Planning a dream vacation often starts full of excitement and possibilities as you research destinations, browse images of resorts, and map out sightseeing adventures. But all too soon, that enthusiasm can halt as you start budgeting and get hit with the sobering reality of high hotel rates and airfares.
This article covers the unexpected factors influencing airfare and accommodation prices. So if you are wondering why are flight prices going up, read this.
We expect typical supply and demand to impact travel costs. Summer flights will likely be pricier than fall. A 5-star suite tops an Airbnb cabin rental. But what about all those influences occurring behind the scenes, subtly swaying prices for reasons unbeknownst to most travelers?
Picture this: you’re planning the ultimate escape, scrolling through flights and scanning hotels, and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, bam! The costs seem to defy logic. That’s where we come in. From mystical forces shaping airfare rates to the unforeseen influences on accommodation prices, this deep dive will leave you both enlightened and entertained. Let’s demystify the travel budget puzzle together and discover the surprising factors affecting flight ticket prices as well as accommodation costs.
Everyone wants cheap flights and affordable accommodation, so this article can shed some light on elements that you didn’t know influence travel costs. Knowledge is power, so being aware of these factors that influence travel costs will allow you to make better choices and find the perfect moment to visit each destination.
These tips and tricks can be used for trips you plan on your own and for those you book through a travel agency, regardless of the season. If you are sometimes wondering why plane tickets are getting expensive and why accommodation prices are increasing, read this article as it has the answers you are looking for.
Stay, Fly, Pay: The Unexpected Factors Influencing Airfare and Accommodation Prices
Major sporting events like championships and tournaments can transform host cities, sparking tourism influxes. Prices surge as dedicated fans flock to sold-out games while general vacationers tack on event attendance.
Regular annual competitions also drive consistent accommodation demand. For example, prolific Formula 1 races like the Monaco Grand Prix fuel high occupancy along the French Riviera each May.
Meanwhile, more transient world cups and Olympics shift location, meaning different global destinations face spikes coinciding with games. In 2024 the Summer Olympic Games take place in Paris, the ones in 2028 take place in Los Angeles, and the Winter Olympic Games 2026 take place in Milan and ski resort Cortina d’Ampezzo, the 1956 Olympics host. The Winter Olympic Games 2030 will be in the Alps region and the French Riviera resort Nic, and the 2034 Winter Games will be in Salt Lake City.
I could go on and on about the different sports – but I would like to emphasize another detail. Not only huge competitions but also smaller ones influence travel costs.
So, one of the travel tips to get cheaper airfare and accommodation prices is to check in advance about the future sports events taking place in a city or an area.
Similarly, live concerts from chart-topping musical artists or groups reliably pack venues while boosting regional tourism.
Avid fans jump at rare chances to catch their favorite performer nearby, especially on special reunions or farewell tours.
New album releases also drum up excitement and demand for getaways combined with anticipated shows. Luxury hotels capitalize by pairing exclusive ticket access with VIP suites.
And the largest acts like U2 or Taylor Swift launching epic multi-year world tours allow advanced planning that gives certain cities prolonged boosts.
So make sure to check in advance if there are such concerts in the area you plan on visiting, as they will definitely influence airfare costs and accommodation prices.
Medical Tourism Trends
Another item on this list of unexpected accommodation and airfare price influencers lies in shifting geographical hotspots for medical procedures like cosmetic surgery, dental implants, or essential specialized care.
As experienced physician networks develop and then promote their services abroad at significant healthcare savings, medical tourism expands in those regions.
And this does not happen only on a continent, but worldwide. My country was famous – and still is – for dental work – good and cheaper, at private clinics, than in many other countries. You can imagine that many people came and are still coming to Romania for dental work!
And there are other countries famous for different procedures or hospitals – think of Austria, Turkey, etc.
Local hospitality infrastructure rushes to meet specialized lodging needs. An important thing I need to mention is that the geographical hotspots for medical procedures undergo dynamic changes, creating a ripple effect on nearby hotel markets.
Imagine a city known for its cutting-edge medical facilities suddenly becoming a sought-after destination for surgeries and treatments. The surge in medical tourism doesn’t just impact the healthcare industry; it also leaves its mark on accommodation prices.
Hotels in proximity to renowned medical institutions find themselves in higher demand, leading to fluctuations in pricing dynamics.
In this fascinating intersection of health and travel, the trends in medical tourism become an unexpected factor steering the course of both airfare and accommodation costs.
