Are you traveling this summer? Vacation packages, flights are more expensive; how you can save money

CHICAGO (WLS) — After being locked down for several years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are traveling again, no matter what it costs. And the costs are not low.

“The demand is so high. Planes are at full capacity and with them airlines don’t have to worry about lowering those fares,” said Mark Janus of Janus Travel.

Victor Rivera is taking his family to Italy for 17 days in June. He originally planned the trip before the pandemic, but now that they can finally go, inflation has made it much more expensive.

“Everything is crazy. Not only the trips, but also buying a new pair of sneakers for my kids,” Rivera said.

Demand, along with fuel prices and a shortage of pilots, has pushed up average airfares by about 25%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experts advise buying a flight when you first find it online, as it will likely cost more the next time you look for it. That’s partly because airlines are getting more sophisticated with online shoppers.

“It usually comes from the algorithms and tracking programs of the online travel industries,” said Ryan Roman, Sunset Travel and Cruise.

Travel agents claim to be able to avoid these pitfalls because they negotiate fares in large packages. But they are also seeing prices rise dramatically for things like meals and accommodation.

“What would have been a normal $800 to $1,000 fare is now $1,500 to $1,700 to Europe,” Roman said.

Experts say there is no end in sight to rising travel prices. They say the best advice is to book as early as possible and, if possible, be flexible with your travel dates.

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