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Travel companies busy with customers looking to get away

A year into the pandemic, travel is increasing across the country
Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 3:17 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. Back in March, news of the virus spreading stopped travel. People were advised to stay home, airlines scaled back on flights and trips were cancelled. Travel agencies were left scrambling trying to juggle all of the cancellation, obtain refunds or vouchers and then find out when they could reschedule clients.

Today, travel is picking up again. Instead of just staycations, families are leaving the state or flying across the country. Christianne Lehman is a travel advisor for Central Travel. She says each week more and more clients are calling to book a trip.

“People are so ready, they want to get out,” says Lehman.

A few things to note if you are traveling or planning a vacation is to do your research or work with someone who knows all of the current regulations. Lehman says right now, many countries are not letting Americans cross the borders. Exceptions to that are Mexico and the Caribbean. Lehman says those are safe bets if you are looking to book an international vacation. Right now, all travelers must provide negative COVID-19 test results before returning to the U.S. That rule applies even if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine. You can find all of the latest CDC regulations here.

Meanwhile, for domestic travel, Florida is a very popular spot. With spring break around the corner, families are flocking to the beaches and theme parks. Disney is open but if you are planning a trip, know that it is different than our pre-pandemic world. Masks are required and everyone who wants to go visit a theme park, must have a reservation. This is separate from your ticket or booking at an on-site Disney hotel, in addition you must make a reservation for the day and park you plan on visiting. Michelle Bork works for Travelmation and is an expert Disney trip planner. She says all parks are operating at 35% capacity but you might not feel like that is the case while inside a park.

“It’s going to feel more crowded but it’s not as bad as you think it is because of social distancing and lines, lines seem very long but you have 6 feet between each party,” says Bork.

Bork has been to Disney 5 times since July and says while there are some elements missing, it is still a chance to get away and experience the magic. Bork recommends working with an agent if you are planning for Disney. Due to the current reservation requirements and capacity restrictions, March and April are already booked at most of the Disney World Parks in Orlando.

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