The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

Increasing Travel Prices Bode Ill for Spring Break

As a result of inflation and decreased COVID-19 related restrictions, travel prices have dramatically increased for Americans.
Courtesy of Unsplash
A large crowd of people relax on the beach during spring break.

Almost four years ago, the US experienced a nationwide lockdown as the COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly. Consequently, travel was prohibited in order to slow the spread of the virus. After those restrictions were initially lifted, however, many Americans remained wary of the virus and refrained from traveling, causing travel prices to decrease dramatically.

Today, the fear surrounding travel has largely dissipated. According to Forbes, travel purchases in Sept. 2022 were 6% higher than they were prior to the pandemic. Thus, travel prices have followed a similar trend. 

With spring break approaching, this is certainly disconcerting news for aspiring travelers. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, many Americans are looking to go on vacation. Unfortunately, an increase in travel prices is massively discouraging to many of these people. 

To make matters worse, the American economy is experiencing a great deal of inflation. Coupled with the fact that travel restrictions have been largely removed, travel prices are increasing at an unexpectedly dramatic rate. In fact, according to the BBC, plane ticket prices have skyrocketed by a whopping 44.1% from Dec. 2021 to Dec. 2022. 

Surprisingly however, a study by Deloitte found that travel rates are not decreasing very much. This is generally explained by a heightened interest in traveling: Americans who have stayed home for the entirety of the pandemic are eager to go on vacation, so they are willing to spend more money. 

While the costs in the travel sector have — as a whole — increased, this is not to say that price surges are the same at every destination. Some vacation hotspots have experienced a far more dramatic increase in pricing than others.

For example, according to USA Today, “Spring break prices in Cancun, Mexico, are up 10% on average compared to last year, while the same period in Miami is around 50% more expensive overall.” If travelers are willing to compromise on their vacation destination, finding a reasonable deal is certainly not impossible.

But when planning a spring break vacation, inflation prices must be taken into account beyond only their effects on airfare. Data from NerdWallet illustrates that hotel room prices have increased 8.5% year-over-year. Furthermore, restaurant prices are also 8.2% more expensive. Similarly, as of Jan. 2023, car rental prices were 43% more expensive than they were prior to the pandemic.

Ultimately, the state of the American economy has made everything more expensive. Unfortunately, with travel rates nearing pre-pandemic levels, these price surges are being felt to their full extent. Thus, spring break travel will inevitably be more expensive than it has been in recent years. However, compromising on the destination may soften the blow enough to make vacation a financially feasible decision.

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