Gen Zers coming home for the holidays on mom and dad’s dime, study says

Holiday travelers affected by high demand and high fares

Demand for travel has increased this year, although not everyone can afford the tab.

Along with rising hotel and rental car costs, travelers can expect to pay up to 39% more for a round-trip flight around Christmas compared to last year, according to data from travel booking app Hopper .

Young adults, in particular, are changing their vacation plans accordingly, according to a recent report.

About half of Gen Z plan to travel home this holiday. However, 41% will rely on their parents or relatives to pay for accommodation, according to a Credit Karma study.

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High inflation is affecting holiday travel plans

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One in 10 said they won’t travel home for the holidays because their parents can’t afford it.

Inflation has made it even more difficult for those starting out, who are now squeezed by the rising cost of living and sky-high rents.

More and more parents are participating, and not just during the holidays.

From buying food to paying for cell phone plans to covering health and auto insurance, half of parents with a child over 18 provide at least some financial support, according to a separate study by

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These parents are shelling out roughly $1,000 a month, on average, in such expenses, according to the report.

However, parents also feel stretched too thin.

Of all US adults who plan to travel, 79% are changing their plans due to high inflation, another report found, including shortening their trips, choosing cheaper accommodations, traveling shorter distances or driving instead of flying.

How to save on holiday travel

Commuters walk through the Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport in Detroit on November 21, 2021.

Matthew Hatcher | Getty Images

“If you’re looking for ways to save on your ticket, consider booking travel on less-than-ideal travel days,” advised Colleen McCreary, consumer financial advocate at Credit Karma.

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For example, travel on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to get cheaper fares, he said. Otherwise, opt for smaller regional airports instead of major hubs, collect credit card miles, or make a connection instead of flying direct.

“But really the best thing you can do is act fast,” McCreary said.

“Don’t wait to buy your plane tickets,” he warned. “Prices will not improve.”

CNBC’s Select also has a full roundup of money-saving tips on your next trip.

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