PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Inflation is having a major impact on how travelers are planning to spend the holidays, according to a new Bankrate survey.
The survey results reveal that inflation has caused 77% of holiday travelers to modify their plans. The changes range from driving instead of flying to shortening their trips.
Bankrate’s Ted Rossman tells 12 News that, despite higher costs, more Americans are expected to travel for the holidays this year.
The survey revealed that nearly half — or 48% — of American adults plan on embarking on an overnight leisure trip for the holidays, as compared to last year’s 43%.
“This should be the busiest holiday travel season in at least four years, and we might even top 2019,” Rossman said. “There continues to be tremendous demand for travel and other experiences as we put the pandemic behind us.”
This year, 33% of Americans are planning on driving to their destination, while 17% will take to the skies.
The vast majority of Americans will be staying with their families or friends as opposed to a hotel, motel or short-term rental, according to the survey.
Rossman said young adults appear to be the most concerned about whether they can afford to travel for the holidays.
“The burden to travel around the holidays often falls on the younger generation,” Rossman said. “It’s often the parents or grandparents who host, and the young adults often go back home for the holidays.”
Rossman added that more than half of holiday travelers plan on using a credit card to cover their expenses.
“You still have time to save money from every paycheck between now and the end of the year to avoid a holiday debt hangover,” Rossman explained. “With credit card balances and interest rates both at record highs, you don’t want to be still paying off this Christmas a year from now — or worse.”
Rossman recommended saving money by not only looking for the best deals, but also booking early and researching cheaper alternatives.
“To save money and find the best availability, I think it makes sense to book early,” Rossman said. “Look to save money by cashing in credit card rewards, frequent flyer miles and hotel points.”
“Try to be flexible with your dates, especially if you’re flying,” he added. “Going a few days before the biggest rush and coming back a few days later could save you a lot of money.”