High Travel Costs Await Last-minute US Tourists to Europe, Says Economist


Key Takeaways

  • Hayley Berg of Hopper warns late-bookers of summer trips to Europe from the US about significantly inflated prices, with fares averaging around $1,196, a steep rise from previous years.
  • Strong demand is pushing up prices, making iconic European destinations like Rome, London, and Paris potentially unaffordable for many travelers.
  • Lesser-known European countries like Portugal are growing in popularity due to the affordability of flights and domestic travel costs, offering a feasible alternative.
  • Berg predicts this trend of high prices and demand to last for the next 18 months, followed by a potential shift akin to popular destinations like Iceland.

Summer Trip Price Surge: Late-Bookers Beware

New York, NY–Late-bookers of summer trips to Europe from the United States should brace for “extremely high” prices, warns Hopper Lead Economist Hayley Berg.

“Travelers who haven’t booked their summer trips to Europe aren’t going to want to hear this… If you’re booking a European vacation now, you are definitely paying a premium for your procrastination,” Hopper Lead Economist Hayley Berg told Yahoo Finance Live, as per a Yahoo! News report.

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The report noted that this could be a bitter pill for the 89% of Hopper users planning to traverse international borders this summer, with Europe being the favored destination. This summer, the average fare to Europe is $1,196, marking an around $500 rise from 2021 and the steepest since 2018.

“Americans are biting the blood on those airfares,” Berg said, per the report. “We’re seeing incredible demand throughout the end of the summer.”

The report noted that such high prices might put famed locations like Rome, London, and Paris beyond reach for many. Berg suggested considering lesser-known European countries like Portugal, which has grown in popularity and offers relatively affordable flights and domestic travel costs.

Strategies Amidst the Pricing Surge

As per the report, citing Portugal’s continued affordability, Berg predicted the trend to last for the next 18 months, after which it might follow the trajectory of popular destinations like Iceland.

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Regarding budget travel alternatives, Berg recommended early fall travel with plans made three to four months in advance for the best deals.

In the report, Berg also pointed out the increased propensity among consumers to quickly plan trips, spend more, and undertake additional annual travel while still hunting for the best bargains. Despite price sensitivity and deal-seeking behavior, Berg noted the continued strength of the travel demand, propelling more vacations and an additional domestic trip each year.

What We Think

The surge in travel demand coupled with late bookings has led to soaring prices, potentially pricing out travelers from traditional European hotspots.

While lesser-known destinations like Portugal offer affordable options, planning early or considering travel during early fall might provide better deals. However, the trend of increased travel and spending, despite price sensitivity, indicates a robust travel market.

Balancing spontaneity with early planning could be key to finding affordable yet exciting travel options amid these market shifts.

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Learn more in the full Yahoo! News report.


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