The Rising Cost of Travel and How to Keep Your Wallet Happy

rising cost of travel

We get it. We’re all itching for that post-pandemic getaway, a chance to swap Zoom calls for sandy beaches or bustling city streets. But lately, it seems like our travel dreams are colliding head-on with a harsh reality: the rising cost of travel.


From skyrocketing airfares to pricier hotel rooms, even that morning latte at the airport is costing us an arm and a leg! It’s enough to make us want to stay put and binge-watch travel shows instead. But fear not, fellow wanderlusters! We’re here to break down the factors fueling these price hikes and share some savvy tips to help you save money on your next adventure.


Why is travel so expensive right now? It’s not just your imagination!


Let’s face it: inflation is hitting us hard, and the travel industry is no exception. Fuel prices are soaring, labor costs are rising, and pent-up demand for revenge travel is driving up prices across the board. According to NerdWallet’s Travel Price Index, the overall cost of travel is up 15% compared with April 2019, the last fully-normal April before lockdowns. That means your dream vacation is likely going to cost you a pretty penny more than it did just a few years ago.


And it’s not just airfare and hotels. We’re seeing price increases everywhere we turn: car rentals, food, activities, you name it. Remember when you could find a decent meal at the airport for under $15? Yeah, those days might be behind us. But hey, at least the people-watching is still free!



Airfares: The Main Culprit For The Rising Cost of Travel


We all know the hassle of searching for affordable flights. But lately, it seems like those elusive deals are harder to come by. In 2022, the global average ticket price (ATP) for flights booked for business travel witnessed a record price surge, soaring 72.2% year-over-year. While Nerd Wallet shows that the steep hike has leveled out and is set to be more modest in the coming years, we’re still looking at airfares that are significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels.


Hotels: Where Luxury Comes at a Premium (And So Does Everything Else)


Remember those post-pandemic hotel deals? Yeah, those are pretty much gone. As travel demand rebounds, hotels are raising their rates to make up for lost revenue. Plus, with staffing shortages and rising labor costs, those extra expenses are often passed on to us, the consumers. And don’t even get us started on resort fees!



Food, Glorious Food? More Like, “Food, Where’s My Wallet?”


Eating out while traveling has always been a bit of a splurge, but these days, it feels like restaurant prices are reaching new heights. From fancy Michelin-starred establishments to casual beachside cafes, it seems like everyone is raising their prices. We’re not saying you have to subsist on granola bars and instant noodles, but maybe pack a few snacks in your carry-on to avoid those overpriced airport sandwiches. Food away from home is now 29% more expensive than compared to April 2024! That enough to curb any appetite.


Navigating the New Normal of Travel Costs: We’ve Got Your Back!


We know the rising cost of travel can be a major bummer. But don’t despair! With a little planning and some savvy strategies, you can still embark on your dream getaway without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips to help you save:


  • Timing is everything: Consider traveling during the off-season or shoulder season when prices tend to be lower. Avoid peak travel times like holidays and school breaks when everyone and their grandma seems to be on vacation.
  • Be flexible with your destination: If you’re open to exploring new places, you might be able to snag better deals on flights and accommodations. Maybe that hidden gem of a town has just as much to offer as that trendy tourist hotspot.
  • Hunt for deals: Sign up for email alerts from airlines and hotels, and use flight search engines like Alternative Airlines, which allow you to book your flight and pay in installments. A little patience and persistence can go a long way in finding those hidden discounts.
  • Think outside the box: Consider alternative accommodations like vacation rentals or hostels, which can often be more affordable than traditional hotels. You might even discover a unique and charming place to stay that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
  • Cut costs on transportation: If you’re flying, consider using low-cost airport parking services like those offered through At your destination, explore public transportation options or rent a bike instead of a car. You’ll save money and get some exercise – it’s a win-win!
  • Pack light: Avoid checked baggage fees by packing only the essentials in a carry-on bag. Do you really need five pairs of shoes for a weekend getaway? Probably not.
  • Eat like a local: Skip the pricey tourist traps and dine at local restaurants or markets for a more authentic (and affordable) experience. You might discover some hidden culinary gems that you wouldn’t find in a guidebook.
  • Embrace free activities: Many destinations offer free walking tours, museums, or parks that can help you save money on entertainment. Take advantage of these opportunities to soak up the local culture without spending a dime.


While the rising cost of travel is a reality we have to face, it doesn’t mean we have to give up on our wanderlust. By being savvy and resourceful, we can still explore the world without emptying our wallets. So go ahead and book that trip! With a little planning and some smart choices, you can make your travel dreams a reality.


Remember, travel is an investment in yourself, in your experiences, and in your memories. And with a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can make it happen without breaking the bank. So pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready for your next adventure!