Spring Breakers Are Back, Even If It Burns a Hole in Their Wallets


  • Spring break is hotter than ever, but it comes at a cost.
  • Travel experts have seen an upswing in spring breakers making plans for a post-Omicron getaway.
  • But gas prices are hitting record highs, and airfare is continuing to rise amid inflation.

Spring breakers are about to go wild — with their money.

After two years light on springtime fun, Americans are finally making travel plans again, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month. But even spring break is a victim of inflation as America reckons with prices that have hit 40-year-highs. Airfare is surging amid both higher demand and the increasing cost of jet fuel, as gas prices rise after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“People planning spring travel are like bears coming out of hibernation,” Melanie Fish, a spokesperson for Expedia, told the Times. “We are awake and planning to travel but not ready to go too far.”

Experts have been speaking of an impending travel boom. Hospitality and travel professionals said they’ve seen an upswing in “revenge travel” as Americans take advantage of a pandemic lull by booking spring and summer getaways, The Washington Post reported.

Last year, 29% of Americans traveled for spring break, according to a Vacasa survey. This year, 37% plan to.

Brandon Berkson, the founder of the New York-based travel company Hotels Above Par, told CNBC in January that travel will be even busier than pre-pandemic times thanks to consumers who have a stronger desire to travel.

“People want to make up for lost time,” he said.

Road trips and flying are getting costly

Spring breakers are willing to shell out for higher prices because they want to vacation so badly, Jay Johnson, president of Coastline Travel Group in Southern California, told the Times. He said he’s seeing people pay $1,000 a night for a hotel room that cost less than $300 pre-pandemic.

Road-tripping to these hotels is costing a pretty penny, too. The average US gas price was at a record high of $4.196 per gallon as of Monday, with some analysts predicting that it could reach $5.84.

Jet fuel is also on the rise, which is jacking up airfare. Linus Benjamin Bauer, the founder and managing director of the consultancy firm Bauer Aviation Advisory, previously told Insider that global domestic fares are set to increase by 6% and international fares will jump 4% on average each month until August.

“The rise of jet-fuel prices is becoming another major headache to the aviation industry during the post-pandemic recovery process this year,” he said.

Adit Damodaran, an economist at the travel app Hopper, seconded Bauer, telling Insider that jet-fuel prices increased 60% during 2021, creating upward pressure on airfare in 2022.

Hopper predicted in its Consumer Airfare Index that US international fares are expected to rise by an average of 5% each month until June with ticket prices reaching $830 on average for a round trip. The group predicted that US domestic fares will increase by 7% on average every month over the same time, reaching $315 for the average round trip. The largest increases in prices, the group said, will be during February and March — when spring break typically begins.

But for many spring breakers, the cost is worth it.



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