Expert Advice on Traveling in A Down Economy

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Chiropractor and life coach Dr. Glenn Miller has seen many changes in the travel habits of some of his clients and patients since the pandemic. Folks who would travel out of the country every other month have cut back to once a quarter. Despite having the freedom to travel again, some people are cutting back.

The United States economy could be to blame. The cost of goods and services has steadily increased since pre-Covid days, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Buzzwords like “inflation” and “recession” are floating around in online forums and many Americans’ pocketbooks are tight. From the housing market to the price of food, finance expert Nick Pebbles says consumers are feeling the impact from many directions.

“When you go to the grocery store, you see the cost of eggs and the cost of chicken,” Pebbles said. “When you go to the gas station you see the cost of oil. And if you’re in the market to relocate or move to a new area, you see the cost of housing going up. So I would say, across the board, we have been severely impacted.”

Despite many Americans questioning the economy’s stability, Pebbles and Dr. Miller believe travel is here to stay.

“One thing about Americans is that we spend regardless of what’s going on,” Dr. Miller said. “But we tend to spend on things that are important to us.”

Planning Ahead

Dr. Miller says he remembers the days during COVID-19 when travel was limited. Many people are still bouncing back from the isolation and no one wants to go back.

“Traveling has become really important because not being able to get out of the house and go to another location to live life was very detrimental,” he said. “I’ve noticed with a lot of my clients and patients that not traveling really hurt. And we’re not trying to go back to that anytime soon.”

Instead of cutting back on traveling, Dr. Miller and many of his associates are planning ahead. He advised other travelers to do the same to avoid outrageous costs of accommodations and travel.

“The biggest tip I can give someone while the economy is going crazy and your pockets might not be where you want them to be, you want to plan ahead,” he said.

The chiropractor plans on booking all of his travel expenses at least 90 days in advance. While there may be some benefits to waiting until the last minute, Dr. Miller says that might not always be the case.

Right now, he’s planning for his second-quarter trips to give him plenty of time to plan and prepare. However, he has no intention of cutting out travel and believes many American millennials won’t be doing so either.

Cutting Back Without Cutting Out Travel

As younger Americans figure out how to navigate the current economic climate, Pebbles believes more people will be cutting back without cutting out travel. He also says cutting back depends on the age of the consumer in question.

“If we’re talking about Gen-Z, I don’t believe that Gen-Z really believes in cutting back,” Pebbles said.

Whereas many Gen-Z Americans still live at home with parents and relatives, Pebbles said millennial Americans are prioritizing home ownership and attaining long-term wealth. However, the economy’s current state makes getting both difficult. Either way, both generations are willing to make the money to afford what they want, including traveling.

Pebbles believes more Americans will tap into the gig culture to ensure they can still afford to travel. Side hustles like Uber, Lyft, and Instacart will become more popular as well as more Americans becoming open to roommate-based housing options.

“Travel is still going to be a thing,” he said. “The cost of travel is still going to fluctuate but that is why you now have different things making travel more affordable.”

Additionally, Pebbles says financial tech companies will aid in making high-end ticket items like vacations more accessible for consumers. Instead of paying thousands of dollars upfront for a trip, consumers will be able to break it up into smaller payments.

“ I believe there will definitely be ways to make it affordable because we know America thrives off of consumer debt,” he said.

Dr. Miller also suggests that travelers connect with travel agents who offer payment plans. Many also offer discounted group rates to save while exploring the world. He also recommends alternative modes of travel like catching the train instead of flying to cut costs. However, despite fluctuating economic times, Dr. Miller says the American travel bug is here to stay.

“Millennials have had historically less than any other generation before us, but we are still going to travel,” Dr. Miller said. “Because travel brings wealth to our well-being.”