The pandemic hit the airline industry hard, but as more people are getting vaccinated, restrictions are getting lifted and there has been an uptick in air travel across the nation.
Many people had to cancel trips last year, and now, time might be running out to re-book.
AAA said it has been seeing a sharp increase in travel bookings.
“Sun and fun destinations are extremely popular; we’re still seeing people making reservations to our theme parks,” said Micki Dudas, director of Leisure Travel Sales for AAA.
Dudas said since March of 2020, this is the busiest season AAA has seen for people contemplating travel.
“Many people that had to cancel their reservations due to COVID they have travel vouchers. So triple A is encouraging people to take advantage and redeem those vouchers,” she said.
Experts said people should take a close look at those expiration dates and plan accordingly. Also, don’t expect deep discounts, as prices are steadily going up.
“Understand that supply and demand is going to play into your travel arrangements. We are seeing where people are intending to travel, they need to book early. Because a lot of people are intending to do the same thing,” Dudas said.
Also, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay more for car rentals.
“We know that the car rentals inventory has been somewhat limited so we’re encouraging people if you’re considering travel and you need a car rental, make sure you get that reservation in advance,” Dudas said.
In fact, many car rental companies sold vehicles at the height of the pandemic when travel was at a standstill.
Plus, with many COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines still in place, AAA said more people have been leaning on travel advisors.
“That is our job, to help guide the travelers to make sure they understand how it is a different travel experience in 2021 and into 2022,” Dudas said.
The Centers for Disease Control said fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19.
“I think the big thing for us is we want to be prepared for summer. We’re clearly taking a lot of efforts to make sure that happens,” said Susan Tashiro, of the Transportation Security Administration.
TSA is hiring more staff, in anticipation of travel bouncing back sooner than expected.
If you are planning a trip and need resources on restrictions and CDC guidelines, click here.