Affordable vacations?

Is there such a thing anymore? Seems like airlines are finding ways to put fees and surcharges on everything nowadays. Besides the initial indignity of having to actually pay for that terrible airline food, American Airlines announced it will begin charging $15 for a first bag checked –nevermind the usual fees for second bags. Add to that fuel surcharges, it’s enough to keep would-be travelers home.

An article in Friday’s Star-Ledger asks, “Who can afford to fly?” It’s become less and less of an option for many people. I had the chance to go to the Bahamas on a vacation at the last minute in early May. When I went to check out flights, the cheapest direct flight was $700, which deterred me from going.

From The Star-Ledger story:
Fuel surcharges, meanwhile, are causing fares to jump. Airlines have raised fares an average of $340 round-trip this year on flights of 1,500 miles or more, said Carl Schwartz, director of marketing for, a Boston travel website.

I don’t travel too much, but I’m sure I’ll want to get on a plane and head somewhere in the next year or so. The issue will be how much more fares have increased by then. I don’t see too many cheap vacations in my future.

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