Last summer, travel company TUI predicted that holiday prices were due for a large hike this year. They stated a number of different factors which created this situation to do with economics, politics and even the weather. Increases across the board mean that all different types of travellers will be affected but a few canny choices by holidaymakers can help to lower the costs.
Why are Travel Prices Rising?
For UK travellers, a major cause of price increases is the fall in the value of the pound. Not only does it mean we get less spending money for our pound and hotel rates have gone up due to the currency conversion, it also means that airline’s costs have gone up so their prices have gone up. That’s not the only reason costs are rising for airlines either. Recently, the price of oil has started to creep up again so jet fuel has become more expensive.
Political unrest is another reason prices are heading upwards. Previously popular destinations like Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia are now being shunned by tourists due to political uprisings or terrorist threats so demand has risen sharply for ‘safer’ destinations like southern Spain.
Demand is also being affected by recent weather phenomena brought about by climate change. As the ski season gets shorter due to warmer winters, demand is very high in peak season. Similarly, as hurricane season gets more serious, travellers to Florida and the Caribbean are being forced into a shrinking ‘safe season’. Hurricanes also caused air travel chaos last year in the US and Caribbean which cost airlines a significant amount of money which they will be trying to recuperate this year.
Who is Affected?
Because airfares, petrol prices, hotel fees and the cost of foreign currency have all gone up, every type of traveller is affected by these rises. Travelzoo predicted that package holiday costs could rise by up to 9% which could have a huge impact on families and others seeking a week or two in the sun over the summer. Business travellers will also be affected as the 2018 Global Travel Forecast predicts that airfares will rise by 3.5% globally and hotel prices will rise 3.7%. When added to the impact of the falling value of the pound, it could mean significant rises for UK travellers.
How Can Travellers Save Money?
Despite the rise in fares all round, there are still ways to save money and travel experts still say that, even though package holidays have seen the biggest price increase, they’re still the best option for holidaymakers seeking beach holidays in busy periods. According to writers for Travelzoo, timing is everything when it comes to getting a good deal. They say you could save up to 28% on regular priced holidays if you book 56 days ahead and if you book a cruise 12 weeks before you want to travel. While abroad, a good way to avoid sneaky extra charges when paying by card is to pay in the local currency rather than sterling. For city breaks and business trips, the cheapest month of the year is January so if you’re very quick this year, you can get a great last minute deal. For business travellers, it’s a great idea to try to book your meetings for a Monday as the cheapest day to check in to hotels is a Sunday.
These predictions were made last summer and whether costs rise or how much they rise by remains to be seen. Make sure you shop around and check websites regularly to get the best deals either way. You can also click here for a great value travel insurance from ERV