Summer travel rush begins with rising gas, hotel and air prices

“Know before you go” was a phrase used at the height of the pandemic two years ago as travelers were urged to double-check their accommodation and transit options before setting out on trips away from home.

While many of the pandemic restrictions and rules have since loosened, it’s best for travelers during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and beyond to check things out.

But this time, you should be prepared for sharply higher prices, especially for gas, hotel rooms, airline tickets, and returning crowds.

“We are paying for pent-up demand,” said Jean Gagnon, of Latham Plaza Travel. She said plane or hotel reservations for this weekend had already been made by people for months. And now travelers who might want to go somewhere for Labor Day, at the end of summer, should make their plans. “Flights are full,” she said.

“It’s a very turbulent situation,” commented Bob Provost, president and CEO of the New York State Tourist Industry Association.

To be sure, New York’s tourism/travel metrics haven’t exceeded previous numbers for the pandemic. But the retreat from previous years has been cut by more than half.

“The recovery has picked up in the state overall,” said Provost, a former Times Union marketing director.

Statewide, the numbers are skewed due to New York City. The city ranks among the top 10 global attractions, and continues to suffer from a staff shortage of restaurants and hotels, and a shortage of international travelers.

Ready to spend?

No matter where you’re headed, be prepared to pay extra to get to your destination and sleep there.

According to the national AAA, even the lowest airfares are up 6 percent from a year ago, while mid-range hotels are up 43 percent.

Car rental costs are up 170 percent, and of course gas is up 51 percent.

Nationally, a gallon of regular gas sold an average of $3.03 last year compared to $4.60 as of this week, according to the AAA.

In New York this week the average gas price was $4.93 per gallon, with metropolitan area prices averaging $4.88 and New York City $5.05.

Planes climb out of sight.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index jumped 33 percent year on year.

From March to April this year alone, they rose 18.6 percent, the largest single-month jump on record.

“Based on our predictions, not only is summer travel heating up, it’s going to be blazing. People have been late for a vacation, and they are looking to offset some much-needed research and development in the months,” said Paula Tweedal, Senior Vice President at AAA. coming.”
Overall, AAA expects 39.2 million Americans to travel at least 50 miles from their homes this weekend, an 8 percent increase from last year.

The only group that won’t catch up are visitors from abroad.

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