Here’s why summer travel vacations will cost more this year

Summer vacations, an expensive purchase for most Americans, will be even more expensive this year despite lower airfare prices, car rental costs and other travel-related expenses. the reason? High prices on things like Checked bags, Restaurants and entertainment experiences.

While hotel prices fell by 4%, airline ticket prices fell by 6%, and car rental costs fell by 10%, according to a recent report. NerdWallet According to the survey, a vacation this summer will cost 15% more than before the pandemic. That’s because airline add-ons like seat selection fees, as well as dining out and entertainment costs, weigh more heavily on Americans’ wallets.

“Inflation is no joke. Americans are feeling its effects,” said Chris Van Cleave, chief transportation correspondent for CBS News. “What they’ll find when this bill comes along is going to look a lot like what happened last year, but there are some real pain points,” he added.

One of those pain points is Airline baggage fees. “That might be $5, then multiply that by two for your round trip, multiply that by four for your family of four, and you’ll see that the cost of travel seems to go up even if individual prices go down.” Sally French, who tracks holiday inflation at NerdWallet, told CBS News.

Costs for vacation activities, such as visiting parks or other locations, have risen 3.4% since 2019, according to NerdWallet.

When it comes to dining out, dining out at restaurants is up nearly 30% compared to 2019. This can come at a significant cost for vacationers, many of whom don’t include food in their budget. “A lot of people won’t budget for restaurant prices when they make that initial vacation plan,” French said. “They budget for the price of the hotel and the airfare.”

In fact, airfare prices can appear artificially low when only the base price is advertised which does not take into account the cost of extras such as seat selection.

Ways to save money on summer travel

Despite inflation and concerns about the state of the economy weighing on Americans’ psyches and wallets, nearly 70% still say they will take a trip this summer.

Van Cleave offers these tips for consumers looking to cut costs when taking trips.

  • It is always beneficial to travel during off-peak times, when airfare prices are cheaper. During Memorial Day weekendFor example, Saturday is a slower travel day compared to Thursday and Friday, and is the day that people look forward to so they can start their long weekends.
  • Being flexible about where you travel can help your wallet, too. Avoiding particularly popular or crowded areas can result in significant savings. “If you just want the beach, maybe go to a less popular, less sought-after destination,” suggests Van Cleef. “You get the sun, you get the sand, you get the waves, and you probably get a smaller bill.”
  • Finally, spend your travel rewards and credit card points as you accumulate them, rather than storing them for sometime in the future, when they become worth less. “Use them when you get them to cut down on travel costs,” Van Cleave said. “The only guarantee with these points is that they become less valuable over time.”

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