The No. 1 Reason Some People Aren’t Traveling This Year | National News

Fewer travelers report fears of contracting (or spreading) COVID-19. Most border restrictions have been lifted. But there’s still one reason people might not be traveling in 2023: They can’t afford to.

The number one barrier to travel for Americans in 2023 is “lack of money,” according to the annual State of Travel report from Going, a flight deal alert website. Going surveyed thousands of its members by email, and of the 3,274 people who responded, 27% cited lack of money as the main reason for not traveling.

Here’s the full breakdown of responses from the survey around top barriers to travel in 2023:

  • Lack of money: 27%.
  • Lack of time off from work or school: 26%.
  • Family and other commitments: 13%.
  • I traveled as much as I wanted: 12%.
  • Concerns about COVID-19: 8%.
  • COVID-19 travel restrictions: 7%.

To complicate matters, travel prices are especially high. A combination of surging travel demand, industry staff shortages and general inflation led both U.S. hotel room rates and airfares to steadily rise in 2022, marking record highs by May 2022. While average prices for these travel costs have since eased, they’re still higher than pre-pandemic prices.

According to a NerdWallet analysis of data from the consumer price index issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, airfares in January 2023 are up 25.6% versus the same month in 2021, and up 3.7% versus the same month in 2019. January 2023 hotel prices are up 16.3% versus January 2020. 

And perhaps most stark is the surge in rental car prices. High rental car prices became one of the biggest stories of pandemic-era travel as folks opted for road trips over air travel (and the concurrent semiconductor shortage didn’t help). The average car rental price in January 2023 was an incredible 36.7% higher than the same

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Rachel Bilson’s 11 favorite travel essentials you need for your next vacation

There are celebrities who have turned oversharing into a dubious yet remunerative art form. And then there’s Rachel Bilson, best known for her roles in “The O.C.” and “Hart of Dixie.” She’s a gregarious, charming and delightfully candid person, but if you didn’t know better, you’d assume Bilson was the opposite of voluble.

Here’s the thing: All you need to do is listen to her new podcast Broad Ideas, co-hosted with her best friend Olivia Allen, to quickly learn that with Bilson, nothing is off-limits. Her guests, including Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore and Aubrey Plaza, talk about devastating breakups, difficult pregnancies and even more devastating style choices.

“It just felt like the timing was perfect as far as wanting to create a space, primarily for women, to be open, transparent, from my house,” Bilson says. “Everything kind of fell into place and just felt right.

“I’ve learned that it’s okay to talk about tampon strings. Or the birthing experience that was horrendous. And we get pretty detailed in some of our topic episodes. They’re pretty raw, but I also feel, why not? Why can’t we talk about this?”

Now that she’s slowly emerging from Covid-related lockdowns, Bilson is also regaining her travel footing. But what are the comfort items that she always carries along? Here’s what she always has in her carry-on bag when traveling.

$129 at Patagonia

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

When she travels, Bilson needs a bag that can deliver — and that bag is called the Black Hole. It’s got two removable shoulder pads to be used like a backpack and a 40-liter capacity. “I’m a backpack hoarder — I have way too many backpacks,” she says. “I keep buying backpacks, but the one that never fails is the Patagonia Black Hole. I’m telling you, that is the best carry-on

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Travel Influencers’ Biggest Hacks for Living Off Points

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Few things in life are more fun than going on vacation — but traveling isn’t cheap. You probably know it’s possible to use points from credit cards and loyalty rewards programs to save money on your trip, but perhaps you’re not sure how to go about it.

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Travel influencers are masters at financing much of their vacation with points. Whether you’re trying to spend as little as possible on your next trip or upgrade your standard vacation style — while staying on budget — you should get in on the points game.

The average cost of a domestic round-trip plane ticket was $327 as of the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The average cost of a hotel room was $153 per night as of July 2, 2022, according to hospitality industry data company STR.

Ready to start vacationing on points instead of money? GOBankingRates spoke with several travel influencers to learn their top secrets for earning points and maximizing them.

Johan Swanepoel / Shutterstock.com

Johan Swanepoel / Shutterstock.com

Time Your Travel Credit Card Signup Right

Opening the right credit card can help you save on travel. However, Jessica Schmit, a travel blogger who runs the site Uprooted Traveler, also recommended strategically planning when you open an account.

“One of the biggest tips I have is to wait until some kind of event where you’re going to be spending a ton of money — think a wedding, buying a house or moving — to sign up for a travel credit card,” she said. “Most of the cards come with a huge sign-on bonus if you hit a certain spend threshold in the first three

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How Travel Companies Are Handling Covid-Related Refunds Now

Skift Take

Covid is still wreaking havoc on many consumers’ travel plans, but some companies act like that’s not the case, considering the loops they’re asking travelers to go through to get a refund.

Although much of the travel industry has seen a significant rebound this summer, Covid is still complicating travel worldwide. Dozens of popular destinations — including China — have yet to fully lift travel curbs and major airlines are still struggling to hit pre-Covid staffing levels, a major factor in the large number of flight cancellations that’s plaguing the aviation industry.

And as countries such as the United Kingdom and United States have experienced a surge in Covid cases in recent weeks, are travelers still able to get refunds if Covid disrupts their trip?

In a follow-up to a story Skift published two years ago, we look at how major travel companies anecdotally are dealing with the issues of Covid-related refunds now, such as whether they’re still issuing refunds or credits to consumers whose travel plans have been disrupted by Covid.

It’s an anxiety every traveler lives with now. Will I get Covid right before, or during my trip? And can I get a full refund?

Here are some answers.

Hotels

Major hotel companies — including Hyatt, IHG and Wyndham — have told guests booking via online travel agents or other third parties to contact their booking provider for information about their policies.

However, Hyatt as well as Radisson, are vague on the subject on Covid-related refunds for direct bookings. Hyatt stated “all reservations booked directly with Hyatt, including with legacy AMR Collection brands, are subject to the cancellation and/or refund policy disclosed at the time of reservation.”

Online Travel Agencies

Melanie Fish, head of global public relations for Expedia Group Brands,

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22 best travel journals of 2022 for your next adventure

The best travel journals can help you document notable moments that happen on your adventures. Whether you want to remember funny things your kids said, keep a record of interesting things you experienced along the way or document all the different places you’ve been, including cities and countries as well as the planes, trains and automobiles you took to get there, a travel journal is the perfect companion.

While a regular pen and paper can help you write down any of these details, a traveler’s journal is meant to be considerably sturdier and longer-lasting than a traditional notebook. Many travel journals are also refillable, so you can continue adding pages as you add new destinations or stories.

Which travel journals are best? That really depends on what you plan to use them for, whether you want a traditional travel diary or you want one that is small and compact or waterproof. Here are 22 travel journals that could work for almost anyone.

$70 at Mark & Graham

Mark & Graham Leather-Bound World Travel Journal

If you’re looking for a travel journal that can be personalized with your initials, this leather diary from Mark & Graham may be perfect. Beyond the fact you can make this travel journal your own or customize it before giving it as a gift, you’ll find it complete with full-color maps of major cities, international dialing codes and other details that can help you organize your travel plans. This travel diary comes with 320 pages to get you started, and its leather binding comes in a bright orange hue.

$48 at Etsy

FreeRangeBookbinding Personalized Travel Journal with Pockets and Envelopes

This personalized travel journal from Etsy is both practical and fun. Pockets and envelopes allow you to keep mementos from your trip, and you can order your journal with your choice of map as well as name, date or other short

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