COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As COVID-19 restrictions ease up across the country, many people are eager to get away and book a summer vacation for the first time in two years.
If you’re planning to travel but waiting for a last-minute deal, a local expert said the time to book is now.
Travel agent Jeannie Gualtieri said the number of people booking vacations has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but if you’re planning a summer getaway, you should not wait for gas prices to go down.
From the skies to the roadways, travelers are once again eager to visit their favorite destinations.
“People are wanting to get out of dodge, you know,” Gualtieri said. “It’s like they’re tired of being trapped in their house and they want to spend time with their family.
As owner of Active Travel in Hilliard, Gualtieri said if you’re planning a summer getaway, be prepared to spend a bit more.
“What a hotel in Florida used to go for, like $15-$200, is $300 or $400 now,’ she said.
She said hotels need to recoup the money lost due to the decline in travel throughout the two years ofo the pandemic.
“It’s that supply and demand,” Gualtieri said. “They know that if you’re going to drive, you’re willing to do it and if you don’t want to get your passport renewed, or if you want to stay in the states, you’re going to be paying more money.”
With surging gas prices, airfares and travel packages are increasing in price, but the cost of a rental car has actually gone down since the start of the year.
“Earlier this year, in like January, you were paying like $1,000 for a week,” Gualtieri said. “You might be down to like $800.”
If you’re looking for the best deal, she suggests you be flexible; if you’re willing to fly out of Cleveland or Cincinnati, you might get cheaper airfare.
“Give us advance notice,” Gualtieri said. “If you know you’re going in August, don’t call us in July. If you know you’re going to go, book it now.”
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