Inflation is making just about everything more expensive in the United States as it rises at the fastest rate since 1981. The cost of travel is no exception.
According to data from the Federal Reserve, gas (48 percent increase year-over-year), hotel rooms (25.1 percent), airfare (23.6 percent), rental cars (23.4 percent), and transportation (22.5 percent) have all increased in price significantly more than the 8.5 percent increase of the overall Consumer Price Index.
The cost of fuel is behind much of the increase. It’s simply more expensive to get anywhere or move anything, and that cost is passed on to consumers. Jet fuel alone costs more than 30 percent than it did last month, according to TravelPulse. Other factors impacting the travel industry include staffing shortages (especially in the case of airlines, which have had to cut back the number of flights) and a surge in demand from people eager to travel again after years of staying close to home.
You can still make travel affordable if you put in the effort. There are reward programs for every type of traveler, and some days are cheaper to buy flight tickets than others. In some cases, you can buy two one-way tickets and end up with a cheaper option than buying a round-trip flight.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that prices aren’t going to magically go down anytime soon, but there are plenty of budget travel hacks to keep down the cost of getting out into the world.