What you should know about travel costs during and after the pandemic

The cost of travel will slowly rebound from historic lows as more people receive COVID-19 vaccinations and book long-deferred trips, according to industry experts.

This time last year, air traffic in the U.S. plummeted, with 95% fewer travelers passing through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in April 2020 compared with April 2019. This reduced demand led to a corresponding decrease in airfare prices.

The average cost of a domestic round-trip ticket in the second quarter of 2020 dropped 28% from the same period in 2019, down to $259, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Few travelers were monitoring these prices at the time since so few were booking flights. But now, with COVID-19 vaccinations opening the possibility of travel to millions more Americans each week, prices are once again set to change.

If you’re one of those would-be travelers, experts cautiously advise booking your travel soon. Much remains uncertain, but prices are unlikely to return to 2020 levels.

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