Staycation or vacation? Locals talk summer travel plans amid record inflation | News

EUGENE, Ore.– As the warmer weather starts trickling in, many are planning their summer vacations, especially after being cooped up for nearly two years because of the pandemic.

But with sky high travel prices, some are putting the brakes on spending money for vacation.


“Inflation isn’t helping,” said Eugene visitor Eric Delora. “That’s certainly going to limit how far you can go or how much money you’re going to spend.”

Delora travel from Wyoming to Oregon to kick off his summer.

“We got AirBnB’s, rented a car, the car was a little pricy and that seemed to be the sticker shock,” said Delora.

Some people told KEZI they’ve had to pick up extra shifts at work to be able to afford any summer travel this year.

It’s also the pain at the pump making travel more difficult.

“The gas prices are going to make it a more expensive trip, but it’s not going to change the plans,” said Eugene resident Dain Nelson.

Nelson and his wife Louisa Dorsch are planning to drive to Wisconsin for vacation.

“The plan was always to do a drive and to camp along the way,” said Nelson. 

Ross Horr, a commercial airlines pilot, said his flights recently have been packed with passengers.

“Inflation is definitely going to affect a lot of people, but moreover I think people are really tired of being inside with the pandemic and I think they are going to do a lot of traveling despite the pandemic,” said Horr. “I think a lot of people saved during the pandemic. America is really good at spending once they’ve saved.”

Many people said they’re not going to let inflation rob them of a long postponed trip.

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Inflation Impacting Summer Travel Plans, Credit Card Habits

A new study found that 58 percent of Americans report that inflation is impacting their summer vacation travel plans.

Personal finance website WalletHub revealed a survey examining the summer travel habits, worries and expectations of travelers in the United States, as well as the best credit cards for travel this summer.


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Study respondents found that using a credit card during vacation was important, with around 32 percent of people “likely” or “very likely” to apply for a new card before a road trip this year.

“Roughly 58 percent of Americans say inflation is affecting their travel plans, according to a new WalletHub survey,” WalletHub analyst Delaney Simchuk said. “Inflation has increased to levels not seen in decades, and when prices on everyday items rise, there’s less money left over for luxuries like travel.”

“Even travel itself has gotten unusually expensive,” Simchuk continued. “For example, airfare was 33 percent pricier in April 2022 than one year prior, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and costs are expected to keep rising.”

While 32 percent of Americans said travel usually gets them into debt, data found that 41 percent more people would skip a credit card payment instead of a vacation in 2022 compared to last year.

Another 38 percent of travelers said they plan to use credit card rewards to pay for a vacation, with rental car insurance being the most used benefit at 27 percent. The insurance is nearly twice as popular as extended warranties (14 percent), the least used benefit.

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Rising gas prices force drivers to put travel plans on hold

MEMPHIS, Tenn.– There is no relief at the pump as gas prices continue to climb in the Memphis area and across the country. Gas prices are still breaking records, hurting drivers in their wallets and forcing them to make other travel plans for the summer.

Record high gas prices that seem to rise almost every day at Memphis area gas pumps have drivers digging even deeper into their pockets.

In West Memphis, Arkansas, it’s the same song, but with a different verse.

“We’re spending more money on the gas but for me personally I can afford it, but I can imagine people struggling financially. They wouldn’t be able to travel like I’m doing,” said George Johnson from Clarksdale, Tennessee.

AAA told WREG that as of Friday Tennessee has a state average of $4.29 a gallon. That’s nine cents more than on Monday.

Mississippi gas prices are now $4.18 and Arkansas has the lowest gas in the Mid-South at $4.12.

“We’ve seen record-breaking prices for over a week now. We’ve been over the four-dollar mark for a couple of weeks here in Tennessee and unfortunately, it looks like that trend is going to continue,” said Megan Cooper with AAA.

And with no end in sight to the rising prices and with Memorial Day fast approaching, AAA recommends you plan ahead.

“Make sure you’re up to date on your oil changes, make sure you’re looking at your tires, make sure they’re properly inflated and have proper tread depth,” Cooper said.

But the soaring prices are slowing down some summer travel plans and for others, it’ll mean not only putting the brakes on traveling but parking their vehicles altogether until gas prices come down.

AAA says as of Friday Memphis is the fourth most expensive metro area in the state of Tennessee.

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Jayson Tatum’s son, Deuce, has big plans for his trip to Miami

Jayson Tatum helped propel the Boston Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday, but his son Deuce stole the spotlight after the Game 7 win.

