‘Trip Stacking’ Drives Up Vacation Prices

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US air travel hit a pandemic-era high on March 12, 2021, with just over 1.35 million travellers checked in at American airports
US air travel hit a pandemic-era high on March 12, 2021, with just over 1.35 million travellers checked in at American airports AFP / Patrick T. FALLON

Following the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines, more people are willing to travel after being stuck indoors for a year.

However, travelers are taking precautions to ensure they go on vacation, which has resulted in a new trend known as “trip stacking” and is reportedly driving up the prices for vacations.

“Trip stacking” is when a traveler plans multiple trips over the same period of time in case one trip gets canceled due to the pandemic. The trend also allows travelers to choose which trip they are more comfortable taking as the vacation date nears.

Tim Hentschel, the CEO of travel technology company HotelPlanner, noted that while the trend is convenient for some travelers, it could cause others to see inflated prices when they attempt to plan a trip. 

Travelers also need to know that unlike making three or four dinner reservations and then deciding hours before where you want to go based on appetite or convenience, trip stacking will cause prices on airlines and hotels to go up for everyone,” he explained. 

“Unlike restaurants, hotels and airlines yield their prices up as occupancy levels increase.”

According to Misty Belles, managing director at Virtuoso, the “trip stacking” trend began between May and June amid the release of vaccinations and new cancellation policies. However, she believes those policies won’t stick around for much longer.

“By and large, cancellation policies have stayed really flexible, allowing the traveler to have that choice. But as travel starts to return in a more fulsome way, you may see that changing a bit,” she said.

While international travel is still slowly recovering, experts believe 2022 could be a big year for domestic or regional travel.




Photo: AFP / Patrick T. FALLON

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