June 1, 2023


Just Do Travel

Travel industry prepares for summer travel surge

A Grand Rapids travel agent provides tips on what you need to know before booking your summer vacation.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — With the CDC relaxing some COVID restrictions and more people getting vaccinated, the travel industry is preparing for a big travel boom.

It’s no secret that the travel industry was one of the hardest hit during the pandemic. Airports had few travelers walking through the terminal but traffic has picked up in recent weeks, a sign now that things are finally turning around.

According to the TSA, nationally, more than 1.3 million people passed through airport security this week. That’s compared to just over 163,000 this time last year.

Sue Ball, owner of Sphera Travel agency in Grand Rapids, says a lot of destinations are open right now and travel agents have been very busy planning trips for individuals, families and large groups.

Ball says they’re seeing a lot of domestic travel to places like Alaska and international travel to places like Mexico, which is easier to get into than others.

She says countries have different requirements, and some need you to get two, or possibly even three, COVID tests. As of right now, being fully vaccinated is not mandated but experts believe it will be in the future.

Ball says it’s best not to DIY your vacation. Instead, talk to an expert and do your research.

“I recommend purchasing travel insurance. There are a few reasons for that: it will cover you while you’re in the destination if you should get sick. It will also allow for trip interruption if you have to cancel if you get sick before the trip. Some countries are also requiring that, so a travel advisor will advise you of those requirements,” Ball said.

She also recommends consulting a travel advisor before booking your trip.
She says you have to be flexible when making travel plans because things are changing day-to-day.

Ball mentioned there is still a car rental shortage but that’s something your travel agent can help you with. A lot of people are planning trips not only for this summer, but also for the fall and into next year.

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