Deuce joined his dad at the podium for his postgame press conference and had his own Riley Curry moment. With the C’s set to take on the Miami Heat in the next round, the four-year-old Boston favorite answered a question about heading down to South Beach.

What Giannis told Tatum after C’s Game 7 win

“I will go swimming, my daddy and me,” Deuce told reporters.

The Celtics will take on the Heat for Game 1 at FTX Arena on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. ET., but coverage begins right here on NBC Sports Boston with Celtics Pregame Live at 7:30 p.m.

For the full series schedule, go here.


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TSA plans for summer travel rush

(NewsNation) — With airports across the country only getting busier, TSA says it’s stepping up its efforts and bringing in more TSA agents to help alleviate the long lines.

In Miami, there are more than 150,000 travelers a day — that’s up 17% from last month.

More people are traveling, and the summer rush hasn’t even started yet.

AAA officials are predicting 60% more people will travel this year than last year — that’s about 37 million people — almost to pre-pandemic numbers.

On Memorial Day alone, nearly 2.5 million people will board a plane. That’s why TSA officials say they’re rolling out a new plan to put more TSA screeners in bigger, busier airports.

The chief of the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday that his agency has quadrupled the number of employees who could bolster screening operations at airports that become too crowded this summer.

Nearly 1,000 employees have volunteered to be sent to other airports if needed to help passengers get through security lines faster. And travelers say long lines won’t be a deterrent this summer.

It’s part of the agency’s plan for handling what is projected to be a frenetic vacation-travel season.

“We expect this to be a busy summer, and we are as ready as we possibly can be,” Pekoske said at a news conference near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. “We’re likely going to exceed in some airports by good measure the 2019 numbers.”

TSA currently has 47,500 employees at security checkpoints throughout the country. It says when the lines get longer than 30 minutes, more help is called in.

Pekoske said TSA tries to predict when wait times in the standard checkpoint lanes will be at least 30 minutes, or when waits for PreCheck travelers will be at least 10 minutes. When that happens, volunteers from less-crowded airports will be sent to help reduce the waits at busy airports.

TSA has screened more than 2.1 million travelers over the last month. That’s almost as much as 2019 — and travel experts say they expect this number to drastically go up over the next few weeks.

Airlines are expecting summer crowds to be similar to 2019, preparing for the busy season by posting ambitious schedules for the summer vacation months. Some airlines have recently trimmed those plans out of fear that they won’t have enough employees to operate every flight.

International travel is still far below pre-pandemic levels.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Radisson plans European expansion of Prizeotel

Radisson Hotel Group plans to introduce its Prizeotel lifestyle brand to more European destinations, including the UK, the company announced at the International Hospitality Investment Forum in Berlin.

Prizeotel, which is described by Radisson as midscale lifestyle brand created, was acquired by the company in 2019.

At that time Prizeotel had four properties in Germany and has since opened one property in Belgium with plans to add another four properties in Germany and one hotel in Austria this year.

Radisson said it seeks to expand the Prizeotel brand in “select” EU countries and the UK, with 45 new signings over the next five years. 

“We are looking forward to continuing our successful journey in EMEA which now also includes the rollout of Prizeotel in key European cities,” said Radisson global chief development officer Elie Younes in a statement. 

Radisson as a group, which owns nine hotel brands, is planning to open 15,000 rooms and sign 330 hotels during 2022 in the EMEA and APAC regions.

Federico Gonzalez, CEO of Radisson Hotel Group, added: “Radisson Hotel Group has had an impressive start to the year with strong progress on our ambitious transformation and growth plan. 

“Thanks to our five-year strategic plan, we quickly put in place all the necessary tools for a swift rebound which resulted in increased bookings since the start of the year.”

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What happens when people use TikTok and Instagram to make travel plans

Nearly one in three travelers turn to social media for holiday inspiration, according to a new study.

The figures are even higher for younger travelers. Some 60% of Gen Zs and 40% of millennials use social media for travel purposes, according to an April 2022 report by the travel company Arrivia.

On TikTok alone, the hashtag “travel” boasts 74.4 billion views, while some 624 million Instagram posts are about travel too.

But there’s a darker side to social media’s flawless travel photos. Expectations may not match reality, with many photographs edited to look better than they actually are.

Disappointed travelers are now striking back, using the very mediums that led them astray. They are publishing their own videos that show what immaculate places on social media actually look like in real life.

A town from a Disney movie?

