Gen Zers are coming home for the holidays at Mom and Dad’s expense, a study says

Travel demand has soared this year, although not everyone can afford the sky-high bill.

In addition to rising costs for hotels and rental cars, travelers can expect to pay up to 39% more for a return flight around Christmas compared to the previous year, according to data from the travel booking app Hopper.

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

About half of Generation Z are planning to travel home this holiday season. However, according to a study by Credit Karma, 41% rely on their parents or family members to pay for their travel accommodations.

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High inflation is hitting holiday travel plans

One in ten said they won’t go home for the holidays because their parents can’t pay for it.

Inflation has made it even harder for those just starting out, who are now being squeezed by the soaring cost of living and sky-high rents.

More and more parents are getting involved – and not just over the holidays.

According to a separate study by, half of parents with a child over 18 provide at least some financial assistance, from buying groceries and paying for cell phone plans to health and car insurance.

These parents spend an average of about $1,000 a month on such expenses, according to the report.

But the parents also feel overwhelmed.

According to another report by, 79% of all US adults planning a trip are changing plans due to high inflation, including shortening their trips, choosing cheaper accommodations, shorter routes, or driving instead of flying.

How to save on vacation trips

Travelers walk through Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 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 finance attorney at Credit Karma.

For example, travel on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to snag cheaper fares, she said. Otherwise, opt for smaller, regional airports over major hubs, redeem credit card miles, or connect rather than fly non-stop.

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

“Don’t wait to buy your plane tickets,” she warned. “Prices aren’t getting any better.”

CNBC’s Select also has a full roundup of tips to save money on your upcoming trips.

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