‘Financial concerns are the top consideration for why people are not traveling this year,’ Deloitte’s Mike Daher told TheStreet.
According to Deloitte’s annual holiday travel survey, only 31% of Americans plan to take some kind of trip between Thanksgiving and mid-January. Last year, that number was at 42%.
While the primary reason for not traveling in 2020 and 2021 was fear of covid and pandemic-related disruptions, financial worries have steadily squeezed out health concerns — 37% of those not traveling are not doing it because of the cost while only 18% are concerned about covid or other diseases.
Even when added with the 18% who are worried not about covid but covid-related disruptions, it is still only 36% compared to the 37% who will not travel due to finances.
It Costs How Much To Travel Home For The Holidays?
“Financial concerns are the top consideration for why people are not traveling this year,” Michael Daher, Deloitte’s vice-chair of transportation, hospitality, and services, told TheStreet. “Inflation and the general weakening of the economy are hitting different households based on their income.”
The average traveler expects to spend $1,287 on transportation and lodging — for households earning above $100,000, that number rises to $1,848 while lower-income earners expect to only spend $608.
Forms of travel that were previously considered to be more affordable alternatives, such as road trips, are also falling — while 64% of holiday travelers in 2021 took a road trip, this year that number is now at 47%. International flights, meanwhile, are expected to rise from 10% to 17%. Hotel stays are only expected to drop from 37% in 2021 to 35% in 2022.
Consequently, only 26% of travelers expect to spend significantly more this holiday season. 60% expect to spend around the same as last year while only 14% expect to spend less.
“People are still planning to travel over the holidays but they were probably planning to spend the same amount until they started seeing the ticket prices,” Daher said. “Many are going to end up spending more than they had expected.”
Laptop Luggers Travel More And Spend Less
Numbers from Adobe (ADBE) – Get Adobe Inc. Report earlier in the year found that domestic flights have risen 30% since 2019 and 47% since the start of the year. With hotel prices also rising fast, some are traveling for fewer days to not go over budget.
According to Deloitte, every eight in 10 trips this season will be for a week or less. Staying with family is another way some are offsetting the cost — especially since reconnecting with family is a primary reason driving many to travel in the first place.
“The number of people staying with family and friends is still around 60% — the same as last year,” Daher said. “It’s a common trend for the holiday season that’s not changing. But what is new around this travel period is the number of people who are choosing to extend their travel window by working remotely for a couple of days.”
What Deloitte calls “laptop luggers,” or those who are able to do their work remotely, will on average be away for eight days longer than someone who has a job that requires on-site presence.
Despite this, remote workers will only spend an average of $1,159 this holiday season. It is lower than the $1,332 spent by non-remote workers because, according to Deloitte, many are younger and traveling alone instead of with a family.