Summer travelers scaling back trips because of inflation

Despite massive inflation, many people are planning to go ahead with their summer vacation plans. But many are doing some extra work to save some money.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 2:03 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Most summer travelers say they will cut back on vacation plans because of inflation, according to a new Bankrate study.

“What people are telling us is about 6 in 10 will be taking summer vacations. About 70% of them say that they’re making changes because of high inflation,” said Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst for Bankrate. The company’s recent survey shows many travelers will opt for fewer trips, travel shorter distances, or plan cheaper activities.

“It will be interesting to see what evolves here because the other side of this is a tremendous amount of pent-up demand,” Rossman said. “People say things are not so great, but you look at their actual finances, and many people have saved more. They’ve paid down debt. People are still finding money to spend on goods and increasingly on services, so will pent-up demand win out? I think there’s actually a pretty good chance that inflation be darned. People are going to want to go on these trips.”

3 On Your Side is breaking down a couple of easy things you can do to get the most for your money, with some help from Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights. His first cost-savings travel hack is to search for two one-way flights instead of a round-trip ticket. He says it could save you hundreds of dollars per trip. “The outbound price might be cheapest on one airline, and the return flight might actually be cheapest on a different airline,” Keyes explained.

There’s a way to almost guarantee that you’ll save money on a rental car, too. “Unlike with a flight, you don’t actually have to pay up-front for that rental car,” Keyes said. “Most rentals, you just reserve it, and then you pay when you show up. What that means is that you can reserve it for free, and you can cancel it for free.” So. book the car as early as possible, no matter what the cost is.

“By doing that, I’m setting a price ceiling. I’m saying, ‘I’m going to pay no more than $165,’ because I’ve locked in that price,” Keyes explained. “Then, what I do is one week later, I’ll go do the exact same search, and if the price is lower, I’ll just cancel the old booking and rebook at the lower price.

Keyes used this tactic for a recent weekend. He canceled and rebooked his reservation several times and ultimately brought a $165 reservation down to $112.