Affinity: Jersey Shore vacation cost increases 4% compared to year-ago period

While it is considerably less than the 16% year-over-year jump that occurred between the 2021 and 2022 summer seasons, the price of a Jersey Shore vacation increased a modest 4% in 2023 compared with a year ago, according to research released by Affinity Federal Credit Union.

The increase generally aligns with overall inflation rates (4.9% in April 2023).

The research shows moderate increases in three of the four major tourism-related categories for 2023, and the changing landscape reflects a business sector that has better adjusted to inflationary pressures and supply chain challenges.

  • Beach services, such as beach tags, chair and umbrella rentals, are up 4% year-over-year;

  • Food and drink, including coffee, taffy and pizza, have increased 11% YOY;

  • Leisure activities, such as mini golf and amusement park rides, are 8% higher YOY;

  • Travel is the only category to report a decrease, down 7.7% overall. This change has been driven by the fact that gasoline costs are 23% lower now than in May 2022.

“It is relieving to see costs have increased at a much more moderate rate this year compared to last,” Jacqui Kearns, chief brand, strategy and wellbeing officer of Affinity, said. “This means it is significantly more achievable for families to enjoy the quintessential Jersey Shore experience this summer.

“While this year’s report is encouraging, to see a 20% increase in overall costs in just a two-year span is notable and presents families with a very real challenge in 2023 and beyond. It means consumers still need to proactively implement money-saving strategies that help their dollar go further.”

The survey’s full findings can be found on the Affinity website.

“While your dollar will go a bit further this year — and every cent is welcome! — we encourage consumers to still be mindful of how they spend their money,” Kearns said. “Budgeting is essential to enjoying the emotional well-being benefits a summer beach vacation offers, so you can bring home great memories and not extra debt or stress.”

Research was conducted via a May 2023 survey of New Jersey Shore town businesses and compared to products and services surveyed in summer 2022.