Travel agents seeing less travel due to rising fuel costs

Spring break getaways may need to be postponed. Travel agents are reporting trips costing nearly double than they normally would.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Trips are costing almost double than last year, according to travel agents in the Midlands. 

“This client is going to D.C.—It’s expensive,” said Cynthia McCloud-Footman, owner of Footman Travel Agency in Columbia. “All of the trips so far, with flying at least, are very expensive.”

McCloud-Footman told News 19 that rising costs are forcing many travelers to put their trips on pause.

“People do have an ideal budget set in their mind how much they want to spend,” McCloud-Footman said. “And with gas prices going up, airfare has gone up, hotels have gone up. It’s kind of hard to stick to that particular budget that they want.”

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“We have a lot of customers that are put back on the back burner because they can’t take that trip right now, and they have to go back and save a little bit more,” McCloud-Footman said. “And by the time they save up to that, it’s even more expensive. So it’s just like a no win-win situation. If they don’t take that trip, how are we gonna get paid? There’s nothing out there that’s going to pay us. The suppliers aren’t going to pay us.”

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The rental industry has also taken a hit. “Even rental cars are more expensive,” McCloud-Footman said. 

“With the heightened gas prices lately, those trips have gotten shorter and closer to home,” said Donavon Miller, southeast director of Fox Rent-A-Car.  

But Miller said the business has seen a steady increase in people renting cars. 

“Only thing that has actually been hit is clients coming from airport to rent vehicles, just because we haven’t had a ton of clients flying in,” Miller said. “We expect this summer quite a few to Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, things like that. But as far as trips that we were doing down into Florida and up into New York, that’s probably going to go down; that’s our expectation.”

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Miller says people are taking shorter trips due to rising costs on everything, including gas and the used car market. 

McCloud-Footman and other travel agents in the Capital City area told News 19, they are seeing more bookings for cruises and weekend trips to nearby destinations. 

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