Vacation bookings run low, as ‘Hot Vaxxed Summer’ 2021 begins
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – As we head into Memorial Day weekend, AAA Travel expects a big rebound in traveler numbers this year.
In fact, they predict a 60% increase from 2020.
But perhaps the big problem this summer is finding places to stay.
Some people may want to take flights and not feelings this summer 2021.
While others just need a good vacation.
âSo we probably booked a vacation in November of last year, to go to Super Bowl Sunday in Cancun,â said Cynthia Ross, a resident of Baton Rouge.
Ross and her husband have just returned from Mexico. A trip that they had to postpone from February because of the pandemic.
âWe were just worried about taking the COVID test in Mexico and what it would be. And I wouldn’t want to be stuck there for 14 days, we had heard from a lot of people who had done it, âRoss said.
Now that the economies of most states have fully reopened and vaccines are available to everyone, many people can be ready to travel.
âAnd we found that most of the things we were looking for just weren’t there,â said Jeffrey Wale, a Denham Springs resident.
Wale and his family were looking for condos for an upcoming trip to the beach.
He visited some of the popular sites like VRBO and AIRBNB but was not very lucky.
âAnd in the rare event that we did find something available, we found it to be well outside our price range, and just out of what we could expect for this particular trip,â Wale said. .
Gulf Shore and Orange Beach tourism officials say the beaches are in great condition and expect a busy summer.
âThere is still availability in June. And July is booking fast so we really want to encourage people to book. And then when they come, remember it’s very busy, and be patient, probably a little bit, âsaid Beth Gendler, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism.
âI had to research some trips for people, and availability is just scarce,â said Alana Bishop, with Alana International Travel in Gonzales.
Bishop is a travel agent and says she is having similar issues. She wants people to be proactive now, for any trips they might be planning for later in the year.
âSo I suggest trying to book as far into the future as possible and get help from a travel agent,â Bishop said.
If you find a location and travel this summer, the Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana invites you to:
- Plan ahead. Allow plenty of time to research hotels, flights, and the area where you will be staying. As a general rule, the earlier reservations are made, the better the offers and the lower the risk of reserving the destination. Making reservations in advance also locks in rates and avoids higher prices later during spring break, summer, or vacation.
- Avoid large-scale internet searches. Typing phrases like “best deals” into the search engine you are using can sometimes bring up websites that look official, but are only designed to rip people off.
- Watch out for travel scams. Beware of phone calls or letters claiming âfree travelâ or websites offering prizes that sound too good to be true. It’s easy to spread questionable offers like these, but the vast majority of them leave hopeful travelers in limbo – and penniless. Learn more about travel scams here.
- Do your homework. Ask family and friends to recommend a travel agent or travel website and visit BBB.org for free company profiles. Research the company and read customer reviews of the rentals being considered.
- Get the trip details in writing. Before making a final payment, get all travel details in writing. This should include the total cost, restrictions, cancellation penalties, and the names of airlines and hotels. Also review and keep a copy of the airline and hotel cancellation and refund policies, as well as the cancellation policies of the travel agency or booking site used.
- Consider travel insurance. Travel insurance covers things like trip cancellations or medical emergencies. There are different levels of coverage depending on the type of plan purchased. Ask lots of questions and always read the fine print to see what’s covered and what’s not.
- Pay with a credit card. Paying by credit card provides additional protection if something goes wrong with the travel reservation.
- Are you planning to travel abroad? Check if there are any advisories regarding Canada and the US Travel Association for any issues that may affect the trip.
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