‘Sticker shock’ hits spring break travelers as prices rise

Spring break is back, and many Minnesotans are looking forward to traveling once again.

But once they get to their destinations — they’re seeing sticker shock when it comes to cost.

The Knorp family is off to Hawaii, a trip they waited two years to take. The family said they postponed their plans due to the widespread shutdowns.

“We are so excited! It’s been so long since we’ve been able to travel somewhere,” said Khristine Knorp, the family’s mother, who added that this time around, everything they’ve booked is a lot pricier. “They are so much more expensive and everything is booked up.”

Kyle Potter of Minnesota-based travel website Thrifty Traveler says that with so much uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, many travelers waited longer than usual to book their getaways.

“Everyone is traveling,” Potter said. “Airlines know that, car rental companies know that. Hotels know that. When demand is high, and demand is high right now, as it always is this time of year, these travel companies know they can squeeze more out of travelers in the form of prices.”

He says prices typically go up for spring break, but this year, there’s even more of a jump. With supply chain shortage and gas prices soaring — it adds up. Plus, the demand is back this year, and families booked their trips later.

“If you look back to the normal time when people would have been booking and planning these things in December and January, there was so much uncertainty with Omicron raging and case counts as high as they had ever been,” Potter said. “I don’t know that many people felt comfortable trying to plan a spring break trip.”

Even though it might not be as affordable this time around — the Knorps are ready to enjoy some long overdue family time.

“We wanted to do one big special trip,” Khristine Knorp said.