COLUMBIA, S.C. — Planning an upcoming trip?
It may cost more than you expect.
Hotels, airlines, and grocery stores are all seeing higher prices as the summer travel season gets underway.
The cause is partly due to inflation, which is at a four-decade high.
The war in Ukraine and U.S. capacity to turn oil into gas are also contributing factors.
"If you see something that you're interested in booking, I advise you to book it now because the price can be one thing one minute and five minutes later it can go up a couple hundred dollars," Shawnta Harrison, Owner of Harrison's Travels, said. "Airfare has nearly doubled in comparison to last summer. So, that is causing the overall package for the client to go up."
According to the latest data from the Burau of Labor Statistics, airfares are up about 40 percent, hotels are up about 19 percent and groceries are up about 12 percent compared to last year.
But, it's gas prices that are likely to cause sticker shock, hitting a record $5/gallon on average nationally over the weekend, according to AAA.
Still, most travelers aren't deterred, the group said, and destinations like Myrtle Beach are getting ready.
"People have been cooped up and they are ready to travel," Julie Ellis with the Myrtle Beach Tourism branch said. "Even with gas prices being so high, we are so accessible for a one-day road trip that people are willing to make the trip. We're looking at great bookings so far. So, if people are interested in a trip to Myrtle Beach, we suggest that you book ahead."
So, how can you save?
Booking early and searching for last-minute deals are a start, Harrison said.
Considering a travel agent to help navigate the process can also help.
"Pack your patience," Harrison said. "It definitely still is worth it."
AAA added that reducing speed, keeping your car maintained, and parking rather than taking the drive-thru at restaurants can also help cut down on how much gas is used.