Title: Post-Pandemic Travel Boom Expected During the Holiday Season
Subtitle: Affordable airfare, improved airport operations, and loyalty program benefits draw in more American travelers
As the holiday season approaches, nearly half of Americans are planning to embark on trips between Thanksgiving and mid-January, according to a recent survey. This figure marks a significant increase from last winter when only 31% of Americans had travel plans. In line with this, the American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that the Thanksgiving period alone will witness 55.4 million travelers, a 2.3% jump compared to the previous year.
One significant factor contributing to the surge in travel plans is the decline in airline ticket prices. During Thanksgiving, domestic tickets are averaging $268, representing a 14% decline, while Christmas flights are priced at around $400, a 12% decrease compared to previous years. These lower prices are encouraging more people to take to the skies. However, foreign getaways are experiencing softer demand, resulting in airfares to popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean remaining higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Despite the increased number of travelers, airlines and aviation officials are confident about handling the holiday rush. Recent improvements in flight cancellation rates and lower instances of missing luggage have bolstered confidence in the industry. This assurance will likely help ease concerns and increase passenger satisfaction during the holiday season.
On the accommodation front, hotel room rates are expected to rise due to higher demand. Budget-conscious travelers are advised to book their rooms in advance or take their chances with last-minute reservations. The growing preference for credit cards among holiday travelers has also been noted, with 75% opting to use them for expense coverage. Many travelers are taking advantage of rewards and loyalty programs to offset costs and make their trips more affordable.
This year, the holiday travel demographic is predicted to see a shift, with baby boomers expected to make up a larger share of travelers. On the other hand, millennials and Generation Z travelers are anticipated to decrease in numbers. These evolving travel patterns could stem from various factors, including changing priorities and reevaluations of travel plans due to the pandemic.
Travelers can also capitalize on the accumulation of credit card rewards and hotel points. Experts recommend strategically earning and redeeming rewards during this post-pandemic travel boom to maximize benefits and savings.
With more Americans planning to travel and take advantage of affordable airfare, improved airport operations, and loyalty program benefits, this year’s post-pandemic travel boom is set to continue into the holiday season. As a result, the travel industry is preparing for an influx of explorers eager to make the most of the festive period and satisfy their wanderlust.
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