Flexible travelers can find budget-friendly summer vacations

Summer travel plans have been met with sky-high prices that may be out of reach for some. However, resourceful travelers who can embrace flexibility are finding ways to enjoy a vacation and stay within budget.

Chelsea Hampshaw was worried that the surge in summer travel to Europe would make her family’s annual trip to London unaffordable. Then she spotted a deal.

“I was searching. We just weren’t gonna be able to go this year, flights were so expensive and so sparse. And so as soon as this popped up, it was like ‘Oh, I guess we can make this happen this year,'” Hampshaw said.

While it required a seven-hour drive from South Carolina to Washington’s Dulles Airport, a flight on a lesser-known airline and arrival at an airport 30 miles outside London, the family of six managed to save around $6,000.

“Pretty big difference,” Hampshaw said.

Airlines are creating some new options to help make European trips more affordable for their passengers.

Norse Atlantic Airways, a Norwegian low-cost carrier, just announced service from Washington in May. The airline offers both premium and economy class, allowing travelers to choose the price point and level of comfort and amenities they prefer.

Its first flight to London’s Gatwick Airport sold out, said Norse Atlantic CEO Bjorn Larsen.

Earlier this year, JetBlue announced that direct flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris would begin on June 29.

Overall, airfares to Europe are currently at a six-year high, averaging about $1,200 per person, according to Hopper, a travel website.

Hotel prices are also up, with a 37% increase compared to last year, especially in popular destinations like Rome and Madrid.

But despite the inflationary pressures affecting travel plans for many, AAA still anticipated a summer

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Summer holiday bookings surge at tour operator Tui

Tui said summer bookings were ahead of pre-pandemic levels as travellers shrugged off cost of living concerns to enjoy the first full year of holidays without restrictions.

It carried 3.3mn customers in the first quarter, up by 1mn on a year ago, and almost back to 2019 levels.

Revenue at Tui reached €3.8bn thanks to positive winter and summer bookings in the three months to the end of December. Losses before interest and taxes were €158.7mn, compared with a loss of €271.4mn a year earlier.

“Our strategy is clear: quality, cost discipline and market share,” said Tui’s chief executive Sebastian Ebel. “Booking dynamics for summer 2023 are encouraging,” he said, adding that he expected “underlying earnings to increase significantly” for the year.

The comments came after Tui lost its place as the world’s biggest tour operator to rival Jet2 on Monday.

The Civil Aviation Authority reported that Jet2 had expanded its licensing to provide holidays for 5.9mn people annually, overtaking the 5.3mn that Tui is able to carry.

Even though holiday prices are higher than they were before the pandemic hit, bookings in the past four weeks had exceeded 2019 levels, the company said on Tuesday.

A total of 8.7mn summer and winter bookings were made for this year, with travellers from the UK and Germany leading the resurgence in demand.

Tui’s bullish outlook follows news of strong trading elsewhere in the travel industry. Low-cost airline Ryanair has reported record profitability while easyJet forecast a return to annual profit after three years of losses following “strong and sustained” passenger demand.

Tui said its hotels and resorts business drove revenue growth, supported by record bookings for summer holidays in January. The company’s net debt position was €5.3bn during the quarter.

“The return of restriction-free travel meant demand beat pre-Covid levels

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Australia-wide Jetstar sale takes flights down to $41 a pop

SydneyHarbourBridge_Getty_1800x1000

Including stacks of summer holiday dates.

TL;DR: What’s the deal with this flight sale?


Cheapest flight available:
Sydney-Byron from $41 one-way


Travel dates
1 November 2022 – 31 May 2023

Compare and book with KAYAK

The cost of living might be on the rise, but budget airline Jetstar is keeping the cost of travel down with fares from $41 in its latest sale.

Those bargain seats can see Sydney-siders sunning it up on Byron’s beaches or Byron-residents paying a visit to the big smoke.

Prices are one-way with return fares costing double ($82 for the Sydney-Ballina Byron route).

Not your idea of a holiday? No sweat. Jetstar has dozens of routes on sale.

These are some of your cheaper options:

  • Melbourne-Sydney from $44 each way
  • Hobart-Melbourne from $50 each way
  • Sydney-Gold Coast from $50 each way
  • Melbourne-Gold Coast for $55 each way
  • Sydney-Launceston from $56 each way
  • Brisbane-Whitsundays from $60 each way
  • Gold Coast-Canberra from $65 each way
  • Melbourne-Uluru from $99 each way

While travel dates range from 1 November 2022 to 31 May 2023, quite a number of routes run through the summer school holiday break.

Over Christmas you can steal away to Uluru from Sydney or Melbourne for $99 each way. Or you can fly between Cairns and Darwin from $149 each way.

Bear in mind though, being summer in the heart of Australia, temperatures can reach nearly 40 degrees so it might not be the most ideal Christmas holiday for you.

Those who’d prefer to get away in mid-January when things are a little quieter can travel between Gold Coast and Canberra from $65, Melbourne and the Gold Coast from $55 and Melbourne and Hobart from $50, to name a few winners.

