The coronavirus epidemic has been in the United States for over a year, and the travel sector has suffered greatly during that period. Even now, with borders mostly closed, people socially isolating themselves, and business travel reduced to a fragment of its former self, airlines and hotels are only seeing a sliver of the travelers they saw at the start of last year.
However, with the widespread availability of vaccines, travel appears to be returning with a fury. And if you’ve been itching to plan a summer vacation, you’ll want to start looking into your alternatives now rather than waiting to see what happens. That’s because there are several reasons why reserving now rather than waiting until the summer is practically here may be a better option.
1. Enjoy Deals
Struggling airlines and hotels, predictably, are doing everything they can to entice people to book. While you may not be ready to board an aircraft right now, you can take advantage of current deals for future vacations. Now might be the best time to look into relaxing cruises from San Diego.
And if you’ve been hoarding frequent flier miles, now’s the time to put them to good use. As airlines struggle to fill seats, award availability is more open than it has been in years, and most US airlines no longer charge a fee to cancel an award ticket and receive your miles back (again, United is the exception if you cancel less than 30 days from departure). So set aside some time to look over the airline’s website to see what kind of mileage incentives are available.
2. Deals Might Not Last
While it’s impossible to say when international travel restrictions will be lifted, domestic travel is already on the rise – and increasing quickly. In the previous several weeks, airline and travel agency executives have reported a large increase in bookings, and the Transportation Security Administration is screening more passengers per day than it was a year ago at this time.
Great airfares and award availability are set to dwindle as demand grows. That isn’t to say that bargains will vanish totally; industry experts predict that corporate travel, which is the most valuable segment of the market for airlines, will take several years to recover fully.
But, with so many people staying in their homes for so long, it’s no surprise that there’s a strong urge to get to an exotic location as quickly as possible. So, if you want to solidify a terrific deal, now is the time to do it while airlines and hotels are still ramping up their operations.
3. It’s Time to Treat Yourself
It’s been a difficult year, and although you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, summer is still young. You’ll have something to look forward to if you arrange a trip now. Taking care of your mind is just as essential as taking care of your physical health, and planning a trip could help you get through the tough times.
Even with all of this in mind, if you simply don’t feel safe planning future trips at this time, don’t feel horrible about it. Many people do not have enough flexibility in their family or work schedules to allow them to book speculative travel when there are so many unknowns.
4. Travel Cards Can Give You Peace of Mind
You may purchase travel insurance to protect yourself in the event of a disaster, but these policies can be costly, and not all of them will cover pandemic-related claims. Fortunately, you may already have a cheaper and more effective means to protect yourself in your purse or wallet: your credit card.
Travel plan cancellation and interruption coverage, emergency evacuation coverage, travel accident insurance, and other forms of travel protection are available on many travel credit cards. While these protections typically do not cover you if you willingly cancel your trip due to the pandemic, they frequently do cover you if you get sick from the coronavirus or are unable to travel owing to unforeseen government limitations.
Don’t put off your vacation. Now is the time to book that trip for this year!