Summer 2024 Travel – Expensive but Worth It for Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventures


Summer travel in 2024 is shaping up to be extremely expensive, yet travelers are still pursuing ambitious and exciting vacation plans. Despite higher prices across airfare, hotels, and rental cars, enthusiasm for travel remains high fueled by low inflation, unemployment, and pent-up demand from the pandemic era.

Travelers are embracing unique “once-in-a-lifetime” adventures and exotic destinations this summer season. From attending the Paris Olympics to following Taylor Swift’s European tour, big-ticket events are driving travel demand and prices even higher in already popular cities.

While domestic U.S. flights and hotels are projected to be slightly cheaper than last summer, international destinations are seeing airfare spikes, with flights to Europe down only slightly from 2023’s highs. The cost of an average domestic rental car is up just 3%. U.S. hotel rates are about the same as last year at $206 a night.

To navigate the expensive summer, travel experts recommend booking airfare 2-3 months out for domestic and even earlier for international. It also pays to avoid peak holidays, fly midweek, stay in vacation rentals instead of hotels, and split trips between shoulder season and summer’s peak.

Despite the high costs, travelers seem undeterred in their pursuit of long-awaited bucket-list level experiences this summer. By economizing where possible and splurging on meaningful adventures, travelers aim to make lasting memories without completely breaking the bank during the 2024 travel season.

(USA Today, 04.15.24)

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