Garcia made a humorous TikTok video documenting her visit to the city, showing a dirty gas station and rundown buildings, though she noted she did focus on the “not so nice” areas of Gastonia.

“You always think like, okay, you see this happen to other people, but it never happens to you — I’m smart enough to know when things are real and when things aren’t real,” she said.

Since her video went viral, Garcia has spoken to the mayor of Gastonia, who offered to take her on a tour of the town if she returns. She also appeared on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” to share her experience.

“Do your research … because you might end up somewhere you don’t want to be,” Garcia said. “[And] don’t believe everything you see on the internet.”

A ‘beautiful, hidden garden pool’

Thirty-year-old travel blogger Lena Tuck also fell victim to a glamourized TikTok video.

While driving from Brisbane to Melbourne, Tuck said, she made an impromptu decision to visit a “beautiful, hidden garden pool” that she had seen on TikTok — the Yarrangobilly Caves thermal pool walk.

“It looked like this out of world place where topless men would be feeding you grapes or something like that,” she said.

But on the drive there, her phone lost reception — which meant she had no directions to guide her — and she had to drive on a rough, unpaved road for 10 minutes before trekking nearly half a mile down a steep hill.

When she reached the pool, she was surprised to find it packed with families and screaming children, much like a public swimming pool, she said.

“All I can think about is how many people have peed in here,” she said in a TikTok video describing the experience.

“It’s … the absolute antithesis of an Instagram experience, and I feel like that’s why the whole experience was just so funny,” she told CNBC.

She said she thinks people should be spontaneous and open-minded, but cautioned travelers to “do more research than I probably did.”

Ethereal waters

Photos of Terme di Saturnia, a group of springs in the Tuscany region of Italy, show beautiful blue water with steam gently rising from it.

But this couldn’t be further from reality, said 28-year-old Ana Mihaljevic.

Her visit was “highly” influenced by social media posts that show an “almost idyllic” scene, the self-employed project manager and digital marketer said.

But the water was green, smelled like rotten eggs because of sulfur, and was filled with visitors posing for photos, presumably for social media, Mihaljevic said.

“It’s most certainly not a place to relax,” she added.

Markus Romischer, a 29-year-old travel filmmaker agreed that the springs looked different on social media. He made a video, tagged “Insta vs. Reality: Europe Edition,” that showed his disappointment in the Tuscan springs, as well as spots in Switzerland, Madeira and Rome.

Once he saw it in real life, he said he could tell online pictures had been heavily photoshopped. The springs are “warm, the color was special, but when you only see those social media pictures” the reality is “a little bit sad,” he said.

Early mornings are far less crowded, said Romischer. When he arrived at 6:00 a.m., there were few people — mostly “grannies” — but the afternoon was a different story, he said.

“At midday, so [many] buses came from everywhere, and it was so full,” he said.

Tourist attractions will always be crowded, said Romischer, who shared one tip for avoiding crowds: “Don’t Google ‘what to do in Tuscany’ and go to the first place on the list.”

Like the others who were duped by social media images, Mihaljevic advises travelers to do their research.

“If you want to travel without research, that’s ok but be prepared that not everything will be as you saw it online,” she said. “Some places will be even better, but some will disappoint.”

Read more about social media vs. reality

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Worthington travel adviser plans honeymoons, destination weddings

Our Q&A series introduces our advertising partners

Tell us about yourself as the face behind Wanderlust Travel & Tours? 

I’m Leslie Sobnosky, I’ve been a travel adviser for over 10 years. I started in-house at AAA Worthington and started Wanderlust Travel & Tours in 2016. I live in Dublin with my husband, Donny, and 4-year-old daughter, Sammy. Although I love all the vacation bookings I do for my clients, I always have had a special place in my heart for my brides. Destination weddings are my favorite! I love planning weddings. 

What should readers know about your business? 

We are in the business of creating memories and checking off bucket lists. I love hearing how I made my clients’ vision a reality! 

What sets you apart from other travel advisers? 

I planned my own wedding in Mexico in 2015, so I’ve seen both sides of the coin—what it is like to be a bride and the one who is doing the planning. And I know what mistakes to avoid and can offer tips that apply to both sides! 

What can engaged couples expect with working with Wanderlust? 

Travel advisers provide personalized, face-to-face service that online tools can’t give you. I have been to and experienced the resorts and destinations I recommend to my clients and can personally match you with the perfect vacation. You can spend hours online researching, or you can speak with me for less than an hour and I’ll take care of every detail for you. 

