Gas prices and rising costs are driving families to change travel plans – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Leisure travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels.

But fuel prices are skyrocketing, putting pressure on family budgets for those who want to travel this summer. It pays $5 per gallon in parts of North Texas and beyond.

This, along with the highest increases in inflation seen in 40 years, are changing the way people now travel.

The idea of ​​”accommodation” is becoming more and more attractive to families.

“With gas prices soaring, we see that the last two months of our business have been a passing division — about 75% of passenger cars or locals have decided to do a ‘stay-and-operate’ set-up rather than continue,” said Crystal Kennedy, Statler Dallas regional sales manager, Curio Collection Bay. Hilton: “A plane and jump to San Diego or Miami.”

Many visitors drive from cities that don’t break your budget on a tank of fuel.

“Our big feeder markets are Austin, Houston and San Antonio,” Kennedy said. “Shreveport really sneaks in there. We get a lot of Waco, and it’s a quick 90-minute drive away.”

They also note that more vacationers are making decisions a few days in advance of travel, so last minute reservations are popular.

Hotels are now working to cater to these specific visitors. For example, The Statler offers special discounts for Texans and new perks like free valet parking for those with cars, helping to accommodate everyone who drives into downtown Dallas.

If you’re staying or traveling in other parts of Texas, these perks are something you should ask your hotel about.

They’re seeing the same trends, said Mitch Witten, COO of Visit Fort Worth.

“Nationally, 86% of Americans plan to travel this year. About 60% plan to take road trips closer to home,” Witten said. “More Texas travelers are finding their way to Fort Worth. Visiting Fort Worth has followed the big jumps in visitors from cities as far away as El Paso and Corpus Christi, and closer in like Waco and Weatherford.”

They are also seeing a trend in new locals who have recently moved to DFW playing the tourist role in their new town.

“Fort Worth is very popular with the 7 million people who live in the DFW area, many of whom are new Texans or new to the area,” Witten said.

This is why staycations are becoming more popular. Visit Fort Worth has designed itineraries for families who want to follow an easy guide to things to do in Fort Worth, including free trials.

Meanwhile, the Dallas visitor said that despite rising gas prices, travel is returning in every possible way.

Surveys show that people are spending less on other things like clothing and retail in order to be able to travel this summer.

“There’s a phenomenon right now called retaliation travel. People have been so repressed over the past two years, that they’re going to go,” said Craig Davis, president and CEO of Visit Dallas. “A recent study reported that more than 65% of people surveyed said they would take a trip in the next six months regardless of the reason.”

The revival of tourism is very much welcomed by the industry.

“We’ve had two horrific years. In fact, the impact of COVID on the travel industry has been nine times the combination of 9/11 and the 2008 recession together. So we’ve really hit rock bottom, and now we’re back,” Davis said.

Davis said the city just passed the $100 million mark in hotel revenue for the first time ever in March.

Although we may see more visitors from nearby, get ready to see more people from all over the world soon.

Visit Dallas said because the government has dropped the COVID-19 testing authorization to enter the country, it could increase the number of international travelers flying into DFW Airport.

“In fact, the American Travel Association says it will bring another 5.4 million travelers and $9 billion in revenue to the United States,” Davis said. “And Dallas, of course, as an international gateway, will have more than our fair share of that impact.”

Aviation future

If you’re still holding out hope of saving a few dollars on a plane ticket this year, experts say cheap flights aren’t gone forever.

Scott’s Cheap Flights told CNBC that you’re in luck this summer, but prices after Labor Day are still affordable.

“You want to make sure you don’t put it off until the last minute in the hope that prices will get cheaper because, in all likelihood, the opposite will happen,” said Scott Keys, founder of the site.

Prices for hotels and flights also tend to drop once the kids are back in school and back in demand.

One of the tricks of booking flights is to turn vacation planning on its head. Usually people choose the destination first, then the dates, and then search for the flight ticket.

“With pricing as a last priority, it’s not too surprising that we have some very expensive flights,” Keys told CNBC, adding that potential travelers should take the same three-step process and “turn it upside down.” .

“If cheap flights are really important to you and this is a vacation where you have flexibility in terms of where and when to go, don’t make price your last priority,” Keyes said.

Instead, make price a top priority. He recommends periodically checking fares from your local airport to see which destinations are more expensive, bearing in mind that prices can change every day.

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