Suppressed travel demand meets inflation. Here’s what a new survey finds about how travelers plan to deal with higher prices.
Mary Ann Ha
Nearly seven out of 10 adults in the United States are making changes to their summer vacation plans due to high levels of inflation, according to a recent survey by Bankrate. Taking fewer trips and traveling to the nearest locations are the biggest planned changes, each scoring 25 percent of responses. 23 percent of respondents said they would look for cheaper activities and 22 percent said they would adapt by choosing less expensive accommodation or destinations.
Bank Survey Results
Amid rising travel prices, the ‘accommodation’ trend is on the rise, with 28 percent of those traveling this summer planning a vacation within their home country or within their stay. Other than the high interest in accommodations, the most popular vacation destinations are beaches with 37 percent and cities with 27 percent. National parks, campgrounds, and theme parks all follow closely, in that order. The least popular travel options reported were, unsurprisingly, international travel at 12 percent and cruises at 11 percent.
Aside from those considering making adjustments to their summer travel plans, many have refrained from the idea of vacationing altogether. The most common reason cited by those who canceled summer plans was that they couldn’t afford them—48 percent of respondents. Among the different generations, Gen Xers stood out, with 58% scoring the higher prices as the strongest summer travel blocker.
After concerns about cost, 27 percent of respondents said they are simply not interested in holidays, and 20 percent cited Covid as the number one reason for staying away from summer travel. Health or age complications, family obligations, and vacation plans for another time were on the list before not being able to take time off from work at 10 percent.
While paid time off is a well-deserved perk for most employees, only 33 percent of American workers said they plan to use all that time in 2022, a seven percentage point drop from pre-pandemic numbers, according to a March 2019 survey. the bank. Only 18 percent plan to use about half of their vacation time, and 30 percent say they will use less than half of their paid vacation.
Despite these numbers, experts remain confident that travel demand will continue this summer.
“I suspect pent-up demand will win out over higher rates,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate. Americans are spending aggressively despite rising inflation and downbeat consumer confidence statistics. Having been locked up for two years due to Covid, I think people are ready to go back there this summer, even if it means paying higher prices and maybe taking out their savings or taking on debt.”
There has been a shift from spending on goods to spending on services, Rossman said. Airlines, hotels, bars and restaurants reported strong demand, which is reflected in recent reports of the influx of booking prices noted by travel booking sites.