According to a Harris Poll, 77 percent of Americans are planning summer travel this year, with 26 percent ready to go right now. That makes sense, with Memorial Day weekend (May 27-31) coming right up.
That’s a little lower than pre-pandemic numbers for a summer, but with everyone rushing to travel, and many destinations still closed, inaccessible, or otherwise unavailable, some extra planning may be necessary for everyone this year.
Here are some potential summer travel trip-ups to keep in mind:
Be it rental cars, hotel rooms, or airline seats, some summer travel necessities are going to be hard to find this year. During the pandemic, many hotels went out of business, rental car companies sold off their fleets rather than pay storage, and airlines reduced their scheduled flights to cut costs. It will take time – likely several years – before supply meets demand for any of the things again. Tied to that, prices for all of the above will be higher.
Build more time into your summer travel to wait, this year. In many industries but especially in service and hospitality, staffing shortages mean that everything will take a little longer. Be patient and especially be kind – no one at the customer-service level made the decisions that are slowing things down. (Important: This also includes lines at security checkpoints, so arrive even earlier to your flight than you would have in 2019.)
Not just gas, either: everything related to travel will cost more. The entire industry lost over a year of revenue, and the companies that survived are trying to recoup losses.
While we’d all like things to go back to “normal,” some things in the world did change for good. Research what your destination is still doing in regards to COVID protocol, for instance, and be prepared to adhere to that, no matter how it’s done at home. Don’t expect anyone to shake hands. Wear masks if they’re asked for. And if you’re sick, it’s not just rude to take that to your travel destination, it might be a crime.