NewsLocal NewsCuyahoga County


Spring break travel surges nationwide, experts say book ASAP and prepare to pay more on flights

Spring break crowds Clearwater Beach WFTS.png
Airport travelers
Canceled Flights-Advice
Flights Grounded
Posted at 9:21 AM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 09:21:01-04

CLEVELAND — Experts say travel has surged to pre-pandemic levels and as spring break rapidly approaches, many people are still looking to book a get-a-way.

Spring break has become a multi-generational experience, according to experts.

They say to book now and prepare to pay more if you're using an airline service.

"Really happy. Just excited to get away from the cold," Morgan Williams of Cleveland said.

Williams is admittedly looking ahead and thinking about spring break.

After putting in countless hours toward her nursing degree at CSU and spending weeks bundled up walking around campus —she booked an 11-day long trip to Miami, Florida.

She found herself paying roughly $150 more for her flight compared to this time last year.

"I wanna go on the beach and to the restaurants. That's what I really wanna do. You need to get away from Cleveland," Williams said.

Trade Group "Airlines for America" forecasts spring break travel to surge over the next several weeks.

An estimated 2.6 million people a day will fly, on average during the months of March and April.

AAA reports international travel is up 30% over 2022.

The prices across the board for flights and hotels especially to tropical destinations are higher, due to growing consumer demand, looser restrictions, and a pandemic turnaround.

If you want the deals or even a reasonable rate, AAA says to book flights out as far as you can in advance and consider flying first thing on a Tuesday morning.

Those flights are often cheaper and typically less busy.

"The closer you get to your vacation dates, the tighter that the rates will be and actually the higher they will be because of lack of availability," Marita Williams, AAA Manager of Travel Product Development and Travel Promotions said.

And if flights aren't your thing, consider traveling by water.

Williams says cruise lines have made a comeback, and the companies need to sell tickets.

They're budget and family-friendly, typically all-inclusive and the deals are at a constant right now.

"They all have different ways that they, you know, do their sales. Like it can be 30% off. It could be buy one, get one free, it could be kids sail free 18 and younger in the cabin with an adult," Williams said.

If you're traveling internationally, Williams encourages everyone to look into travel and health insurance.

And also know the rules when it comes to passports.

"Your passport has to be valid for a certain period of time. Normally it's six months, but there are some countries that it is longer than that," Williams said.

If you're looking to drive to your destination, there is a glimmer of hope.

AAA reports gas prices right now are between 16 and 20 cents lower than a year ago.

For those still planning to fly out—try to book the first flight of the day, as it's usually always at the gate and ready to go.

With staffing shortages and the recent major computer failures, it's your safest option.

Williams says the worst time to fly back are usually on Saturdays and Sundays.

The weekends are always more expensive, and the airports are busier.