Fear of travel: What will make you stay home for the holidays?
Friday Forum asks if it's time to cancel your upcoming travel plans now
Soaring gas prices, a new COVID variant and inflation are conspiring to keep you home for the holidays.
But which one will make you push the "cancel" button?
COVID makes a comeback. Have you read the stories about the return of coronavirus during the holidays? There's BA.2.75, BQ.1.1, and XBB to keep you up all night worrying.
Here are the projections in the United States.
Fuel prices. A gallon of unleaded gas costs $3.83. The White House this week released 14 million barrels of oil from the U.S. emergency reserve to bring prices down. It won't have an immediate effect. The government projects retail gasoline prices will dip to $3.80 per gallon this quarter and fall to $3.57 per gallon next year.
Inflation. The U.S. is dealing with some of the highest inflation in 40 years. The latest government report showed prices continuing to rise again in September. Core inflation jumped 0.6 percent from August. Travelers are being hit hard, with fuel prices up 18.2 percent, transportation services up 14.6 percent, and new vehicles up 9.2 percent for the year.
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Which of these three worries will keep you home for the holidays? Will it be the next round of the pandemic, higher fuel prices, or that travel is just too expensive?
And a follow-up question, fellow forum visitors: Are you going to cancel — or do you still plan to go somewhere?
The comments are open.