Travel: Holiday at Easter? Impossible deal – where you can at least save something

The time for inexpensive last-minute flights and holiday haggling seems to be over for now. If you want to get out in the sun at the last minute around Easter, you’ll quickly notice that flying costs a lot now, even within Europe, the number of connections is scarce, but the demand is high. Car rentals are only available at standard rates. And for individually booked hotels, holiday homes and mobile homes, more money will usually have to be spent than in the previous year, even within Germany.

What is driving prices above all else are the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, increased fuel costs and inflation. Only group tours or cruise packages currently promise price stability. “No one knows what it will be like in the summer. Since further increases cannot be ruled out, we advise booking as soon as possible”, confirms Torsten Schaefer, head of communications at the German Travel Association (DRV) in Berlin. You definitely won’t get any cheaper.

Tourists play volleyball under palm trees on the beach of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic while others bathe ...

Tourists play volleyball under the palm trees on Punta Cana Beach in the Dominican Republic while others sunbathe and relax. Traveling long distances is also becoming more expensive. | Photo: dpa

Ticket price hike

The 2022 travel season really begins on Easter. And it’s already clear: If you want to travel individually by plane, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pocket than in 2021, according to a report by comparison portal Idealo. Almost all airlines have reduced their fleets during Corona, reduced flights, reduced staff, and now increased prices due to higher kerosene costs, Schaefer explains.

Anyone who hasn’t booked for weeks and still wants to rush to Tenerife in the Easter sun, for example, has had no luck: the few direct flights that cost around €450 per person and back are long gone. What is still available are deliveries with one or more stops at twice the price.

According to Idealo, a trip to Lisbon in September is currently still available for an average of €94. That’s 62 percent more than in 2021, but 5 percent less than it was in 2019. Ryanair’s president Michael O’Leary predicts that flying in the summer could be more expensive than it was before the pandemic. If you book now for midsummer, you can’t go wrong. Flexible options allow you to rebook or cancel.

Anyone who has to resort to car rental is currently looking into the tube.  Prices go up.

Anyone who has to resort to car rental is currently looking into the tube. Prices go up. | Photo: Alexander Heinel, d

Standard car rental and camping costs

Car rental was already very expensive in 2021. This year, prices are heading to new highs – all over the world. Take Spain as an example: travelers there now have to spend €61 a day to rent a car at Easter, which is 114 percent more than a year earlier — if a car could still be rented at all, as Frieder Bechtel of billiger-mietwagen explains. de.

Bottlenecks are to be expected in addition to standard fares especially on particularly desirable islands such as Mallorca, Sardinia, Sicily or Corsica, especially in the peak travel season between mid-June and mid-September. Renting a car is also expensive for travelers to the United States or Switzerland.

As a reason, Bechtel cites significantly reduced fleets due to corona, which, due to delivery problems in the automotive industry, cannot be replenished so quickly, especially on the islands. Since everyone wants to travel again, the offer is scarce – and therefore expensive, says Bechtel: “We recommend booking as far in advance as possible.” Reservations can be canceled free of charge until shortly before departure.

If you want to save, you should give up the option of additional driver, but do not skimp on insurance. Thorsten Lehmann, managing partner at Sunny Cars, also notes that late decision makers should expect bottlenecks and higher prices. The same applies to vacationers who want to go on a camper and caravan tour during their vacation. If you want to save, you have to be early.

Also expensive accommodation

If you are planning a vacation on your own, you should be prepared for the high prices for accommodation. This applies not only to long-haul flights or flights to neighboring Europe. It is also likely that vacations in your country will cost more than in 2021. According to comparison portal Check24, the cost of holiday apartments in Germany in the main travel season from June to August is currently 12 percent more than in the same period last year. Accordingly, overnight stays in hotels became more expensive by an average of 16%. This does not include the high costs of self catering and dining out.

The Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association approved price increases in the hospitality industry even before the Ukraine war. In addition, the tourism tax is now introduced in many places abroad, such as Thailand, where an entry fee of 300 baht (about 8 euros) has been paid since April.

In Venice, the tourism fee should come in the summer. At the city’s turnstiles it is worth an entrance fee of 10 euros in high season and 3 euros in low season. Visitor tax or tourist tax is already common in many other countries such as Italy, Hungary, Spain, Slovenia, Poland and Turkey. Also in the USA, Japan, New Zealand and many Caribbean islands.

Cruises are no longer a bargain either.

Cruises are no longer a bargain either. | Photo: Soeren Stache, dpa

More stability for tours and cruises

DRV spokesperson Schäfer advises anyone relying on security planning for their vacation budget to consider group trips. The price level in this segment has so far remained largely stable compared to individual travel. The organizers have long had their contracts for hotels and flights in place for the coming weeks.

No additional fuel surcharges are expected for existing bookings this summer, Schaefer asserts: “Anyone booking their summer vacation now can rest assured that there will be no subsequent increases.” However, the same applies here: those who booked the last minute should go along expecting higher prices. There are hardly any last minute bargains.

The cruise industry, hit hard by rising oil prices, appears to want to keep it similar. Tui Cruises example: Unlike some airlines, there should be no fuel surcharge even for new bookings with the “Mein Schiff” fleet. The shipping company also doesn’t want to pass on increased food prices to customers, Tui Cruises’ Wybcke Meier promised. DRV spokesperson Schäfer advises vacationers to use flexible rebooking or cancellation options for all bookings this year.

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