How to save on travel during a surge in inflation

Inflation is on the rise, and if it continues, Americans may start to abandon their travel plans.

Nearly 40% of American adults said they would cancel a vacation or trip if consumer prices continue to rise, according to a new CNBC + Acorns Invest in You poll. Momentary. The online survey was conducted March 23-24 among a nationwide sample of 3,953 adults.

The CPI jumped 7.9% in February from 12 months earlier, with prices rising on everything from gas to food and housing. March data is expected to be released next week.

Meanwhile, Travel price indexwhich measures the cost of travel away from home in the US and is based on CPI data, rose 16.7% year-on-year in February and is 12.3% higher than in February 2019.

So far there are no signs of slowing down

To be sure, there are no signs of slowing down yet. In fact, demand is high after the Covid lockdown.

“Our latest data shows that pent-up travel demand is eclipsing current inflated travel prices,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public relations and policy for the American Travel Association.

This sentiment was also recently expressed by Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, an online travel services company.

“When people don’t travel the way they want for two years and you’ve accumulated a lot of savings over that period, prices can be very high and people say, ‘I don’t care. I just want to travel. I want to go somewhere,” Vogel said. said in an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell”.

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How to save money

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One of the best ways to get a deal is usually to book a domestic flight at least six weeks in advance, while international flights should be booked about four months in advance, according to Kayak’s Jacobs.

To travel this summer, book your tickets before the first week of May, Hopper’s Berg advises.

“After that, prices will really rise all the time and it will be harder to get a really good deal for June and July,” she said.

You can find lower airfare if you postpone your vacation and book tickets for September or October.

You can keep track of flight and hotel prices by setting up price alerts on travel websites and apps.

Being flexible about the days of the week you fly can also save you money. For example, domestic flight prices are 13% cheaper on Wednesdays and 15% more expensive than the national average on Sundays, Jacobs said.

Meanwhile, flying early on international flights can save you money: flights from 5 am to 10 am are 22% cheaper than at other times of the day, he noted. Conversely, domestic flights between 10:00 and 22:00 are 12% cheaper than early morning flights.

Also look out for alternative airports, as there are multiple options in many areas. Low-cost carriers generally find it most cost-effective to operate outside regional airports, Berg said.

If prices are too high, consider staying at a nearby hotel.

“This is a great way to spend time in a hotel with a pool… without spending a lot on the road,” said Berg.

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