This year’s summer traveling theme is chaos.

According to a survey, nearly 80% of people who have traveled this year have experienced some kind of problem. The most common issues were high prices, long waits, and poor customer service.

Most common inconveniences

Rental cars are expensive and in short supply. Airlines have canceled and delayed flights by the thousands. And periods of $5-per-gallon gas have jacked up the price for a simple family road trip. 

The next most frequent snag was slim availability in areas like lodging, airline tickets, and rental cars, which 26% of respondents contended. 14 % said they had lost money due to canceled or disrupted plans, and 4% reported other problems.

The survey backs up a slew of nightmarish anecdotes that paint a picture of an incredibly hectic summer travel season. Ongoing shortages of airline workers and lingering inflation are conspiring against travelers looking to enjoy themselves as the pandemic gradually subsides. 

Generations experience differences

Travel disruptions affected age groups differently:

  • Gen Zers most inconvenienced: 88 % of Gen Zers who have traveled this year experienced at least one travel-related problem. After that, 82 % of millennials, 77% of Gen Xers, and 75 % of boomers hit at least one travel snag.
  • Gen X and boomers experiencing the most sticker shock: 61 % of Gen Xers and 60% of baby boomers who have traveled this year said prices were higher than they’re accustomed to. 52 % of millennials and 51% of Gen Zers reported the same issues with pricing.

People of different ages travel differently, so it’s no surprise they experience other challenges. Despite the various problems, all age groups are negatively impacted—in each generation, at least 3 in 4 travelers have shared a travel-related problem this year.

How credit cards can help

The best travel credit cards can save you hundreds or more on travel. If you don’t have a good rewards credit card now, this may be the perfect time to get one. Here are a few features to look out for:

  • A sizeable sign-up bonus: After meeting the minimum spend, you may be able to walk away with enough points or miles for two round-trip domestic flights or one international flight. You may even be able to fund your vacation.
  • Free hotel stays and creditsHotel credit cards can save you a small fortune on accommodations, with some offering free night stays annual credits, and complimentary room upgrades.
  • Global Entry and TSA PreCheck: Many premium travel cards offer credits to cover the cost of Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, which can cut down on stress and long wait times.
  • Airport lounge access: Also a more premium card perk, airport lounge access can make your experience more enjoyable. Most lounges offer comfortable, spacious seating and free food and drinks.
  • Travel insurance coverage: This perk can ease the costs associated with many inconveniences like flight delays and cancellations, lost baggage, and even medical needs. Some cards have car rental insurance, so you don’t have to pay for the rental company’s plan. Travel insurance can ensure that you have more money available for your trip.

7 in 10 change summer vacation plans due to inflation

The most common vacation changes people are making to save money include:

  • Taking fewer trips this summer (25 percent)
  • Traveling shorter distances (25 percent)
  • Doing cheaper activities (23 percent)
  • Picking cheaper destinations or lodging (22 percent)

Who will take a summer vacation this year?

  • 72 percent of Gen Zers (ages 18 to 25)
  • 65 percent of millennials (ages 26 to 41)
  • 61 percent of Gen Xers (ages 42 to 57)
  • 58 percent of baby boomers (ages 58 to 76)
yellow van die cast

Beaches win most popular summer vacation spot

Are you planning a trip to a beach? You’re in good company.

This year, the beach is the most popular summer vacation location. According to the study, people plan to vacation in the following locations this summer: 

  • Beaches – 37%
  • Staycations -28%
  • Cities – 27%
  • National parks -21%
  • Campgrounds -17%
  • Amusement parks -14%

Perhaps reflecting shifting travel tastes in the aftermath of the epidemic, “staycationing” at home has become almost as popular as going to the beach.

According to the poll, 46 % of parents with small children plan to visit the beach this summer. Cruises, at 11%, and overseas travel, at 12%, are the least popular options. 

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