The High Price Tag of Spring Break Travel

By: James Flippin · March 10, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Spring Break For… Never?

If you’re looking to get away for spring break this year, it’s going to cost you.

With pandemic-related restrictions lifted and pent-up travel demand flourishing, traffic this spring may harken back to pre-pandemic days. Expedia (EXPE) has seen a 40% uptick in flight searches for March and April, compared to last year. Airlines for America projects US airlines will log more than a record 158 million passenger flights over that period.

However, while demand climbs back toward pre-pandemic levels, the most popular destinations are seeing costs fly even higher.

Double-Digit Cost Increases

Travel insurance company Squaremouth reported a 3.4% increase in the cost of an insured trip in 2023 from a year ago. And that’s nothing compared to the spike seen in travel prices to the most popular spring break destinations.

This year, vacations to the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Turks and Caicos cost 29% more on average than in 2022. For those planning a trip to Disney World (DIS), airfare to Orlando in March or April of this year will cost 31% more than in 2019. The average airline ticket to Las Vegas costs 41% more for the same period, while tickets to Cancún popped by 51%.

Tips to Help You Save

Airline capacity has improved significantly after falling off a cliff in 2020 amid heightened COVID restrictions. This could help ease pricing pressure by the summer. In the meantime, there are still a few ways for travelers to get away without breaking the bank.

One option is to avoid the most popular destinations, where high demand is propelling prices into the stratosphere. In addition to the traditional warm-weather hot spots, New Zealand, Vietnam, Japan, and Indonesia are currently trending. Visiting any of these places may require a hefty outlay.

Traveling during the week, instead of the weekend, may land you better travel deals, as could being flexible with accommodations to snag last-minute hotel prices. In some cases, an off-season vacation could be the best money-saving option of all — and, in any case, it pays to get creative.

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