— This is the script of CNBC’s financial news report for China’s CCTV on November 24, 2022.
As the end of the year approaches, many Americans will soon be in vacation mode. The holiday season will start from this week’s Thanksgiving to next month’s Christmas, and then the New Year. Timeframe starts at the end of November and ends in the middle of January. However, survey shows that this year, Americans seem to be less enthusiastic about travel than before.
According to the 2022 Deloitte Holiday Travel Survey, 31% of all respondents have travel plans for the end of this year, compared to 42% last year. Among several reasons why people may not travel this year, financial concerns account for the largest share. 37% of respondents who have no plans to travel chose this option. This choice has moved up two places in the ranking. Moreover, 30 percent of respondents declared that they would pay for something other than travel, moving up four places from last year.
When focusing on respondents who have no plans to travel, 40% say their financial situation has gotten worse since last year, 38% say there has been no change, and only 22% say it is better this year.
As for those who are planning to travel, they may face a wave of price shocks, including airfare, gasoline, lodging, etc.
According to an airfare tracker compiled by analysts at Wall Street investment bank Cowen, the average price of airline tickets rose about 40 percent from last year, with leisure travelers paying an average price of about $289 for a one-way ticket.
However, more people will travel by car than by air. The American Automobile Association estimates that 4.5 million people will travel by air during the holidays, but the number of people traveling by car will be as high as 49 million.
The national average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. is currently $3.609 per gallon, well below the record high of $5.02 set in June, but still about 6 percent higher than the $3.403 recorded a year ago.
Hotel prices are also more expensive than in previous years at this time of year. The cost of staying away from home, according to the Consumer Price Index for October, is up 6 percent from a year ago and 12 percent from October 2019.
It is also interesting to note the phenomenon of “laptop luggers”. “Laptop luggers” are those who plan to work during their longest trip of the season. As remote work patterns become more common, coupled with a desire to make end-of-year travel longer, some Americans are choosing to travel with their computers. This allows them to combine multiple end-of-year vacations.
The data show that these laptop luggers schedule an average of 2.6 trips at the end of the year, higher than the 1.8 trips typically scheduled by others. On average, laptop luggers are adding over a week (eight days) to their travels due to the ability to work remotely. Typically, these travelers are younger, and Deloitte’s report indicates that they will be on a tighter budget and more concerned with discounts.