High inflation may prompt consumers to change summer vacation plans


Summer vacations plans could be in flux this year.

This time, it’s not because of Covid-19. Instead, high prices due to inflation may prompt prospective travel goers to switch up their plans.

In fact, 69% of adults who say they will take a vacation this summer anticipate changing their travel plans as prices have soared to record high levels, a survey from Bankrate.com finds.

In the battle between pent-up demand that has built up over the past couple of years and soaring costs, the desire to travel may still win out for many people, predicts Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.com.

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The top changes people indicated they may make include taking fewer trips and traveling shorter distances.

The most common destinations people are eyeing this summer include beaches, with 37% of respondents; staycations, 28%; and cities, 27%. Meanwhile, 21% plan to visit national parks, 17% plan to stay at campgrounds, 14% will visit amusement parks, 12% will travel internationally and 11% plan to take a cruise.

Still, not everyone is planning a summer escape.

Those more likely to plan a jaunt include adults with annual household incomes of $100,000 and up, with 75% of those respondents. In comparison, 56% of those earning less than $50,000 plan to take a trip.

Parents of children under 18 are also more likely to plan a vacation this summer, with 75%, versus 61% of parents with adult children at and 56% of non-parents.

Younger adults are also more likely to say they are very or somewhat likely to take a summer getaway, with 72% of Gen Zers ages 18 to 25 and 65% of millennials ages 26 to 41. Meanwhile, 61% of Gen Xers ages 42 through 57 and 58% of baby boomers ages 58 to 76 said the same.

To be sure, those plans could be subject to change as the summer season approaches. The online survey, which included 2,676 adults, was conducted between March 30 and April 1.

A CNBC + Acorns Invest in You survey, conducted by Momentive in March, found 40% of U.S. adults said they would cancel a vacation or trip if consumer prices continue to rise. 

If you are planning to hit the road, you may want to consider a few cost-saving moves, Rossman said.

Look for deals where possible

Prices everywhere are higher. Yet areas that are still seeing less foot traffic due to the pandemic may be more inclined to offer deals.

“If you’re not necessarily wedded to any particular destination, maybe let the flight and hotel deals guide you,” Rossman said.

Scout out credit card rewards perks

It’s never a good idea to take on high interest credit-card balances you cannot pay off immediately.

But if you have the financial flexibility and can afford to take on that debt responsibly, you may want to consider a new credit card with a signup bonus, airline miles or cash back, Rossman said.

“There are a lot of good deals out there right now,” Rossman said.

Don’t let work vacation days go to waste

Bankrate’s survey found 30% of workers with paid vacation time will use less than half of it this year.

“That’s a real missed opportunity,” Rossman said.

Instead of leaving paid vacation time on the table, find a trip within your budget and go, even if it is just a staycation, he suggested.



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