Summer, ah. The best time of year, isn’t it? Especially for school-goers since it marks an end to those pesky exams and all the stress that goes along with it. And this is summer is something of a double-yay for me since I not only finish exam season but university too! I’ve literally finished higher education. Madness. But anyway, if you’re already working and are spared the joy of exams, summertime is a little bit of heaven nonetheless. It’s a chance to escape reality, spend time with friends and family and yes, – it’s time to travel!
You guard your measly 28 days of holiday per year (though join Goldman Sachs’ senior team and you’ve got unlimited days off!) making sure you’ve enough days stashed away to be able to take off some work and jet away during the summer months to someplace somewhere that’s hotter than where you are.
And we as a nation love to travel. Us Brits spend as much as 20% of our disposable income (the crumbs left with after taxes) on travel so it’s nothing of a surprise that after not being able to travel for ages though what actually felt like a decade, we wanna splash the cash. Inflation or no inflation, the pent-up demand and yearn to get away is real….
But it ain’t gonna be smooth sailing, I’m afraid!
Get ready guys and fasten your seatbelt because this vacay we’re going to come head-to-head with a cocktail of inflation, labour shortages, supply shortages and all sorts of other loveliness. And lucky for us, our summer holidays hang in the balance of all this.
For starters, inflation means your ticket will cost more than it did last year ( ~18% more) and if, like me, you’ve not flown in the summer since before covid, you’re in for a real treat!
Inflation – we can literally talk all day as to what caused it (my guess is the Fed’s money printer had something to do with it!) but the fact still stands: prices are rising. And with oil steaming ahead (a basic input for nearly everything), you can expect your summer to be a whole lot pricier. That’s if they aren’t already.
Fewer workers, higher prices. Simples.
Then there’s the issue of labour shortages that’s pushing inflation higher so it’s kinda like a never-ending cycle of price hikes. Labour shortages are particularly problematic when it comes to hospitality. Everything from hotels, to restaurants to bars to airports (sorry!) you name it are all trying to cope with low levels of staff.
Airlines are already short-staffed as it is which means that you can expect chaos. And they’ve warned us. Many times. Airlines said we’ll be in for a summer of delays, cancellations and all sorts of other disappointments. But is this gonna stop people from travelling? I seriously doubt it.
If I’m totally honest with you, airport chaos was never something we took into account. When travelling in the height of the summer before covid, not once did we have a cancelled or delayed flight. Boy did I take that for granted!
A couple months back I flew to Scotland and thankfully had no delays – at least I thought I didn’t. But guess what, when I landed I had to wait on the aircraft for over an hour because there was no one to bring the jetty to our plane. And this wasn’t even during half term or peak travel time or, the will-be-packed summer! It was a plain old Tuesday in November. I don’t even want to know what the summer will look like.
Here are some trusted tips to help lower your summer stress!
First things first: avoid checking in your luggage! If you can avoid checking in your bags this’ll save you time at the airport (the queue for check-in is ~1.5hrs) and you’ll also have peace in mind knowing your summer clothes are with you and aren’t going anywhere! The last thing you want is for your luggage to go on their own vacay with no plan of ever seeing you again.
Sure, you’d get some measly compensation but that won’t compensate you for the stress, hassle and general annoyance. So get yourself a small wheelie and make sure to pack light! Get all your stuff in there and you can cruise through the airport. Sort of. Oh, and you’ll be the envy of literally everyone queuing up.
A family friend of ours recently went abroad for a wedding and they checked in their cases only to find out that when they had arrived at their destination, their cases and gone elsewhere! They got some compensation but since they arrived 24hrs before the ceremony, finding dresses that fit and look good in a foreign ain’t easy. Yeah all you guys need to do is find a suit and you’re done!
Okay, so you’ve arrived at your destination. Now what?
Ha. This is gonna be fun. Least for all for Brits. Our currency has taken a dive. Dear old Sterling, what have you done? This means that going abroad will cost us a lot more since each pound buys us less of the other currency. So pile that onto already-high prices and you’re in for a double surprise. Though, mind you, there are some places (Budapest for instance) where the foreign exchange ain’t too bad so it could be worth taking this into account when booking your sunny spot.
Oh and if you’re planning to treat yourself and go to the movies (I honestly can’t remember the last time I went to a cinema) you’re in for a salty treat. Prices of popcorn which btw already have a 1,200% markup(!) are short in supply. This is where cinemas make the big buck. From all our munching. But this year we’ve got shortages and for cinema-goers this ain’t pretty.
Then the pools. I bet you’ve got some local swimming pools in your area (or at least a short drive away) and when the days are hot all you wanna do is dive into the cold (though not freezing please!) water but guess what? The lifeguards have taken a dip! There’s a shortage of them.
And if you think this won’t affect your trip abroad, think again. You need lifeguards at hotel pools and beaches. Hopefully your lifeguard will be there!
All in all, get ready for a summer of surprises.
Be prepared for anything.
Disclaimer: This blog is not investment or financial advice. It is my opinion only. This blog is not a personal recommendation to buy/sell any security, or to adopt any such investment strategy. Always do your own research before you commit to any investment.