Summer Prices Bust Travel Budgets

Prices Surging Amid Pent-Up Demand

Summer travel is in full swing as consumers venture out after more than a year of pandemic shutdowns and restrictions. What they are finding is that prices on everything from rental cars to accommodations are skyrocketing. Take car rentals in popular domestic vacation spots as an example: prices are up 300%. Meanwhile the average price for vacation rental homes is up 70%.

The price surges are not entirely surprising. With the pandemic easing, people want to get out again and are willing to pay more to escape. Problems arise, however, when they bust their budget in the pursuit of making up for lost time. The good news: there are ways to prevent breaking the bank.

Consider the Tradeoffs

Many Americans have been able to save more money during the pandemic thanks to stimulus checks and reduced costs on childcare, commuting, and entertainment. That does not mean all savings should be put toward a vacation. A better choice is to set a budget considering the costs beyond flight, car rental, and accommodations. That gives travelers a clearer picture of the total outlays for the trip.

It is also important to weigh the price tradeoffs when planning a vacation. Some people may prefer to stay at a high-end hotel for a shorter period while others prefer cheap lodging for a longer time. Without considering tradeoffs, it is easy to overspend. Timing is also important. Prices are surging but they could come down later in the year. For travelers who can postpone their trip, they may save more.

Leverage Reward Points

How travelers pay for their trips can also prevent overspending. Using travel rewards can be advantageous. Consumers should resist the urge to use emergency savings for a summer trip. It is important in the post-pandemic era to have a rainy day fund at the ready.

Vacationing is in the cards for many Americans, but that does not mean they have to overpay to get some rest and relaxation. Following the above tips can help prevent that from happening.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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