INDIANAPOLIS — Travel is heating up this summer, but inflation, high gas prices and labor shortages are creating lingering headaches for travelers.
“Nine in 10 Americans have travel plans in the next six months, so they’re very, very eager,” said Becky Liu-Lastres, a professor in the School of Health and Human Sciences Department of Tourism at IUPUI.
Experts say there’s an imbalance between a sudden increase in travel volume and not enough industries able to accommodate. This has led to higher prices on flights, rental cars, lodging and just about everything in between.
So what can you do? Lastres says plan ahead. Last minute travel could create bigger issues down the road.
“The industry was hit hard by the pandemic, so they’re still feeling the effects such as labor shortage,” Lui-Lastres said. “Recently, we had gas prices and inflation. All these things together makes the services very hard to jump back in pre-pandemic level.”
If you’re choosing to fly, give yourself additional travel time because of ongoing cancellations and delays. Last weekend, more than 3,000 flights were canceled nationwide and thousands more delayed.
Lastly, create a budget and stick to it – that might mean choosing destinations closer to home.
“I think people have this impulse to travel again,” Lui-Lastres said. “They’re setting budgets and picking destinations closer to them.”
If you’re planning to rent a car, be prepared to pay more. Car rentals are up 55% with some rental companies charging hundreds in deposits.
Experts say this is because of the ongoing chip shortages and many rental car places had to sell cars during the pandemic to generate income.