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AAA: Most Americans ready to travel again

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 5:31 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As more people roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated, there’s an urge to travel again with summer around the corner.

Experts say with the lack of people vacationing last year, many will be looking to make up for the lost time. That means longer stays and bigger travel groups.

“A recent nationwide destination analyst survey indicated that 69.3% of respondents are ready to travel now,” said Brenda Hunsberger, senior vice president of travel services with AAA.

If you’re the type to plan early, AAA says you might want to double down this year, maybe even more than two to four months in advance. They expect travelers to extend their stays, or even take the plunge for their dream getaway

“They may have a trip to one destination, and now they’re really saying, ‘you know, I really wanted to go here,’ and this seems like the year to do it,” said VP of Leisure Travel, Chip Morgan.

They also expect a rise in so-called “bubble groups”: traveling with friends, family or people they haven’t seen in the past year.

AAA also calls 2021 the year of the Great American Road Trip, with an expected rise in camping and RV rentals.

Debra Calvert, the association’s managing director, says people “want to take their families to experience the beauty of the national parks; do some outdoor activities like biking, swimming and hiking.”

The cost of traveling might be higher than normal, however. Hunsberger adds that they are seeing some dramatic pricing increases.

“That really has to do with the fact that many travel suppliers have been without revenues coming in the door for the past year,” Hunsberger said.

As for cruises, AAA expects possible international sailing soon, since the CDC recently allowed trial voyages in the United States for certain cruise lines.

For the flights, they advise travelers to temper their expectations when it comes to amenities on the planes, as many airlines still have safety guidelines in place. In addition, always be mindful of destinations that require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests.

Finally, they say that driving is still the safest way to travel. Like every year, expect to pay more at the gas pump. March saw a rise in prices, and May is expected to continue the trend as we move towards Memorial Day.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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