Political events impact both airfare and accommodation costs.
Conventions, rallies, and campaign events draw crowds of political enthusiasts, filling hotel rooms and creating a surge in demand.
This heightened demand often translates to increased hotel rates, turning the city hosting these political spectacles into a temporary epicenter of activity.
So one of the unexpected factors influencing airfare and accommodation prices is this ebb and flow of the election cycle. The good part is that this is somewhat predictable – meaning we know when and where the elections are taking place, we find out where these rallies are happening and we can travel there in other periods.
Proximity to Filming Locations and Book Series
Lights, camera, accommodation surge! The film and television industry not only captivates audiences but also plays a role in shaping travel expenses.
When a hot movie or popular TV show is shooting on location, nearby areas experience a surge in demand for lodging.
This surge, in turn, leads to increased hotel prices as fans, film crews, and curious travelers flock to the proximity of filming locations.
The allure of being close to the magic of a movie or a favorite TV series turns the nearby accommodations into sought-after commodities, creating unexpected fluctuations in pricing for those seeking a front-row seat to the reel action.
Apart from films, books can also be one of the reasons flight prices go up. Why? Because when a book becomes a bestseller, people might want to see where the action takes place. If locals have a place to visit – related to the theme of the book – then you get the picture: prices go up.
Think of the Lord of the Rings. Think of Pippi Longstocking – yes, there is a themed-place to visit for kids. And to many other similar places that became famous over the last few years.
Specific Attraction Popularized by a Movie/TV Series
Not only filming locations while movies are filmed attract tourists, but also various villages/towns, castles, mountains, or beaches sometimes transform into a coveted tourist mecca thanks to providing the iconic backdrop in a beloved cinematic blockbuster or television series. And this is why your airfare and accommodation prices increase!
And I have the perfect example for you – one that comes from my country. The Cantacuzino Castle in Romania rose to fame after serving as the set for the first season of “Wednesday” Addams’ Nevermore Academy in Netflix’s recent supernatural drama smash hit.
And this is an example – as there are many cities, villages, and interesting attractions that became popular due to some movies/tv shows.
Travelers eager to immerse themselves in the cinematic allure of these locations find themselves in a delightful dilemma: securing a spot close to the famed setting often comes with a premium price tag. This unexpected influence on travel costs showcases the lasting impact of film-induced tourism, where a specific attraction becomes a star in its own right, directing the flow of both airfare and accommodation prices.
In the age of social media, the “Instagrammability” of a destination has become a decisive factor influencing travel expenses.
Photogenic hotspots, from iconic landmarks to trendy neighborhoods, command a premium in hotel pricing. Travelers, driven by the desire to capture the perfect Instagram shot, gravitate toward aesthetically pleasing locations, creating increased demand for accommodation in these visually stunning areas.
This newfound criterion for travel planning introduces a unique dynamic to pricing, as the allure of picture-perfect settings becomes a significant player in the intricate game of airfare and accommodation costs.
Business Events, Tech Events, and Trade Shows
I discovered this the hard way. My husband had to travel to a Nuremberg, in Germany. It wasn’t a trip planned months in advance, but a short-notice one.
When he looked for hotels, there was no free room.
It was surprising.
He had to book a room in a nearby city – and each day to travel by car to get to where he needed to be.
And he discovered why there was no room available: there was a fair for the wood processing and woodworking industry sectors. It is a huge fair – as he later found out – a yearly one.
But he did not know about it in advance, and as mentioned, there was no accommodation option in the city.
Such trade shows – on multiple domains – and the Fashion Weeks in Milan, Paris, and New York reliably push regional lodging capacity to its limits months in advance. Tech events are also big and important and they can also be considered among the surprising factors that influence airplane ticket prices and accommodation costs.
As exhibitors, buyers, vendors, and designers descend to showcase wares for important sales cycles, attendees clamor for rooms near convening halls months before public dates approach. So I can include business events and trade shows on this list of unexpected factors that influence accommodation prices and airplane ticket prices.
Social Media Trends or Challenges
Welcome to the era where social media not only connects us but also steers the currents of travel demand and pricing.
Viral trends and challenges, often fueled by platforms like TikTok, have become powerful influencers in the realm of wanderlust. Destinations featured in viral videos or challenges witness a surge in popularity, prompting curious travelers to explore these trending hotspots.
