A tower in Portugal, gondolas in Venice, views from beaches in the Bahamas – as you scroll through your social media feeds, it’s like everyone you’ve just met is on a picturesque vacation this summer . Compared to the last two years, 2022 is seeing a huge increase in travel, especially international, and it may seem impossible to keep up.
According to US International Air Travel Statistics, the number of outbound international US flights from April 2021 to April 2022 increased by about 97% year-on-year. Airbnb data for May 2022 also showed an all-time high in bookings for longer stays, with US travelers heading to Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica and the Bahamas as well as domestic beach destinations.
If you’re not planning on traveling this year, hearing about other people’s vacations might give you a sense of FOMO: the fear of missing out. But don’t let comparisons put you into panic-booking pressure, which can strain your finances. Even with time and budget constraints, it is possible to have fun in the summer.
How are people tolerating it?
For many travelers, this summer is an opportunity to travel for the first time in two years, and the anticipation makes it well worth the cost. Some are probably willing to spend more than their budget or go into debt to be able to have the vacation of their dreams.
“It’s a lack of demand,” says George Hobeika, founder of Airfarewatchdog.com. “People saved a lot of money over the past two years and can push up on prices.”
For many people, the shift to remote work has made travel more accessible. Yaslin Rivera, a Los Angeles-based executive assistant at a video-streaming company, makes the most of working remotely that she otherwise would have been unable to pre-COVID-19.
“I have childhood and college friends who now live all over the country,” she said. “If I’m going somewhere, it’s because I know someone there,” she said, explaining her almost constant relocation. She stays with friends instead of booking hotel rooms and Airbnbs, and when she does book a room, she sticks to a tight budget.
“I don’t mind the discomfort I experience,” she says, citing motel rooms, red-eye flights, and working from the road.
While some travelers are in a position to make great trips this summer, travelers like the Riviera make the most of the opportunities and connections they have, even if it means sacrificing convenience. If you work remotely and have a flexible schedule, trying the Riviera approach can be a good way to add more travel to your summer.
influence of social media
Regardless of the realities, social media can still make travel look like Pinterest-worthy heaven.
“There’s definitely the fear of missing out,” says Giacomo Morionado, a Chicago-based customer service manager at an aviation company who sees friends posting from sightseeing. “I’m jealous; I want the freedom to visit my family in Italy and Argentina, but it’s not financially possible for me this summer.
Morionado has felt the pressure to travel this summer, but with an office job, limited time off and out-of-budget airfares, his options are restricted.
“When you see some people posting gorgeous vacations, you can’t compare yourself,” notes Rivera. “They may be from a wealthy family, or are going on a sponsored trip; They are not on the same playing field.”
Consider limiting your social media intake if such posts are bothering you. Or if you’re curious, ask frequent travelers how they do their travels. People can be refreshingly honest about their circumstances, and the answers may surprise you.
benefits of staying at home
American travelers are flocking to vacation destinations in record numbers, but this summer may not be the best time to take the trip you’ve been waiting for.
“I personally think it’s a bad year to travel,” Hobika says. With soaring airfares, a strike in the travel sector, and rising prices in every category, an international trip – especially one with children – can be more trouble than it’s worth.
Resist the temptation to join the travel rush this summer can help you take advantage of milder weather and crowds in the fall or even next year.
“I’ll wait until things settle down,” Hobika says. “Too many people are traveling, and there are not enough staff to support them; Getting where you want to go is just not reliable.”
In the meantime, if you haven’t planned a trip this summer, plan adventures closer to home.
“I turn myself into a tourist in my city,” Morionado says. “Don’t feel like you’re missing out when you’re doing something yourself.”
Exploring your own city or state, visiting family and friends’ homes, and seeking out low-cost outdoor experiences can enrich your summer and satisfy your travel cravings without straining your budget.
This column was provided by personal finance website NerdWallet to The Associated Press. Dalia Ramirez is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com.
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