MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) – While AAA predicts travel is up about 34 percent from last year, local travel agencies say they are still seeing low numbers. Gulliver’s Travel at SouthPark Mall says they’re only seeing about 30 to 40 percent of their usual travelers.
While many Americans are vaccinated and traveling again, the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19 is making some weary. Julie Neal, manager at Gulliver’s Travel, says to those who want to travel, even after the holidays: you just have to be smart about how and where you go.
“We have gained so much knowledge in the last two years but there’s a lot out there. If we share that knowledge together that seems to be a really good relationship. Flights and airline schedules are a mess, being aware of those and having the travel agent we can track those for you,” says Neal.
“We’re seeing hills and valleys [with the pandemic], we’re hoping this isn’t a mountain this time.”
She also notes to pack not only your bag, face mask, passport, and vaccination card, but also your patience, “be a really patient traveler right now. If there’s a will there’s a way and on the other side there’s still a relaxing way, you just have a few more hoops to get there.”
Remember to also do your research before you travel or head back. Some countries, like the United States, for example, may ask for a negative COVID test and proof of vaccination before you can fly in.
The winter months are typically slow, according to Neal. But, she expects 2022 to have higher numbers, particularly in Europe.
The TSA expects January 2 and 3 to be the busiest days for post-holiday travel.
Neal says during the pandemic, she’s seen a variety of travelers at Gulliver’s, from multi-generational families, new couples, girl’s outings, and the elderly. She says some find it easier to travel and deal with the hassle of flights with a travel agent.
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