What is something you wish more clients knew about travel advisers? 

That it doesn’t cost anything extra to use a travel adviser, but we can add so much value to your vacation planning experience. 

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How to make summer 2022 travel plans that actually happen | Travel


FILE – A Delta Airlines aircraft takes off as passengers await the boarding process, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta. For another year, summer travel plans are up in the air even as more people are ready to take to the skies. Summer vacations are roaring back, but you still need Plans A, B and possibly C to make sure you get away. Book flights and lodging early and take advantage of more generous change and cancellation policies. If traveling internationally is on your wish list, match your pandemic risk tolerance to the rules in other countries. Most importantly, be flexible since you never know when the next COVID-19 wave may upend even the best-laid plans.(AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

After two years of cancellations, deferments and marathon sessions with airline customer service, many travelers are hoping to book summer trips that actually pan out this year.

“I had the month of May 2020 completely off work,” says Katharine Ng, an engineering program manager in Los Angeles . Ng planned to visit Europe and Morocco but had to cancel and rebook for the following year, 2021. Those new plans were eventually scuttled because she wasn’t yet fully vaccinated by May, and travel restrictions got in the way.

“Thankfully, canceling the trips was easy because of the COVID cancellation policies,” Ng says. Yet while getting a refund was nice, it didn’t scratch the itch for taking an actual vacation.

Many travelers, twice bitten by summer plans gone awry, remain shy of making them again this year. Even the experts have given up trying to predict what twists the pandemic will take next. But regardless of what happens, travelers can maximize their chances of summer travel success with a few simple steps.

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Travel isn’t just coming back. It’s roaring back.

“We’re already at 2019 prices for airfare,” says Adit Damodaran, economist at Hopper, a travel booking app that tracks airfare trends. “We’ve already exceeded our initial forecast for prices.”

Prices are rising in part because of increased consumer demand, but volatile oil prices may be playing an even bigger role. When the Ukraine conflict caused some travelers to pull back on Europe travel, prices didn’t follow suit.

“In Europe, demand is decreasing, but prices haven’t dropped with it,” Damodaran says. “In fact, they have increased. Airlines could be preemptively adjusting fares for fuel price changes.”

Regardless of the cause, airfare costs are unlikely to drop significantly before peak summer travel. So booking sooner rather than later might help you avoid getting priced out of this travel season.


The pandemic has ushered in one consumer-friendly change: Most airlines and hotels now offer more flexible booking options. And if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that no trip, however well planned, is safe from disruption.

The best way to find flexible booking options depends on a host of factors, but a few simple rules apply.

— Avoid basic economy airfare as it doesn’t allow changes or cancellations.

— Choose hotel rooms with free cancellation. Sometimes these rates are slightly higher than their nonrefundable counterparts.

— Read vacation rental policies carefully. Services like Airbnb and Vrbo generally let hosts choose the cancellation policy.

Data from Hopper shows that the number of basic economy bookings made on its platforms dropped significantly in 2021 after airlines introduced more flexible options for other fares. Now, these bottom-of-the-barrel fares make up only 20% of total bookings compared with nearly 40% before the industry change.


Even if COVID-19 cases drop throughout the spring and summer, it could be some time before all international travel restrictions follow suit.

“I was planning a trip to South Korea but I couldn’t deal with a seven-day hotel quarantine,” says Ng, citing the country’s strictly enforced rules . Ng opted to visit Europe this summer, where such restrictions aren’t currently in place. She feels more confident that COVID-related rules won’t suddenly change right before or, worse, during her trip.

When choosing a destination, start with the countries that have restrictions that match your risk tolerance and work backward.

Of course, these restrictions can be avoided by sticking to domestic travel, but many travelers are eager to head abroad.


Even with all these precautions in place, anything can happen. Another surge, variant or military conflict could upend even the best-laid plans, which is why it’s important to make a backup.

First, after planning your main trip, consider making a few fully refundable bookings for a second, separate trip. These can be a hedge to ensure you don’t have to book everything last minute during peak season. Just don’t book airfare unless it is truly refundable — most main cabin fares are refunded as vouchers with the same airline, which aren’t as good as cash.

Second, sketch out an idea for a third trip, with the intention to book it at the last minute if original plans fall through. This step can help psychologically to avoid losing steam when plans change.

Finally, consider taking multiple shorter trips during the summer rather than one long trip to a single destination. This approach not only protects against potential destination-specific lockdowns, but could also help make up for lost visits during the pandemic.

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