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Higher spending is already disrupting Americans’ vacation plans just 50 days before Thanksgiving.

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A new Bankrate poll found that 43% of American adults who responded plan to travel this holiday season. The consumer financial services company said that about eight out of ten of them, or 79%, change their plans due to inflation and rising prices.

About 26% of respondents said they would travel fewer days. Other popular money-saving tactics among respondents include participating in less expensive activities (25%), choosing cheaper accommodations and destinations (25%), traveling less (24%) or traveling shorter distances (23%).

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Rising airfare and gasoline prices were one of the main factors influencing the change in vacation plans. Approximately 23% of respondents said they would drive rather than fly to holiday destinations, while 12% said they would fly rather than drive.

About 22% of respondents said they would use credit card points, miles and other loyalty programs to pay for their vacation trips.

According to the latest consumer price index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, airfares rose 33.4% and gasoline prices rose 25.6% from August 2021 to August 2022. Living away from home, including hotels and motels, grew by 4.5% during this period. .

Chart of inflation statistics for August 2022

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Another key factor influencing decision making was household income.

A Bankrate survey found that 86% of travelers with annual household incomes of less than $50,000 would change their plans due to inflation and rising prices, compared to 79% of travelers earning between $50,000 and $79,999, 77% of travelers earning between $80,000 and $79,999. 000 to $99,999 and 70% of earnings. $100,000 or more.

Gen Z and millennials were more likely to say that inflation had influenced their vacation travel plans, with 82% in each group saying so. Meanwhile, 78% of Gen Xers and 73% of Boomers cited inflation to change their holiday travel plans.

When to book?

To get the best deals this holiday season, many Americans are booking their trips in advance. According to AAA, the best time to book a Thanksgiving trip is less than a month before the holiday.

“The exception is waiting for Thanksgiving itself to buy when the average ticket price rises again,” AAA spokesperson Aisha Diaz said in an interview. Blog Post.

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Diaz says Tuesday appears to be ahead of Wednesday as the busiest day for travel, with Sunday the most expensive day.

“Flying on Monday is usually cheaper, but if you want to save as much money as possible – and avoid the hype – book a flight for Thanksgiving itself,” she added.

Of the travelers surveyed who need to book tickets, 16% had booked before September, while 15% planned to book in September, according to Bankrate. About 22% of respondents will make a booking in October, followed by 21% in November and 11% in December. About 16% of respondents said they did not know what they would do.

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The survey included 2,455 adults, including 1,055 who plan to travel for the holidays and 829 who require bookings.