What you need to know before your next vacation as travel evolves

SPOKANE, Wash. — Your next trip will probably look different. High gas prices, employee shortages and COVID measures are changing the vacation experience.

Ditching the road and choosing the sky may not save you from rising gas prices, even if you’ve had a flight locked in for months.  Alaska Airlines said it expects to cancel up to 5-percent of flights because of the surge in fuel cost. In a statement, the airline said: “They will continue to prudently adjust capacity as necessary in response to the evolving fuel environment.”

While Alaska Airlines will cut certain flights, others will pass along the increase to flyers. As changes continue, the overall travel environment people are used to is evolving.

“The worker shortage and COVID have opened our mind to say ok, hospitality and technology can co-exist,” said Anthony Anton. He’s the President & CEO for the Washington Hospitality Association.

On your next trip to a hotel, you may never speak with a concierge. Your room key could be on your phone, and technology could be your tour guide.

“Talking to the concierge via text — when you check-in, you’ll get your text from someone to say — ‘can I find you a great place to eat tonight? Do you need tickets while you’re in town?’,” he said. You’ll have the “same conversations you used to have in the lobby but now you have them on your phone.”

As gas prices squeeze families’ budgets, staying closer to home can help people save money on their next trip.

“The great thing is if you’re going down a river in a craft, you don’t need gasoline to float down that river,” Anton added. “Experience our great state.”

Many people are overpaying for gas on everyday trips. AAA says you don’t need to waste money on premium fuel. They say American drivers wasted more than $2 billion dollars on premium gas. It doesn’t add any benefit if your car doesn’t require it, so check your manual before you head out.

If you’re looking for trip inspiration in the Inland Northwest, you can see ideas for Washington HERE and Idaho HERE.

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