Though most travelers are encountering high prices, long waits and other problems on their trips, the problems apparently aren’t deterring them from spending beyond their comfort zone, a new survey reveals.
The survey by financial-comparison website Bankrate.com shows that 79% of adults who took an overnight trip outside their local area this year experienced at least one travel-related problem. Yet, 52% of adult travelers are willing to spend more than they’re normally comfortable spending on travel this year.
The age group with the largest percentage of travelers experiencing problems is Generation Z (ages 18-25). Nearly 9 of every 10 Gen Zers reported problems, including 51% bothered by higher prices, 40% who encountered long waits and 23% who experienced poor customer service.
About 8 of every 10 millennials (ages 26-41), 77% of Gen Xers (ages 42-57) and 75% of Baby Boomers (ages 58-76) reported at least one travel snag.
The survey, which was conducted online June 15-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2%, sampled 3,378 adults, including 2,046 who traveled or plan to travel this year. The results, Bankrate.com says, are representative of all American travelers.
Ted Rossman, Bankrate.com’s senior industry analyst, believes a greater percentage of Gen Zers and millennials report problems because they are more likely to travel than older adults.
“The more you roll the dice, the more likely something bad is going to happen at some point,” he says. “That’s especially true this year. For instance, FlightAware says that about a quarter of flights were delayed in June, and about 3% were canceled. The more you fly, the more likely you’re going to run into one of those issues.”
Considering so many travel-related problems, including higher prices, why are travelers willing to spend more than they normally would on trips this year?
“I think this speaks to pent-up demand that stacked up during the pandemic,” Rossman says. “Many people are saying, ‘Inflation be darned — I have to get out of the house.’ They want to reconnect with family and friends and see the world after being cooped up the past couple of years. The fact that many people saved more money the past couple of years helps too.”
The survey found that younger generations are the ones most willing to spend above what they would normally be comfortable with spending.
“Many young adults love to travel,” Rossman says. “They have this YOLO (you only live once) spirit, are very social and are planning group trips with friends to celebrate weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties and so on. They’re also less likely to be tied down by having young kids. This is a time in their lives when they really want to travel, and that desire overcomes high prices.”
Rossman offers strategies to reduce or defray travel costs.
“Look into your credit card rewards, airline miles and hotel points,” he says. “You may be sitting on more value than you realize. I also like the idea of letting the deal dictate when and where you go. So many times, we do the opposite. We get our heart set on a specific place at a specific time, but that might be very expensive. If you can be flexible, use a tool such as Google Flights to research deals for various places at various times to perhaps land a bargain.”