Like a lot of Americans, Peter Hoagland is looking forward to a summer vacation. But when he tries to picture it, the image won’t come into focus.
“My wife and I are still not comfortable with flying and cruises,” says Hoagland, a consultant from Warrenton, Va. “International trips seem too iffy. I’d hate to wind up on a cruise in Europe and have an outbreak of a COVID-19 variant.”
No one knows what will happen this summer when it comes to travel. But that hasn’t stopped experts from trying to guess.
Like last summer, they say, people will stay closer to home, travel in the United States and avoid crowds. The difference: Prices will be much higher.
Travelers like Hoagland are playing it safe. He and his wife plan to drive to the Carolinas in May. They’re also planning a long car trip to New England in July.
“Some of our stops will be with vaccinated family and friends,” he says. “The other stops will be at lodging where they, too, take COVID-19 seriously.”
He can expect to pay more, because prices are rising. Average rates for hotel rooms in June, July and August are soaring. RateGain says the average hotel rates have spiked to as high as $275 a night, an increase of 75 percent compared with the last two summers. And booking volume is roughly double that for last summer. Rate-Gain tracks hotel prices from a network…