Inflation is screwing up many Americans’ holiday travel plans

Inflation may dampen some of the holiday excitement for many Americans who plan to travel for the season.

Rising gas, airfare and hotel costs are making travelers especially budget-conscious, according to a new survey by Bankrate. Americans said they plan to travel shorter distances, spend fewer days out of town, and engage in fewer activities that cost money. More people are planning to drive to their destinations rather than fly, while others are planning to book trips using credit card points, the personal finance site found.

The cost of travel has risen sharply compared to last year. According to the Consumer Price Index, living away from home, which includes hotel stays, was up 4% in August from a year earlier. Inflation data shows that gasoline increased by 26% and airline fares increased by 28% during the same period.

The days between November 24 and January 1 are the busiest times for domestic travel. According to travel booking app Hopper, prices for plane tickets and hotel stays are expected to continue to rise during the holidays, with airfares reaching their highest points in the past five years.

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Hopper’s data shows that domestic flights on Christmas Day average $435 for a round-trip fare, up 55% from last year, while Thanksgiving airfare prices are about $281 round-trip, which is about $281 round-trip. 25% more than last year. The average hotel stay during the Thanksgiving holiday will cost $189 per night, up 13% from last year, and $218 a night during Christmas, a 32% increase from last year.

Holiday travel also proved to be a challenge earlier this year, especially around Memorial Day, when travelers experienced Thousands of canceled or delayed flights, The cancellations resulted from a combination of bad weather, staffing shortages, and TSA and the airlines over-scheduling some flights.

“Hopefully this holiday season won’t be as messy, but I suspect there will be more travel disruption due to weather, higher demand, sluggish staff and a lack of equipment,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.

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