taken its toll on Americans’ holiday travel plans, causing them to make adjustments to reduce transportation and lodging costs. As the cost of airfare, gas, and accommodations continues to rise, travelers in the U.S. are trying to stick to their plans without breaking the bank.

According to CNBC, a survey by Bankrate found that of “43% of U.S. adults” who will be traveling this holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, 79% of them will alter various aspects of their trips in order to spend less.  

The Bankrate survey found that 26% of adults are planning on shortening their holiday travel plans this year to try to spend less money. 25% are opting for less expensive hotels or different vacation spots, particularly since the increase in demand during the holiday season is driving costs much higher up. Some have decided to give up a portion of their plans, with 24% of the adults surveyed stating that they will be traveling less. 

23% of those interviewed will be staying closer to home instead of traveling too far, and 23% will forgo pricey flights for long car rides instead. The survey also found how income is impacting Americans’ decisions to travel. 86% of travelers with annual incomes of less than $50,000 are going to have to adjust their holiday plans to be able to afford them. 

Only 70% of travelers that earn more than $100,000 have been financially impacted enough to sacrifice a portion of their plans. Holiday travel has usually been a bit more expensive in the past due to basic supply and demand. However, the current economy combined with shortages and a global pandemic has set the stage for sky-high prices. 

Planning ahead of time and considering the high cost of transportation and hotels can help keep holiday travel stress at bay. As more and more Americans have started to venture out again, making transportation and lodging reservations way ahead of time can ensure that travelers save a spot for their families.

Airlines experienced a flurry of chaos this past summer “as consumers unleashed pent-up demand and the industry couldn’t keep pace,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, reported CNBC

Although travel-associated costs rose throughout 2021, they slightly began to decrease these last few months. However, airfare and hotels are still more expensive than ever and maybe even pricier when holiday travel demand peaks. In August, airfare had risen by a staggering “33% compared versus a year earlier,” reported CNBC

Those with holiday travel plans can expect everything to be more expensive – except for car rentals. August car rental costs dropped 6.2% compared to a year ago in August of 2021. Hotel prices went up by 4.5% from a year ago, which may seem minimal compared to airfare, but combined with the price increases from everything else, the extra costs can be shocking. 

Those with holiday travel plans may not be surprised to learn that gas prices have risen by 25.6% from a year ago. The high cost of gasoline prices has been an ongoing burden for many Americans since earlier this year. Restaurant meals went up by 8%, which could cause travelers to opt for cheaper fast food instead.