The best time to book travel deals after the pandemic | #vacation | #seniors | #elderly
The travel industry has already seen an uptick in reservations, so snag the good deals before they’re gone
CLEVELAND — For the past year we’ve seen big savings on hotels and flights, as the travel and hospitality industries tried to get people to book trips during the pandemic. But now that restrictions are easing and vaccines are rolling out, you may want to start planning your future trips now.
We’re getting closer to spring break, but it’s not just teens traveling, flight bookings by seniors are four times higher now than last summer. Caesars Vegas reports reservations are up 20 percent. And the TSA is hiring thousands of officers for an expected rush.
“Interest in travel and flight bookings are going to surge in the next four weeks, six weeks,” said Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights. “And you’re already starting ton see it pick up significantly. And you’re going to see airfare increase as a result of that.”
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Keyes says if you want to get away, book now while there are still deals. Especially since the airlines are continuing their liberal change policies.
“One of the silver linings in terms of airline policies, is that they’ve actually permanently gotten rid of those change fees, as long as you’re booking and main economy or premium economy or business class,” he said.
If you want to travel but don’t want to get too close to others, ignore beach spots because that’s where people are flocking after being cooped up for a year. And avoid popular travel times, since Delta is the only airline still blocking out the middle seat.
“So think of flights in the middle of the week, you know Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.,” Keyes said. “Maybe some red eye flights, ones that don’t always sound the most appealing.”
A good way to ease back in, is by taking a “short” flight: somewhere within the U.S., where medical coverage isn’t an issue. You could also take a road trip, but keep in mind, national parks and other RV-friendly spots are filling up fast.
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Edyta Satchell is a travel wellness coach who advises frequent fliers. She says no matter how or where you go, avoid high touch areas.
“I’ve seen a lot of people, I’ve done it myself, use the sanitizing wipes to wipe the contamination zones,” she said.
And while many cruises have been docked at least through May and June, and we don’t know what health and safety protocols will be required, if you book now for the future, travel expert and consumer advocate Chris Elliot says you can get huge discounts and perks like free open bars and risk-free cancellations.
“With the cruise lines, when they cancel their cruises, they offered either a refund or a 125 percent credit if you use that credit for a future sailing.”
But before you book anything, check your destination’s quarantine policy, or you could end up a shut-in. And if your vacation’s pricey, consider ‘cancel for any reason’ insurance, to make sure you’re covered, or specific COVID-19 coverage, which some countries require.