Everyone spends way too much money on spring and summer trips

  • Spring break is hotter than ever, but it comes at a cost.
  • Travel experts have seen an increase in the number of Americans planning a spring or summer getaway.
  • But gasoline prices are at record highs and airfares continue to rise amid inflation.

If traveling is costing you an arm and a leg, you’re not alone.

Even your vacation falls victim to inflation as America reckon with prices that have soared to 41-year highs. Experts told the Washington Post this month that all travel categories are experiencing sticker shock as Americans plan trips after two years of no spring fun. Airfares, in particular, are rising due to both increased demand and the rising cost of jet fuel, with gasoline prices rising more than 4% from January to February following the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia.

“People planning spring trips are like bears coming out of hibernation,” Melanie Fish, a spokeswoman for Expedia, told the Los Angeles Times last month. “We are awake and planning to travel but not ready to go too far.”

Experts have spoken of an impending travel boom. Hospitality and travel professionals said they saw an increase in “revenge travel” as Americans took advantage of a pandemic lull by booking spring and summer getaways, The Washington Post reported.

Last year, 29% of Americans traveled for spring break, according to a Vacasa poll. This year, 37% plan to do so.

Brandon Berkson, the founder of New York-based travel company Hotels Above Par, told CNBC in January that travel will be even busier than before the pandemic thanks to consumers having a stronger desire to travel.

“People want to make up for lost time,” he said.

Road trips and flights are getting expensive

Spring breakers are willing to shell out for higher prices because they want to vacation so badly, Jay Johnson, president of Coastline Travel Group in Southern California, told The Times. He said he saw people paying $1,000 a night for a hotel room that cost less than $300 before the pandemic.

Road trips to these hotels also cost a pretty penny. The average US price of a gallon of gasoline jumped above $4 for the first time since the Great


Recession

currently sitting at $4,089.

Kerosene is also on the rise, driving up airfares. Linus Benjamin Bauer, founder and chief executive of consulting firm Bauer Aviation Advisory, previously told Insider that global domestic fares are expected to rise 6% and international fares will rise 4% on average each month through August.

“Rising jet fuel prices are becoming another major headache for the aviation industry during the post-pandemic recovery process this year,” he said.

Adit Damodaran, an economist at travel app Hopper, seconded Bauer, telling Insider that jet fuel prices rose 60% in 2021, creating upward pressure on air fares in 2022.

Hopper predicted in its Consumer Airfare Index that U.S. international fares are expected to rise an average of 5% each month through June, with ticket prices reaching an average of $830 for a round trip. The group predicted that domestic fares in the United States would increase by an average of 7% each month over the same period, reaching $315 for an average round trip. The biggest price increases, according to the group, will take place in February and March – when spring break usually begins.

But for many spring breakers, the cost is worth it.

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