Again these are one-way prices.

  • Compare your options and find your perfect Jetstar flight
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11 best summer movies and where to watch them

Roy Scheider tries to get people out of the water in a scene from the 1975 film "Jaws."

The summer heat is like many unpleasant things in life. First you try to pretend it doesn’t exist, then you ignore it, next you act like it’s not all that bad until finally you just give in and admit it’s unbearable.

Admission is the first step toward acceptance. Or something.

Summer movies help, too.

They won’t bring the temperature down, but the right ones can make things a lot more pleasant. They also serve as a reminder that no matter what the climate, summer is a time when big things happen. It’s a marker, a transitional period, sometimes between grades, sometimes youth and adulthood. Sometimes it’s just fun.

These films reflect that. 

‘Jaws’

It’s maybe the perfect summer movie. It’s pretty much a perfect movie all the way around. It’s arguably Steven Spielberg’s best film, a full-on nightmare scenario of a shark snacking on swimmers while incompetent bureaucrats ignore the reality in front of them — and the efforts of a few to make things right. Amity means friendship, indeed.

How to watch: Streaming on Peacock.

‘Do the Right Thing’

A scene from Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing."

Spike Lee’s masterpiece, set on a blisteringly hot day in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Mookie (Lee), a pizza delivery guy, moves warily through racial strife between Black residents and Italian-Americans. It’s funny, it’s honest, it’s moving, it’s frustrating and it’s brilliant. The filmmaking is technically flawless; you can practically feel the heat radiating off the streets. You can also feel the tension, building toward heartbreak.

How to watch: Available to rent on iTunes and Prime Video.

‘Summer of Soul’

Ahmir Khalib Thompson (better known as Questlove) won an Oscar for this jaw-dropping documentary, which chronicles six summer Sundays in 1969 when the Harlem Cultural Festival took place. Footage sat around for 50 years; Questlove finally got hold of it and edited it

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TikTok ‘travel hack’ blamed by major airport chief for delaying disabled passengers

A travel hack popularized on social media is causing some disabled passengers to wait even longer to board a plane at London’s Heathrow airport.

Whether it’s hour-long lines to check in or flights canceled at short notice, the first major summer travel season after COVID struck has found a gutted aviation industry on its knees unable to meet needs due to mass headcount reductions over the past two years.

Making matters worse however is a surge in demand for passengers requiring support, not because they are physically challenged, but because some are breaking rules designed to reduce the strain of traveling on the less able-bodied.

“People are using the wheelchair support to try to get fast tracked through the airport,” Heathrow Airport boss John Holland-Kaye told London’s LBC. “If you go on TikTok, you’ll see that is one of the travel hacks people are recommending. Please don’t do that, we need to protect the service for the people who need it most.”

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Don’t let this idiot break your trust of others #noahbearnyle #alphabetmaphia #lgbtq #trans #enby #mentalhealth

♬ original sound – Noah Bear Nyle

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I actually can’t walk long 😁 #frontierairlines #travel #wheelchair #tsa #girlstrip

♬ original sound – Steam only ♨️

The UK is ground zero of Europe’s summer travel chaos as staffing issues have become particularly acute.

Following the country’s decision to end freedom of movement, companies can no longer easily recruit temporary workers from EU countries next door, as well as those non-EU countries that are part of the Single Market such as Norway.

Brexit may also be behind miles and miles of summer travellers queuing in their cars at England’s Dover or Folkestone for hours on end travel-chaos-eurotunnel-channel-delays” data-ylk=”slk:to enter France” class=”link “to enter France, an problem that has received

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Are there any end-of-summer travel deals left?

2022 has been the summer of the “flightmare”. Every weekend comes reports of hundreds (if not thousands) of canceled flights, lost luggage, and long delays.

It all had traveler Tamara Mims very nervous.

“My flight doesn’t leave till 4, so I am having a little anxiety about it being delayed,” she said, rushing to catch her fight.

On top of all the problems, ticket prices are up 25% over last summer, according to the government’s most recent price data. So what can you do if you were hoping for an end-of-summer deal?

The first thing to do is to lessen your chances of getting stuck somewhere, or at home, with your vacation flight canceled.

Make sure you get there on time

To improve your chances of avoiding delays, Caroline Teel of SmarterTravel.com says:

  • Avoid connecting flights, which double your chance of a problem.
  • Don’t check a bag if possible.
  • Book a morning flight. And never the last flight of the day.

“Try to get the first flight of the day if you can,” Teel said. “I know no one wants to wake up and get a 4 am taxi to the airport, but you are so much less likely to be delayed if you are on that first flight.”

Where are the end-of-summer deals?

Normally by late July, airlines and hotels start lowering prices for late August travel. But there are fewer deals this year.

Soaring jet fuel prices, pilot and other staffing shortages, and higher-than-normal demand this year are all contributing to high prices, as well as a record number of delays and cancellations.

Unfortunately, those same factors are why it’s also tough to find some end-of-summer deals this year, as there are so few empty seats that airlines need to fill.

Lousson Smith of Scott’s

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