Travel across the United States is booming. But it’s also busting wallets.
Hotel rooms are returning to pre-pandemic pricing, up 36% on average. Gas is averaging $3.14 a gallon — the highest it’s been since 2014. In some cities, it’s over $5 a gallon. The cost of rental cars is up 86%. Airfares have also increased.
“You have airfares going up at the rate of about 10% a week,” said CBS News senior travel adviser Peter Greenberg. “There’s some coach airfares in this country now that are actually more expensive than business class fares going to Europe.”
Greenberg said travelers are also dealing with overbooked and canceled flights.
Jade Towery, who runs her own Airbnb, said her bookings are finally resurging. “I hear that from my guests, ‘Yeah, it was hard to find places. There’s not enough out there,'” Towery said.
A lack of accommodations isn’t the only problem. Many hotels are short-staffed. Juan Bravo, who is in charge of revenue at the W Hollywood, said the entire industry is struggling to hire back employees who were laid off during the pandemic.
“We’re running hotels at 100% speed with 60 or 70% of the staff,” Bravo said. “We saw a lot of people in the industry start exploring alternate career paths.”
Bravo said travelers also shouldn’t expect deals on hotel rooms. “They should have taken advantage last year,” he said.
“It’s a perfect storm of bad planning, staff shortages and pent up demand roaring back earlier than anybody thought,” Greenberg said. “You put those three things together, this summer is nuts.”