Ed Hewitt writes for the Independent Traveler, a site that I am familiar with because we collaborate with them with travel forums. He suggests that the following trends will be noteworthy to travelers. This story also appeared on MSNBC today.
What’s next? Trends to watch
“I see this falling in out in the following ways:
1. Car travel will decrease dramatically. There’s no question that gasoline will now become a budget item for most travelers. Even at $2, travelers mostly took for granted the cost of fuel when doing budgets, but at $4 it will be a completely different story. Squinting hard to see the bright side, you could predict that the recurring weekend crush of traffic could be a little more manageable. Meager solace, I know.
2. Short trips will become the coin of the realm. If you see this likely outcome as a reason to look for interesting destinations closer to home, rather than as a buzzkill, you might be pleasantly surprised; see more on this approach in “Tips for Summer 2008” below.
3. It might turn out to be cheaper to fly some moderate distances. For example, roundtrip from my town to Boston is 525 miles. At 20 miles per gallon, that’s 26 gallons of gas, and at $4 a gallon, that’s a little over $100 roundtrip. Add in tolls, and it’s probably more like $140, not including wear on your car. I’ve seen some $160 roundtrip flights on the same route. There is still the ride to the airport to consider, as well as airport parking, but avoiding 8 – 10 hours in summer traffic might be worth the few bucks in the end.”