Whether by car or plane, spring break travelers rethink plans as fuel prices soar

Posted at 4:34 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 18:31:30-05

(WXYZ) — For many people, spring break has been something to look forward to, considering travel scaled back during COVID-19.

However, by car or plane, gas prices are now causing many to rethink plans.

For Jennifer and Tony Karew, a chance to travel over the spring break season to someplace warm has been a source of excitement amid a cold Michigan winter. But while they’ve booked well in advance and locked in a deal, they’re not quite as sure about the future.

“We’re very happy we booked before all of this went down. We’re going to the Eastern Caribbean on Carnival,” Jennifer Karew said.

Based on rising costs of fuel, travel expert and agency owner Noor Arafat told 7 Action News most people are making use of travel vouchers from prior cancellations during the COVID-19 pandemic. When those run out, she says a big drop-off in travel could be very likely.

"I have a lot of people traveling (with vouchers) now. But, I’m sure it’s going to be affected by gas prices,” Arafat said.

From the air to the roads, the ripple effect of soaring gas prices is sizable.

During spring break, Arafat adds that many families have traditionally picked places like Florida to visit as part of a fun road trip. This year, they’re willing to find other ways to travel to avoid pain at the pump.

“I have a lot of road trips getting canceled due to high prices that are looking into air or trains. But the air prices are really high now,” Arafat said.

Tony Karew says the whole family is now wondering how long this trend will continue. Until things calm down, he and the rest of the family are looking to possibly scale back and choose a staycation at home.

“We have a lap of Lake Michigan, which is a car tour and we’re questioning whether or not we actually go through with that. That’s going to be a few tanks of gas and totally changes the whole landscape,” Tony Karew said.

Arafat says a bigger jump in air fare could still be coming, which is a reason not to postpone if you are set on travel.