After a non-existent or modified Halloween night in 2020, it seems the neighbors came to play in 2021. My boys received a variety of delicious candy (I see you, Mr. Goodbar), and the number of full-sized candy bars dropped into their plastic pumpkins was incredible. With each one, the boys’ eyes, and mine, grew wider. Nine years of trick-or-treating in the neighborhood and not one full-sized treat until this year.
Growing up, all of us remember that one house that handed out full-sized candy bars. They might as well have been made of gold. An entire table with Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, and Hershey bars perfectly lined up waiting for us to make the singular most important selection of the night. Fast forward 40 years, and this Halloween, pictures of friends’ kids fanning full-sized candy bars like they were Benjamins — or Washingtons — filled my social media feed.
What changed? Did folks who sat out 2020 decide to splurge in 2021? Was there a resolution to make every special moment the best it can be no matter the cost after a dismal year and a half? I don’t have the proper degree or the research to scientifically explain what caused folks who usually spend $15.99 on a bag of 150 pieces of mini-goodness to choose to pay the same amount for just 30 full-sized bars this year, but it happened at more homes than any parent expected or kid could have dreamed.
So what do 280 calories of chocolate, caramel, peanuts, and other sweet thigh-enhancing decadence have to do with travel? The same reason full-sized goodness was prolific this Halloween is the same reason traveling in 2022 is going to cost all of us more.
During a phone call with our expert travel advisor Carie Skerritt with Dream Vacations, she mentioned, “People are wanting to travel, and they’re willing to pay for it.” While that statement may seem fairly obvious, what it means for the rest of us, the travel deals we’ve come to expect likely won’t be there in 2022. The folks willing to splurge on Halloween candy shows the desire to splurge on all special moments. Putting off what we want to do today until tomorrow may be a thing of the past.
No, a 50-to-75 cent piece of candy is not the same as a $3,000, 7-day Caribbean cruise; however, because there are enough travelers willing to lay down a chunk of change for an amazing vacation, the travel industry doesn’t need to offer the same deals to lure travelers in 2022 as they would have done prior to 2020.
Take Disney, for example. The new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort opens in March. The first three months are practically booked. The 2-night immersive experience will cost a family of four $6,000.
Skerritt mentioned her clients who want to pay the usual $3,000 for their favorite cruise may be looking at a bill of more than $4,000 for the same cruise, the same month in 2022. It seems the basics of supply and demand are at play.
It’s the same reason travelers seeking out last-minute holiday deals in 2021 are likely to be either left without plans or paying a premium to vacation between Christmas and New Year’s Day. I thought starting to look for a December Florida home rental in August would be plenty of time to find a spot with decent access to a pool and the beach; however, homeowners were keen to the economics at play. The prices for a 3-bedroom, 2-bath home with a pool and close to, but not on, the beach was commanding the same price as a 5-bedroom home with all the amenities in years past.
As the travel planner of the family, never has deciding where to go, and when, been tougher than it is right now. It’s not because I’m checking the CDC’s latest recommendations or vaccination rates of states or countries, it’s because I want to go everywhere I couldn’t in 2020 and 2021 right now.
Of course, we’re all one new variant away from things going sideways, but the travel industry is hopeful 2022 will be its comeback year. You can practically hear the excitement in every email as they prepare for what they hope is a full year of unrestricted travel, both physically and financially.
Basically, those who want to travel have the money to do it and are willing to pay whatever it takes to make it happen. No more regrets. No more Twix Minis.