There are fewer travelers who fear contracting or spreading COVID-19. Most restrictions at the border have been lifted. However, there is one reason why people may not travel in 2023: they can’t afford it.

According to the annual State of Travel report by Going, an alert website that offers flight deals, “lack of cash” is America’s biggest barrier to traveling in 2023. Going conducted an email survey of thousands of its members and found that 27% of those who responded cited money as their main reason not to travel.

The complete breakdown of the responses to the survey about top travel barriers in 2023 is

  • 27% of

  • 26% of the time is lost at school or work.

  • Family and Other Commitments: 13%

  • I went as far as I wanted: 12,000.

  • Concerns regarding COVID-19:

  • COVID-19 travel restrictions – 7%

Travel prices are particularly high, which makes matters even more complicated. Inflation, surging demand for travel, and shortages in the industry caused both U.S. airfares and hotel rates to rise steadily through 2022. They reached record levels by May 2022. Although the average cost of these travel expenses has decreased in recent years, they are still much higher than before the pandemic.

NerdWallet’s analysis of data from Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index shows that January 2023 airfares are up 25.6% over the same month 2021 and up 3.7% over the same month 2019. Hotel prices in January 2023 are 16.3% higher than January 2020.

Perhaps the most striking aspect is the rise in rental car costs. The rise in rental car prices was one of the most significant stories of pandemic-era travel. People opted to travel by road instead of flying (and there was a concurrent shortage of semiconductors). In January 2023, the average car rental cost was 36.7% more than in 2020.

Some destinations are experiencing record levels of tourism

Over 25% of respondents consider lack of funds the main barrier to traveling. However, many other travelers aren’t deterred from their travels by costs. Some destinations have already seen record numbers of tourists, or they plan to set new records in 2023.

The not-for-profit marketing group Discover Puerto Rico reported that Puerto Rico tourism and travel generated $8.9 billion in revenue in 2022. This is 39% more than the 2019 record. In 2022, approximately 5.1 million people arrived at Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport. Employment in the country’s leisure- and hospitality sectors has increased 12.8% compared with pre-pandemic levels.

According to the Hawaii Department of Business Economic Development & Tourism, the number of tourists who visited Hawaii in November 2022 was nearly 11% higher than the same month in 2019.

The Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board (a tourism board for Bahamas) sent an email to journalists stating that the number of passengers who arrived by air in December 2022 was 90% higher than pre-pandemic. It expects to break the record, particularly as more airlines offer nonstop service from Lynden Pindling International airport.

How to save money for travelers in 2023

Some travelers are adjusting their money-saving strategies in a few notable ways, especially for 2023 bookings. If you are looking to save money, one strategy that could cause more problems is choosing less convenient travel itineraries.

According to Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker (based on a survey of 1000 adults), the number of travelers who say they favor the cheapest flights (rather than the most convenient) increased from 21% to 35% in October 2022.

Planning shorter trips might be a way for travelers to save money. It was not uncommon for people to travel long distances to escape the pandemic. This was largely because of the generous policies that allowed them to work from home. However, this trend is likely to be declining.

Key Data, which analyzes data on vacation rental data, looked at U.S. bookings on Airbnb and Vrbo in the first three weeks January 2023. It discovered that reservations increased by 27% over the same period of 2022. However, the overall number of nights booked declined by 4 %.

Melanie Brown, executive director for data insights at Key Data, stated via email that the drop in stay length could be due to recession. Consumers are still traveling, but they have cut back on trips to save money.

Maximizing your Rewards

A travel credit card should be able to prioritize what is most important to you. These are our top picks for the top travel credit cards in 2023, as well as those that work best for: