How Kansas City school schedules could help you save on summer travel

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 11:06 PM CDT
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MISSION, Kan. (KCTV) - You might be in the middle of Spring Break now, but summer vacations are just around the corner.

You may have heard that air travel is more expensive now than it was pre-pandemic. Whether it’s a beach getaway or something else, more people are getting back on board, and airlines are still catching up with re-hiring.

“The personnel situation is everything from pilots and flight attendants to mechanics and people who load luggage,” said Kathy Sudeikis, vice president of corporate relations for Acendas Travel in Mission, Kansas.

Sudeikis has been a travel advisor, then an executive, for four decades. She downplayed some of the headlines about higher airfares.

“I take exception to the fact that the prices are going up. You know, the whole world is going up. Travel is not one of those price-resistant kind of things,” said Sudeikis.

And people who put off international travel due to the pandemic are willing to pay more, she said.

“There is sticker shock, but quite honestly, if you can do $1,000-$1,500, you can get anywhere in Europe from Kansas City,” she remarked.

Of course, even tropical trips are pricier in the summer because families are restricted to school dates. But there’s good news for families in the Kansas City metro. The timing of the school year in the region means you have a window where trips could be less expensive and less crowded.

Sudeikis explained that in our area, the school year ends soon after Memorial Day. But on the coasts, that doesn’t happen until the end of June. Picking the time in-between could save you.

“If you’re only dealing with a third of the United States and those dates, that’s a really good time to go,” she noted.

Another calendar item: avoid flying on Fridays and Sundays. They come with higher costs due to business travel.

“You go on Saturday and come home on Tuesday and the prices just fall in your hands,” Sudeikis said.

And, yes, with airlines still catching up, count on delays. Heck, that’s another reason to return on a Saturday.

“You’ve just got to roll with the punches and be really, really flexible to travel in 2023,” Sudeikis concluded.

We tried out her suggestions, searching for a trip to Charleston, which she said is one of the hottest domestic destinations right now.

The top result for leaving the Tuesday after Memorial Day and returning on Saturday rang in at $334. Changing to the final week in June and a Friday through Sunday schedule, it was more than $500 at 9 p.m. and $417 when we checked again at 11 p.m.

She said Europe is also a very popular destination this summer. To lower the price tag for the trip, she said it might be a good idea to try less popular places away from the big cities. For example, instead of Paris, try Provence or Alsace-Lorraine.

Or you could just do your dream destination because there’s no time like the present. That’s what a lot of Sudeikis’ customers are saying after the COVID crisis.