I’m going to need a new strategy.
ASTORIA, New York City- “Why are you going to Puerto Rico? Puerto Rico is boring. What are you planning on doing, boring your readers?”
That was my wife’s response when I told her I was going to Puerto Rico for no reason. Well, I actually explained it all in more detail … I mentioned the things that I blogged about yesterday and how I’m getting ready to get back on the Silk Road. I also shared with her how much money this blog makes us per year and how it’s a good idea to invest in it every once in a while.
But she wasn’t having it. So today I looked for flights into the heart of Eurasia and was shocked at what I found: the prices were two to three times what they were before the “pandemic.” I was floored. Was there something wrong with my Skyscanner app? I used to be able to get to places like Astana, Almaty, Yerevan, Warsaw, Belgrade for $300-$500. Now, no way.
It wasn’t just me.
Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index shows a 25.6% increase in airfare from last January to January 2023. That means right now, on average, Americans are paying a quarter more for flights than they did a year ago. And, that year-over-year number has been even higher in previous months.
There are many things to blame: higher fuel prices due to the war in Ukraine, higher demand from passengers who are rediscovering travel again, less business travelers (which impacts the prices for everyone), and probably less flights due to the lack of pilots due to them being encouraged to retire early at the beginning of the pandemic and then the vaccine mandates.
To the chagrin of my wife, I may be spending a lot of time in Puerto Rico these days…
Or adopt some strategies that I don’t usually do … such as planning and booking flights early, looking for deals, doing all the things that normal travelers do …
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3679 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Papa Bay, Hawaii
May 3, 2023, 5:54 pm
It’s great to hear that you’ll be returning to Asia. Will you be covering projects in China or any of the ASEAN nations? I’m curious to know your opinion on Chinas post-pandemic growth strategy. From what I’ve read, some analyst predict that China’s debt fueled big infrastructure projects will slow down and shift more to digital infrastructure. Others predict that they could return to their old growth strategy as land sales remain a key source of revenue for local governments. ?
Anyway; looking forward to your work
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