Travelers looking to journey during upcoming holiday season should expect to find lower-than-usual prices for flights, packed hotels, and loads of ‘Boomer’ travelers.
The holiday travel forecast appears good for consumers. Airlines have drastically reduced the number of available seats so prices have increased, but with overall demand for travel also on the rise, competition between airlines will keep fares lower than historical levels.
Airline seat capacity in the US is down around 13 percent — one of the steepest drops ever — due to the coronavirus pandemic. Airlines have grounded flights to conserve cash and contain the spread of the virus.
At the same time, many airlines have adjusted their refund policies, allowing travelers to cancel or change their flights within a certain timeframe at no additional cost. This is great news for those who want to travel but are also concerned about the potential for disruption.
Hotels will be in high demand as well. Industry analysts predict that the coronavirus pandemic will fuel a year-over-year increase in hotel occupancy, a trend that has already started to materialize in some cities.
But travelers need to be aware that many hotels have changed their own policies in response to Covid-19. Guests may find themselves unable to take advantage of certain perks — such as free breakfast — as hotels look to conserve costs. Hotels have also implemented social distancing measures, so things like room upgrades and valet services may also be unavailable.
Lastly, get ready for a lot of ‘Boomer’ travelers. Baby boomer travelers, many of whom are retired and looking for an adventure, are increasingly taking to the skies. In part, this is because they are eager to ensue travel plans that were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All in all, holiday travelers should expect to find some great deals on flights and some crowded hotels, as well as lots of other travelers looking to take advantage of the same opportunities. It’s going to be an interesting holiday season and, no matter what happens, don’t forget to have lots of fun and stay safe.