Summer 2022 Travelers Are Splurging Even as Costs Rise

About 80% of Americans plan on traveling at least once this summer.

Ljupco Smokovski/Shutterstock
Ljupco Smokovski/Shutterstock
Editor's Note: We know COVID-19 is continuing to impact your travel plans. Should you travel now, be sure to familiarize yourself with the CDC's latest guidance on domestic and international travel as well as local requirements, protocols, and restrictions for both your destination upon your arrival and your home city upon your return. Be safe out there.

Rent, gas, cars, flights, groceries, hotels, clothes… literally everything is more expensive these days. But this summer, the world is beginning to open up after two years of a devastating and unpredictable pandemic. Entry restrictions have been dropped, big events have returned, and the urge to make up for lost time is overwhelming. So, despite the drastic price increases, people are still planning on traveling. There's even a term for it: "Revenge travel."

In a study from Credit Karma, about 40% of Americans are willing to pay more money to do things after so much of life was stalled by the last two years of the pandemic. A study from The Vacationer found that number to be even higher; Nearly 65% of respondents from around the world said they would be willing to pay more or deal with more layovers to make their trip. People really, really want to get out of town.

And it seems that people realize they will pay a lot no matter what they plan. Rakuten's Retail and Shopping Expert Kristen Gall told Thrillist that she predicts the Summer of 2022 will be the "summer of splurging."

There's a sort of urgency that maybe hadn't existed before 2020. More than 80% of Americans plan to travel at least once this summer, and 44% of those respondents said they planned to travel more than once. Based on The Vacationer's survey, most of these travelers plan to travel domestically, with road trips being the most popular choice of trip. Of those planning to travel internationally, the demographic skews younger, primarily travelers between the ages of 19 and 29.

With more and more options to pay for big purchases like music festivals and flight tickets in installments, some travelers will find ways to make their travel possible, even if that means paying off your trip to Primavera in Barcelona in a 24-month payment plan. (Just make sure to set calendar reminders, so automatic payment doesn't sneak up on you.)

This data is a testament to how central so many of us hold travel and adventure to our lives. Nothing—not the lingering and seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic or historically high costs—will stop most people from going on some sort of journey this summer, which is fair. Just remember to travel safely, kindly, and smartly.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.