Inflation is threatening the summer vacation plans of millions of Americans

Inflation is threatening the summer vacation plans of millions of Americans

Rising inflation is threatening the travel plans of millions of Americans as rising demand for travel and vacations drives up prices.

Gasoline hit a new record high of $4.45 on Saturday and the start of the peak summer travel season is still a few weeks away.

Earlier this week, federal inflation data showed air fares are up 33 percent year-on-year and up 18.6 percent in March-April alone, the fastest rise since records began in 1963.

Analysts at travel comparison firm Hopper estimate that domestic round-trip flights now cost an average of $330, compared to $235 in early 2022.

Inflation is threatening the summer vacation plans of millions of Americans

Gasoline hit a new record high of $4.45 on Saturday and the start of the peak summer travel season is still a few weeks away

Hopper predicts prices will rise at least 10 percent to $360 by the end of May and stay that way through June.

And prices for children’s summer camps will increase 10 to 15 percent year-on-year amid strong demand, estimates Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association.

“The demand for camps is extremely high as parents, after two years of social distancing, are desperate for their children to be with their peers in nature and away from tech devices,” he told CNN Business.

Still, rising costs aren’t deterring summer vacations, and about 85% of Americans expect to travel this summer, according to the US Travel Association.

Expedia CEO Peter Kern told Bloomberg that he expects the summer of 2022 to be “the busiest travel season ever.”

Airlines, hotels, rental car companies and booking sites all reported an increase in demand for their services in the latest corporate earnings.

But at the same time. Many of these companies are facing a tight labor market and limited volume as they scramble to resume operations and expand after more than two years of low demand due to the pandemic.

Earlier this week, federal inflation data showed air fares are up 33 percent year-on-year and up 18.6 percent in March-April alone

Earlier this week, federal inflation data showed air fares are up 33 percent year-on-year and up 18.6 percent in March-April alone

Prices for summer camps for children will rise 10 to 15 percent year-on-year due to strong demand, an industry group predicts

Prices for summer camps for children will rise 10 to 15 percent year-on-year due to strong demand, an industry group predicts

A customer pumps gas at an Exxon gas station Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in Miami

A customer pumps gas at an Exxon gas station Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in Miami

According to Tripadvisor, travelers should expect inflation to affect all aspects of travel purchases in 2022, and booking now vs. later can mean locking in better prices.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc plans to continue revaluing hotel rooms “every minute of the day” to limit the impact of inflation on the business, CEO Christopher Nassetta told investors on Tuesday.

“As demand has picked up, we’ve certainly been able to do this, and we expect to continue to do so,” he said on the company’s conference call.

Hilton’s average daily rates in the United States were 36.4 percent higher in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

According to hotel market data provider STR, average daily rates across all U.S. hotel companies increased approximately 37.7 percent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

According to travel search engine Skyscanner, airfares are also trending upwards this summer.

Round-trip flights within the US cost an average of $302 per traveler, which is 3 percent higher in the same period before the pandemic.

Long-haul and ultra-long-haul international flights are up to 20 percent more expensive than in 2019, averaging $797 and $1182, respectively.

Other segments within the travel industry are facing supply and labor shortages as leisure and business travelers return as well.

According to Tripadvisor, travelers should expect inflation to affect all aspects of travel purchases in 2022, and booking now vs. later can mean locking in better prices

According to Tripadvisor, travelers should expect inflation to affect all aspects of travel purchases in 2022, and booking now vs. later can mean locking in better prices

Car rental company Hertz Global Holdings reported that it averaged about 481,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, compared to a pre-pandemic level of about 700,000 vehicles.

“There is no question that with even higher demand you will experience even more stress in the summer season,” said Hertz CEO Stephen Scherr, adding that the supply of vehicles available is limited and needs to be managed very carefully.

Staffing issues have also impacted the operations of airlines like Alaska Airlines and JetBlue in recent weeks, forcing them to cut their summer schedules to avoid further disruption.

According to travel booking app Hopper, domestic airlines are currently expected to deploy between 75 and 95 percent of their summer 2019 capacity from May to August.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is continuing to host hiring events to bolster staff ahead of expected summer travel and a return to pre-pandemic passenger levels, according to an agency statement.

The TSA said in March that the return of (fiscal year) 2019 passenger traffic levels would return in (fiscal year) 2022, a year earlier than previously forecast, and an increase in staffing will help ensure the ‘traveling public doesn’t suffer excessive wait times.’

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