With COVID infections dropping and pandemic restrictions easing, that summer trip you’ve been wanting to take is now a real possibility.
While businesses that serve travelers—like restaurants, hotels, and airlines—are once again able to ramp up their operations, most are not running at full capacity. Combine this with the fact that many other people intend to travel this summer, and you’ll find that a travel vacation this year is going to require a little more planning.
A Majority Want To Get Away
According to a January, 2021 survey conducted by American Express, 78% of people said they want to get away this year to relieve the stress of the pandemic.1 Seniors are doing more than just wishing they can go. A T-Mobile survey found that 68% of grandparents plan to travel in 2021, often because they’ve missed seeing their grandkids.2
In response to this pent-up demand, American Airlines announced they are planning to fly more than 90% of their domestic and 80% of their international seat capacity. This is a dramatic reversal from the lows of 2020.3
But it also means that for many destinations you’ll need to have everything reserved ahead of time.
Don’t Leave It To Chance
In the past, you could travel to a destination and enjoy the flexibility of finding your hotel and rental car when you get there. Not this year. The Wall Street Journal advises you to have these reserved well in advance of your trip, especially if you’re traveling to a sunny location like Florida or Hawaii.
Know What’s Open
While more attractions are opening up, some with limited capacity, chances are not everything will be available for your visit. For example, if you’re planning to go to Washington D.C., you need to know which sites are open, which are closed, and which have restricted hours. As of this writing, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is open. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is temporarily closed. And venues like the National Gallery of Art require you to reserve a timed entry pass.
Additionally, COVID restrictions on things like indoor dining vary by locality. So it’s highly recommended that you know what the official policy is anywhere you go.
Consider Going Off The Beaten Path
While the number of coronavirus cases has been decreasing and the number of vaccinated people increasing, public health officials are still suggesting that you’re better off away from densely packed crowds.
Dr. Summer Johnson McGee, dean of the University of New Haven’s School of Health Sciences, says, “For both public-health and affordability reasons, I recommend seeking off-the-beaten-path destinations, smaller cities and towns, like touring the Texas Hill Country’s wineries, exploring Boise, Idaho, or bicycling on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
Whatever you decide to do, you should book your trip as far in advance as possible. Increasing demand will make it more difficult to get your first choice for dates and locations.
We hope you’re able to get out and enjoy a summer trip as things continue to open up.
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