It’s been over one year since Americans were told to cancel their travel plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, and there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel for those pining for a getaway. With vaccinations mounting in the U.S. just in time for warm weather, many will be venturing out further than their backyards for the busy summer travel season. So what does this summer hold for travelers?
1. Can we expect any good deals…what destinations will be the most popular this summer?
Despite the influx of travelers booking trips, there are still deals to be had and there are some clear trends emerging…
Florida – Has been a popular travel spot throughout the pandemic with its warm weather and outdoor activities – and it continues to trend in flight bookings this summer. I recently visited Captiva’s gorgeous South Seas Island Resort, located right off of Florida’s Gulf Coast. The resort’s paradise appeal goes without question situated on two-and-a-half miles of powder-white beaches in a destination that offers world-renowned sailing and fishing. Right now they are offering their Advanced Purchase Promotion, where you save up to 20% on your hotel reservation by at least 30 days in advance.
Puerto Rico and Hawaii – Puerto Rico is the third most-booked destination for summer 2021, according to Priceline, with Orbitz naming it the most popular search destination for those living on the East Coast. Hawaii equallyseems to be surging due to its far-off feel – Oahu and Maui ranked 5th and 14th, respectively.according to Priceline’s 15 most booked destinations for summer 2021.
2. What about city breaks, or urban entertainment hotspots – are these due to have come-back this summer?
Hotel prices dropped during the pandemic in urban environments more than rural ones, due to the exodus from crowded cities during the pandemic, but now is the time to grab deals on city breaks before prices rise again.
Los Angeles – Despite what some may think, every sector of the visitor experience from museums and restaurants to theme parks and outdoor live events is open in Los Angeles. This spring, a bunch of new and exciting hotels will open like the Fairmont Century Plaza and the Downtown L.A. Proper. There are tons of brand-new restaurants opening throughout the city, concerts and football games are being held at the SoFi Stadium, and The Music Centre in downtown LA is hosting live performances. If you head to discoverlosangeles.com you’ll find some great deals on hotels, restaurants and more, good thru June 30th.
New York and Las Vegas – There’s nothing quite like spring in New York and given that the average daily hotel rates in the city were under $150 this March, according to Priceline, travelers are jumping on the opportunity to see the city open up. Also travel deals to Las Vegas from major air travel hubs have plenty of travelers opting to kick off their return to Sin City, the second most-booked summer destination on Priceline this year.
3. What other changes can travelers expect when they fly, specifically when it comes to insuring their trips this summer?The pandemic changed how airlines and hotels handle flexibility, with many eliminating change and cancellation fees altogether.
In turn, many travel insurance companies also specifically added Covid medical and trip interruption or flight reimbursement coverage. You’ve got air medical transport programs out there like Medjet that, if you are hospitalized while traveling, will arrange medical transportation to your hospital at home. Most travel insurance only evacuates to a nearby hospital, while they get you moved home. They added Covid-19 transport benefits last October, for domestic travel and international destinations like Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean as they opened up. In general, how people insure their trips and protect themselves, may change for good, after this past year.