2021 Travel Costs: What to Expect

December 14, 2020

Can you still get amazing travel deals in 2021? We break down some of the trends we’re seeing in the travel industry.

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I'm an ocean-obsessed Midwesterner with a travel agency specializing in all-inclusive resort vacations & destination weddings.

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One of the most frequently asked questions from clients recently has been regarding the cost of travel in 2021. Many are expecting fantastic deals and sales, but unfortunately that’s not the trend. Wondering why? Keep on reading.

First of all, when it comes to travel costs (particularly on flights), you can expect the unexpected. Yes, I stole Big Brother’s tagline. And yes, I do watch that stupid show. I’m still upset that Janelle & Kaysar were evicted so early this year. But I digress….

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that anything travel-related can turn on a dime, which could affect overall pricing. But as of this moment, we’re seeing increased pricing for 2021 travel. Here’s why.


The airlines have cut their routes, so there are less flights every day. I was looking for flights on Southwest Airlines from Kansas City to Cancun yesterday and there is only ONE flight a day. Compare this to previous years when we easily had 5+ options. 

Want to dive deeper into what is happening with flight pricing? Check out this great article from Reader’s Digest.


The holidays are coming, but one holiday will soon be over. Earlier this year, the U.S. Congress enacted a travel tax holiday where the collection of U.S. taxes for airline travel would not be collected on tickets issued between March 28 and Dec. 31, 2020. Customers who wait to purchase airline tickets on or after Jan. 1, 2021 will be subject to these taxes and could see a significant increase to their total ticket cost. As we approach the end of 2020, we recommend purchasing airlines tickets, so you can avoid the tax reinstatement in 2021.


Our top-selling destinations throughout Mexico and the Caribbean all have capacity restrictions at the resorts. I’ve seen anywhere from 30% to 75%, depending on the destination and size of resort. Do some simple math & you can understand why rates are higher. If a hotel has 100 rooms, but can only sell 30 of them, they have to increase the rates in order to operate.


Gone are the days of packed buses and cramped tours. Excursions are now operating with very small groups or as private tours. While this is fantastic from an experience standpoint, it also means they have to charge more.


With so many vacations cancelled in 2020, many were rescheduled into 2021. Just think of all those big groups (corporate groups, family reunions, destination weddings, etc) that have already booked up space in 2021. Pricing is usually a sliding scale & as inventory dwindles the price goes up. So because of these rebooked trips, the inventory is already dwindling.

OK, so how much more are we talking here? Don’t worry, these are not huge increases that will keep you from being able to afford travel in 2021. And in some instances there are no increases at all. It’s just that we’re not seeing those crazy good deals that many are expecting.

Personally, I want to travel (responsibly, of course) as much as I can because I know how much the tourism industry has suffered in 2020. The hard-working, friendly people that make your vacation special need tourism more than ever. During the shutdown in 2020 many couldn’t put food on the table for their families. For me, that puts it all into perspective.

I hope this helped clear up any 2021 travel pricing misconceptions. If you’d like to chat more about possible travel plans in 2021 you can schedule your free consult with me here:

2021 travel costs

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I'm Kathryn, travel advisor & owner of KP Travel Group 

I’m your boots-on-the-ground, been-there-seen-that resort expert. In an age where the right angle and Instagram filter can turn a pigsty into a palace, I'll help you plan a vacation that really delivers on that picture-perfect promise.

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