The buzz generated by a TikTok trend, whether showcasing a hidden gem or a breathtaking vista, can turn a once-hidden location into a sought-after destination.
And do not think that it needs to be a destination featured in a video or a challenge on one of the existing social media platforms. It can be a trendy restaurant, a dish that becomes the HOTTEST trend and a must-try, and so on.
All of these can modify the accommodation and airfare prices.
European Capital of Culture
True, this is valid only for Europe, but each year a few cities – smaller, sometimes less popular destinations, are designated as the European Capital of Culture. I am happy to say that in 2023, a city from my country (Romania) was one of the European Capitals of Culture – the city is Timisoara.
These cultural capitals host a plethora of events year-round, attracting tourists with a diverse array of activities. This influx of visitors has a profound impact on both airfare and accommodation prices, as cities with this cultural distinction become magnets for those seeking immersive and enriching travel experiences.
Unusual Art Installations
Step into a world where cities become canvases for creativity, hosting unique and temporary art installations that captivate the imagination. From larger-than-life sculptures to interactive exhibits, these artistic endeavors draw travelers seeking an infusion of culture and inspiration.
Cities hosting unusual art installations often experience spikes in travel demand, as the allure of witnessing ephemeral masterpieces attracts art aficionados and curious minds alike.
The temporary nature of these installations adds an element of urgency, prompting travelers to experience the artistry before it vanishes. In this realm where creativity intertwines with travel, the influence of unusual art installations leaves an indelible mark on the pricing dynamics of both airfare and accommodations.
Astronomic Events and Meteor Showers
Gaze towards the stars, and you’ll find celestial occurrences influencing more than just the night sky – they impact travel costs. Optimal locations for viewing events like solar or lunar eclipses, and especially meteor showers, become temporary hotspots for astronomy enthusiasts.
I admit I am not an expert, but I love to see the Perseid Meteor Shower each year. I saw a full solar eclipse – I hope to see more – and yes, I would travel to a region/country where I can see it.
Here’s a factor that leads to the decrease in airfare and accommodation prices.
Scandals and controversies can cast temporary shadows on destinations, impacting both visitor rates and airfare. Negative publicity, whether related to safety concerns, political unrest, or environmental issues, has the potential to deter travelers.
The aftermath of a scandal may result in reduced demand for flights and accommodations, prompting adjustments in pricing strategies to counterbalance the temporary downturn.
Sightings of Rare Wildlife
Nature’s wonders, from pandas to Komodo dragons, have the power to not only captivate wildlife enthusiasts but also influence travel costs.
When rare and fascinating creatures make headlines, people may be lured and they will flood that destination which may lead to an increase in the flight ticket price and accommodation price.
Virtual Influencer Hubs
I chose freedom and independence almost 20 years ago. I can work from anywhere in the world, when I want.
Like me, many other people do the same. But when working, you need a good internet connection, lower prices for accommodation, and more.
Cities associated with virtual influencers and digital content creators become hubs of interest that extend beyond the virtual realm. And, you guessed, the impact is not confined to the digital space; it permeates the world of travel costs.
Destinations favored by virtual influencers witness changes in demand, influencing pricing dynamics for flights and accommodations.
Delving into niche interests, hobbyist conventions catering to specific passions, whether it’s comic books or model trains, create ripples in the pond of travel costs.
Enthusiasts from around the globe converge on these specialized events, turning host cities into temporary meccas for aficionados. The impact extends beyond convention halls, affecting both flights and accommodations.
I would also add here special events like Comic Con – there are several such events, taking place worldwide. And yes, they generate interest, and people from different countries come to enjoy the special atmosphere.
As you can see from this article, there are plenty of unexpected factors influencing airfare and accommodation prices. So, when wondering “What affects flight prices?” and “What affects accommodation prices?”, apart from the common factors influencing airfare prices, keep in mind these surprising factors influencing airfare prices and accommodation prices.
Some of them are events – from various domains – that take place yearly – around the same date (but not exactly). Some are seasonal. Some take place once in a few years (the election cycle). Some of the factors can influence prices without you even knowing – like world tours of famous artists.
So when booking your next vacation, you have to pay attention to such factors and see if there aren’t special events, concerts, social media trends, etc. that influence the airplane ticket price and accommodation costs. These factors affecting flight ticket prices may seem unexpected, but they are important and can influence your budget.
I hope that this list of factors that can influence lodging prices and plane ticket prices will help you make more informed decisions and find the best time to visit a given destination.