We are headed straight into the summer of traveling hell. Strap on that seatbelt, and hold on tight.
It’s the last few weeks of school for the kids, and they’ve damn near turned into feral cats. They are crazy excited about being free for summer break.
And, quite honestly, we have that intoxicating “it’s about to be vacation time” vibe going on.
If we are honest, we have one foot out the door, and our minds are already there.
Maybe it will be the beach. Perhaps a trip to the mountains is in order. If we are lucky, maybe it will be somewhere immersive, like Disney World or some other resort-type place.
Whatever the vacation plans, you are going to HATE trying to figure out how to get there this year.
Here’s Why You Are Going To Hate Traveling This Summer.
If you haven’t noticed, things across the world are a little — shall we say — crazy right now.
Gas prices are out of control, airlines are canceling flights left and right, there’s a shortage of rental cars, there’s a shortage of workers in all hospitality areas, inflation on food is real, hotel prices are higher than ever before — the list goes on.
There are some places in the country where a gallon of gas costs more than the minimum wage.
I don’t even live in one of those places, and I can hardly afford the gas necessary to get me all the places I need to go.
Seriously, I’m spending damn near $180 on gas per week — and I know there are people out there who have to drop even more than that into their tanks.
These gas prices are making it nearly impossible to plan — or pay for — road trips this summer.
We drove to Texas last summer, and gas prices have more than doubled since then.
There are Some Things You Can Do To Try And Save On A Gallon Of Gas. But, let’s be honest. Getting places in a car this summer is going to be rough.
Airlines Are Canceling Flights
Airlines had said they were prepared to avoid the service problems that plagued much of the industry last year. But [last weekend], US airlines canceled 2,653 flights, or nearly 3% of their collective schedules, according to tracking service FlightAware. That’s more than they had canceled for the same holiday weekend the previous three years combined.CNN
To put that into perspective, the summer before the pandemic saw airlines canceling “just 1.2% of their scheduled flights, despite having 6,600 more flights on the schedule.”
My brother had to travel for work last week. They ended up waiting in the airport for 6 hours while flights were canceled because of weather and employee shortages.
And, honestly, they were lucky to only have to wait 6 hours. They had flights canceled out from under them twice before they were able to catch a flight home with another airline.
I’ve heard stories of others having to spend the night in airports — even abroad — to try and get a flight home.
That can be hella inconvenient when you’re by yourself. Imagine having kids you have to try and keep busy, distracted, and quiet. It can get downright scary!
Rental Car Shortage
We’re in hell…Traveler at a Phoenix, AZ car rental center
That seems to be the sentiment of many travelers trying to secure rental cars right now.
People are calling it the “rental car apocalypse,” and they aren’t wrong.
The whole rental car issue has to do with the logjam in the supply chain.
Car manufacturers are having a hard time getting parts they need to make new cars.
Rental car places are having one-heck-of-a-time stocking their fleets due to the stall in the manufacturing of automobiles.
That means that there aren’t enough rental cars to go around for all the travelers.
Not to mention, they are also dealing with labor shortages.
Basically, if you don’t have to get a rental car, don’t.
Hotel Prices Skyrocket
Hotels worldwide can’t keep up with the pent-up demand amidst labor shortages, causing room prices to skyrocket.Insider
Now that we are better acclimated to the pandemic, more people than ever are wanting to get out of the house and travel for vacations.
Hotels are having a hard time keeping up.
Add to that the problems with the supply chain. Hotels are having problems stocking supplies they need to keep all their guest rooms up to par.
Then, there is the shortage of workers needed to man the desks and clean the rooms.
Supply and demand, my friends. More people wanting rooms, less rooms to be had.
Hotels can charge more for rooms, because they are in such high demand.
Maybe Consider A Staycation This Summer.
All things considered, maybe it’s wise to plan a vacation near home this year.
While it’s disappointing to miss out on exotic beaches, fairytale theme parks, or road trips galore, maybe this year we can find fun things to do closer to home.
It might be less stress — and WAY cheaper — in the end.