Survey: 8 out of 10 travelers have encountered travel problems this year

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Travel season is in full swing, but travelers are facing a host of issues, from skyrocketing transportation costs to flight cancellations. Of those who have already traveled in 2022, 79% encountered at least one travel-related problem, according to Bankrate’s summer travel survey.

Does that mean you have to postpone your trip? Not necessarily, says Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate. If you’re among the 58% of people who plan to travel for leisure at some point in 2022, know that there are methods to alleviate the hassle of traveling with the credit card in your pocket – or one you might want. -be asked before take-off.

Most common disadvantages

“While many Americans are excited to travel again after being locked down for the past two years due to the pandemic, they face significantly higher costs and long waits,” Rossman says. “Things could get worse before they get better as pent-up demand is unleashed this summer.”

Of the 33% of American adults who have already traveled for pleasure and 12% for business this year, 79% said they encountered at least one problem.

High travel costs topped the list of issues, with 57% of these travelers reporting higher prices than before. This follows the results of an April 2022 Bankrate survey, which found that 7 in 10 Americans with summer vacation plans were changing their itineraries due to inflation.

After price spikes, the top downsides include long waits (29%), poor customer service (27%), and hard-to-find availability (26%).

The confiscation of funds along the way was another unfortunate experience. Of those travelers, 14% said they lost money due to canceled or discontinued plans.

Generations experience differences

Travel disruptions affected age groups differently:

  • Most inconvenienced Gen Zers: 88% of Gen Zers who traveled this year experienced at least one travel-related issue. After that, 82% of Millennials, 77% of Gen Xers, and 75% of Baby Boomers experienced at least one travel issue.
  • Gen Xers and Baby Boomers get the most sticker shock: 61% of Gen Xers and 60% of Baby Boomers who traveled this year said prices were higher than usual. Fifty-two percent of millennials and 51 percent of Gen Zers reported the same pricing issues.

People of different ages travel differently, so it’s no surprise that they encounter different challenges. Despite the different issues, all age groups are negatively affected – in every generation, at least 3 out of 4 travelers have encountered a travel-related problem this year.

Who sees higher prices

As people from all income groups and geographies look forward to exploring the country and beyond, it will be essential to be prepared for greater associated expenses. The investigation revealed that:

  • Higher income households report higher prices: 60% of the highest income households (at least $100,000) who traveled in 2022 reported higher prices than they are used to. Only 52% of the lowest income households (under $50,000) who traveled had the same shocking experiences with the stickers.
  • Price spikes are most noticeable among people in the Midwest and South: 61% of Midwesterners and 60% of Southerners found the highest prices to be the most intense, while 54% of Westerners and 47% of Northeasterners who traveled in 2022 found the prices were higher than they were used to.

So what exactly costs so much more? Among those who noted higher prices in 2022 so far, the increase in transportation costs, cited by 85% of these travelers, is the most glaring. After that, 63% said accommodation costs more than usual and 54% said common travel activities such as dining out and visiting tourist attractions were higher than expected.

These answers are supported by data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: According to the latest Consumer price indexgasoline prices have risen 49% over the past year, air fares have risen 38%, “lodging away from home” has risen 22%, and dining out costs 7% of more.

However, high costs do not deter everyone from travelling. The survey showed that 52% of travelers are willing to spend more than they are normally comfortable on when traveling this year. Thirty-two percent said they were willing to spend as much as in the past, and only 15% said they were willing to spend less on travel.

“Strong demand combines with the highest inflation numbers in four decades and ongoing staffing shortages,” Rossman says. “If you are still considering planning a trip, I suggest you act quickly as prices are expected to remain high.”

How Credit Cards Can Help

The good news is that you can offset travel delays and higher costs with the right payment tools.

“Consider using credit card rewards, airline miles, or hotel points to help cover the cost of your trip,” says Rossman. “And if you can be flexible, let the deals dictate when and where you travel rather than focusing on a specific place at a specific time.”

Review the credit cards you have now. Check your rewards balance to see if you have enough to cover airfare. If not, consider ways to quickly add more points or miles and get more value for your travel rewards. Invoicing all major and necessary expenses, then paying the entire bill before interest kicks in, may be enough to qualify you for a free flight. Also, if you have a travel credit card, find out about the benefits of your card. You may not be aware of all the cost-effective travel benefits you are entitled to.

If you don’t have a good rewards credit card yet, now might be a great time to get one. The best travel credit cards can save you hundreds or more on travel. Here are some features to look out for:

  • A big sign-up bonus: After reaching the minimum spend, you may be able to walk away with enough points or miles for two round-trip domestic flights or one international flight. You may even be able to fund your vacation.
  • Free hotel stays and credits: Hotel credit cards can save you a small fortune on lodging, with some offering free nights, annual credits, and free room upgrades.
  • Global Entry and TSA PreCheck: Many premium travel cards offer credits to cover the cost of Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, which can reduce stress and long wait times.
  • Access to the airport lounge: Also a more premium card benefit, airport lounge access can make your experience more enjoyable. Most lounges offer comfortable, spacious seating and free food and drink.
  • Travel insurance coverage: This benefit can reduce the costs associated with many inconveniences such as flight delays and cancellations, lost luggage and even medical needs. Some cards have car rental insurance, so you don’t have to pay for the rental company’s plan. Travel insurance can ensure that you have more money for your trip.

Methodology

Bankrate commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct this survey of 3,378 American adults from June 15-17, 2022.

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