I think it’s time for a vacation, don’t you? With all the stress and confusion in the world, I decided to give us a break from financial discussions this month and instead prepare us for the summer travel season with expert travel tips and tricks.
Since the summer of 2022, travelers have come out in droves taking to the roads, skies, and seas in pursuit of a post-Covid vacation. Last summer, pent-up demand caused flights to be oversold, reinvigorated the cruise industry, and put record numbers of travelers on the road. With that in mind, and with summer at our doorstep, we’ll take a look at expert tips for traveling, from finding the best deals to the lowest gas prices to what to pack; I’ve got you covered!
Let’s start by taking stock of the new travel landscape in a post-Covid world.
It was only April when we started to hear of airlines reporting record numbers of bookings for the summer season. And while traveling last summer was a disaster for many with sold-out, over-booked, and canceled flights, it’s clear airlines have learned a lot since then. In an effort to fight delays, the FAA is allowing some major airlines to reduce their flight schedules at some of our nation’s busiest airports, largely in response to a shortage of air traffic controllers. Experts suggest that the best actions to take are booking early, selecting direct flights, and using only carry-on luggage. And, of course, with increased demand comes increased prices. The latest federal inflation data shows airline tickets have risen 17% above prices at this time last year.1 Travel experts at Expedia say the best day to book your flight is on Sunday, the best day for travel is Wednesday, and the best deals to be had are when booking 21-60 days ahead of your trip.1 Of course, we’ll get into all this in more detail in next week’s blog.
If you are planning a road trip this summer, chances are you are giving considerable thought to gas prices and how long it’s taking them to come down. The summer driving season is synonymous with high prices at the pump for several reasons. Historically, retail gasoline prices tend to rise gradually in the spring and peak in late summer when people drive more frequently. Gasoline prices are generally lower in winter months. One of the main reasons for this is that gasoline specifications and formulations also change seasonally. Environmental regulations require that gasoline sold in the summer be less prone to evaporate during warm weather.2 According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), this requirement means that refiners must replace cheaper but more evaporative gasoline components with less evaporative but more expensive components.2 From 2000 through 2022, the average monthly price of U.S. retail regular-grade gasoline in August was about 39 cents per gallon higher than the average price in January.2
The cruise industry is also experiencing high post-pandemic demand. In fact, the CLIA 2023 Cruise Industry Report reveals that cruise tourism is rebounding even faster than that of international tourism arrivals.3 In fact, cruise passenger volume is forecast to reach 106% of 2019 levels in 2023—with 31.5 million passengers sailing.3 This compares to the UNWTO forecast (January 2023) that international tourist arrivals in 2023 will be 80% to 95% of 2019 levels.3
Armed with these facts, we know for sure that this summer will be another record-setter for the travel and tourism industry. Of course, this is a very good thing for the economy. And while prices may be up, that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent to vacation seekers. Stay tuned next week when we will discuss the best moves to make when traveling by air.
Until next time…
One last thought, I believe an educated investor is an empowered investor. If you like what you’ve read and think your friends and family can benefit as well, please share.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested in directly.
All investing involves risk, including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
Dollar-cost averaging involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuation in the price levels of such securities. An investor should consider their ability to continue purchasing through fluctuating price levels. Such a plan does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets.