ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — If you’re planning on traveling anywhere soon, be prepared to fork out some extra cash.
After more than a year of shutdowns from the pandemic, airfares, hotels, car rentals, and gas are all going up in price.
“I think a lot of it comes down to in the travel industry, the hotels, the car rentals, the airlines, they are trying to make up for all the billions of dollars that they lost last year, billions of dollars,” said Lynn DiMaria, the General Manager of DiMaria Travel.
Travel agents say there is more demand than supply because Americans are itching to travel after the long year.
However, almost every travel industry is seeing an impact. Take airlines for example, companies are seeing higher prices for tickets and less flights.
“They are having trouble finding pilots to come back, they are having trouble getting flight attendants to come back, so when there used to be maybe two or three flights a day going to a certain destination, we’re still down to one,” DiMaria said.
DiMaria said she’s seen the high airline prices impact her clients.
“I had a family of five with a $5,000 budget, which is a good budget, but the airfare was $1,000 each so $5,000 was all airfare, they couldn’t go anywhere,” DiMaria said.
Then there is gas, which is the most expensive it’s been since 2014, according to a AAA study.
And if you’re looking to rent a car to travel, prices are up 86%.
“Car rental availability all across the U.S. has been very difficult because supply and demand, you know, we are definitely seeing prices for car rentals be quite high. During the pandemic, car rental companies did have to offload a bunch of their inventory so they saw some things happen to them during this and that, and that was one of them and that is the reason we have such a shortage on car rentals,” said
Christine Randise, the Manager of the Triple AAA Travel Plus Virtual team.
Hotels are also seeing rising costs. Many locations lost revenue and staff during the pandemic.
“Let’s say that hotel that you want to go to is paying more for labor, to get everyone to come to work, they are paying more for the air conditioning, they may be paying more if they offer breakfast, so it all gets turned over to the individual traveler,” DaMaria said.
DaMaria said she is seeing hotel costs go up domestically, but they are still relatively inexpensive in other countries, like Mexico or in the Caribbean. But she said if you travel internationally, expect plane tickets to be expensive.
With many Americans making travel plans, agents say the best thing you can do is to book ahead and be flexible with dates, if you can.
“Because of that pent up demand for travel, people are booking for next year, which means there are a lot of limitations on space so the sooner you book, the better,” Randise said.
Randise also said if you plan on traveling, booking with a travel agent can be helpful as they stay up-to-date on all the changes in the industry.
“Make sure you are booking with a travel agent so they can give you the correct information that you need to travel to that destination. It is different, every destination is different and changing daily, weekly, monthly so we keep up to date the best we can, but that’s what we are here for, to guide our clients to the vaccination they want,” Randise said.
Experts also say if you plan to travel abroad, you need to check your password expiration date now, because getting a passport renewed is currently taking some people 3-4 months.
“My biggest pointer on that is before you book your trip, pull out your passport, actually look at it and see when it expires, most destinations require your passport to be valid 6 months beyond your return date,” Randise said.
“If you do not have a passport, and I don’t care if you’re not traveling for two years, get it done now. It’s taking a long time to get back,” DiMaria said.