Patrick Semansky / AP
If you feel like everyone is on vacation without you right now, you might be right.
The data shows that travel is booming – despite high airfare prices – as many countries relax their COVID-19 restrictions and reopen borders.
Analysts say vacation-hungry Americans are making up for lost time during the pandemic, and there’s even a new term for it: revenge trips.
Here’s what’s happening and what you need to know if you want to get involved.
What do the numbers show?
The short answer is that everything has been going up lately: airfare, fuel costs, and trips made.
Travel insurance company Allianz Partners analyzed more than 40,000 itineraries planned for this summer and concluded that US travel to Europe will increase 600% from last year.
This strong increase is not limited to Europe. This month, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said at an industry conference that “demand is not right” as the airline industry struggles to keep up.
Derek Gatopoulos / AP
This boom is yet another consumer response to the pandemic, said Steve Trent, a research analyst for Citi who focuses on air travel.
“Maybe 18 months ago everyone wanted to buy a Platoon because people were still locked up, and now we’re in a bit of a different phase of the pandemic,” he said, pointing out that the number of infections was increasing, but the number of hospitalizations has not yet been reached. had been reached. the level of previous waves.
So now people are buying plane tickets.
“There is a shift from consumers buying goods to consumers buying services.”
He said the data shows that the prices of tickets sold so far for July were 35% higher than tickets sold in July 2019 (the last summer before the pandemic started). Meanwhile, the industry as a whole is not operating at the same level as it was before the pandemic. Fewer flight paths, fewer crew members and less equipment mean capacity has dropped by 15%, Trent said.
What exactly is revenge travel?
There’s no dictionary definition yet, but industry professionals say the term “revenge travel” is starting to catch on.
They describe revenge trips in general as a huge increase in people looking to make up for time and experiences lost by the pandemic.
Eric Hrubant, the owner of CIRE Travel, a luxury travel agency in New York City, said that while the idea of travel as revenge didn’t necessarily resonate with him, he saw it more as an attitude among the customers.
It’s a proclamation of “Wrong you, COVID, I can travel and I’m going to,” he said. In his own words, Hrubant describes it as ‘vengeance on ‘rona’.
If travelers have any animosity, it might be toward the idea of staying home this summer. Hrubant, who has been in business for nine years, said the past few months have been the busiest he has ever seen, given the mix of limited staff, limited contacts abroad and many new clients.
What should you take into account?
If you are one of those people who wants to get out and see the world, Hrubrant’s advice is to stay realistic.
“I’m definitely someone who should be promoting travel. But I’d say if you haven’t planned your trip to Europe for July or August, forget it,” he said.
Hrubrant said if you’re going on that European fantasy tour, try to wait until September or even October. That way, you get a lot more bang for your buck, deal with fewer crowds, and have a much wider variety of options for where to stay and what to do.
He also suggested keeping an open mind about where you would like to go. Many countries in South and Central America, as well as parts of Asia, have slowly reopened.
“This could also be the time to maybe do something more adventurous, where it’s still not overrun with tourists,” Hrubrant added.
His final tip: remember that everyone has had a rough time over the past few years. Trying to get back to normal has put a lot of stress on the fewer workers in the hospitality industry.
“Everyone is beaten up and overworked now,” he said. “Be kind, be patient and know that you will have the best experience if you start it with the best mindset.”