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Community members talk about their opinions on travelling during inflation.

by Nikki Kumar

Sky-High Prices to Get Sky High


Everyone deserves a vacation. Travelling, for the lucky few, is a chance to max out on extravagance and adventure. For most though, it’s about cobbling together the most affordable destinations and accommodations to fuel rest and relaxation. 

 However, considering the recent dramatic price hikes in flights and accommodation, basic trips are now the cost of ‘luxury’ travel. The past 5-10 years, pre-pandemic, were the Golden Age of travel, with cheaper tickets, lots of competition, and generally low prices. Today however, with food, flight, and hotel prices skyrocketing worldwide, purchasing power has declined. Airlines struggle with high fuel costs, sustainability changes, and fleet upgrades; and living and business operational costs are higher than ever. Even though most of us value comfort over frugality, there’s no denying that travelling has become painfully heavy on our wallets. Logic screams that we should patiently wait it out and allow the market to adjust. However, after a couple of years of travel not being allowed, our brains have also turned on the ‘YOLO’ switch and ‘revenge travel’ is on the rise. So, how do people cope? 

 Masala spoke to community members to find out on how they plan their travels with the insanely inflated travel costs, and what we’ve learned that if planned carefully, cutting costs without sacrificing much is possible. Consider what you value most on trips, and make small cuts to reduce the amount spent, while still having a good time. 


Freelance Event Coordinator

 I definitely still want to travel. In fact, I’m currently checking ticket prices for a few countries that my family would like to visit. However, we are pacing out our travels for now. My most recent trip was to Danang, Vietnam, last year in April 2023. Since it’s a neighbouring country, the air tickets were reasonable and so was the whole trip in terms of accommodation, food and sightseeing. I’ve never been a frequent traveller, so for me I haven’t had to change any plans considering the expensive air tickets. However, I would opt for visiting neighbouring countries more, since they are more affordable. In fact, the next destination on my list is Laos since I’ve heard that its quite an interesting place, and it will definitely be a budgeted trip. I really hope these flight prices aren’t here to stay. Hopefully, once the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is resolved, gold and fuel prices will drop down to a certain extent, and flights can be more affordable again. We can only hope for the best at this point of time. 


Small Business Owner, @cheezers.villa

 I enjoy travelling internationally, but now, I focus more on Asian countries with attractive airline promotions. I recently visited Vietnam with reasonably-priced tickets. Currently, I’m avoiding flights to Europe or other Western continents due to increased ticket prices and lack of low budget airline options. Airline prices have gone up by 47 percent last year alone, and will continue to rise this year. Therefore, I’m currently shifting focus to explore inbound destinations for more adventurous experiences, and quality hotels. Road trips and staying at more reasonably-priced accommodations are also good ways to cut costs. As of now, I’m expecting these prices to remain high due to inflation. As inflation is driving up prices across the board, including airfares, I’m emphasising the importance of seizing promotions, booking in advance, and taking advantage of mileage offers. Hopefully, not all hope is lost. With situations like these, I can focus on intention and budget hacks that will enhance my travelling experience.


Kindergarten teacher

 Despite the increase in flight prices post-COVID, my family and I have adjusted by opting for less luxurious options like premium economy instead of business class, which currently costs as much as business class did, pre-pandemic. In 2022, obtaining visas on time were challenging, which led us to pay expedited fees for our UK visa, making our trip 25 percent more expensive. However, visa processing times have improved since then. Initially, there was a waiting list of over a year for a US visa, which caused us to cancel our plans. However, the process has now become faster. So, while things are improving, they still haven’t returned to the pre-COVID norm. I’m determined not to let rising prices deter my love for travel, even if it means cutting back on shopping or finding more affordable ways to have fun. One example of adapting is when my colleagues and I celebrated my 40th birthday with a trip to India in October 2023. To stay within budget, we opted for a low-cost airline, and Airbnb accommodations. Despite the adjustments, it was a memorable experience, especially because we chose a fantastic location that made getting around easy.


Feminist campaigner, Corporate Accountability and Climate Justice; Manushya Foundation

The rising cost of flights has made me think twice before booking international trips. I’m now more inclined to see local destinations or Southeast Asia. That being said, I am still travelling, and have recently been to Japan and India, with plans to go to Europe. 

 I try and plan travel months in advance in order to save or budget where I can. I will usually travel with budget airlines, and tend to stay closer to Thailand. My mindset towards travel has shifted; as much as I love the idea of travel, and would have loved to travel full time, the cost of doing so is a lot higher than you would expect. I think travel has become a luxury, unless necessary for business or to see loved ones.

 I think for the time being, flight prices will continue to stay this high, and I don’t see the demand for travel rising any time soon. However, I do hope that they decrease soon and travel becomes affordable again.

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