Travel agents say book now for 2021 trips

What you need to know before you travel

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As more people across the state get vaccinated, local travel agencies are seeing an increase in business, but they said the pandemic has changed many things for travelers.

“We are going to have a more limited experience than what we had in 2019,” said Christen Perry, the owner of Classic Travel Connection. “Things are just going to be different.”

Perry said things are filling up fast.

“If you are wanting a vacation for any time this year, then you need to plan it, you need to book it, as soon as possible,” said Perry.

Perry said flights are limited and expensive right now because after COVID layoffs, many airlines don’t have enough staff.

“We are not seeing the number of flights we need, we do not have the amount of airlift to get everybody to where they are going,” Perry said.

She said resorts and hotels are having the same problem.

“Not even because they are at a limited capacity, there is just no availability,” Perry said.

Perry said negative COVID tests are not required for entry in most states, but she said domestic travel is booking quickly.

“If you haven’t planned your national park vacation for this summer, it’s not going to happen,” Perry said. “It is so full.”

She said if you’re planning for international travel, it’s important to know each country’s requirements, or you might not get on your flight.

“Every country is different,” Perry said. “Some require a three day testing period prior to entry, some require five, some require seven, and some require no testing at all. We’ve seen so many people get turned away at the airport because they didn’t know the paperwork that they needed.”

She said just because a state or country is open to travelers doesn’t mean their restaurants or tourist attractions are open yet. Checking all the mandates is important.

“Domestic, international, no matter what, always know what is waiting for you when you get there,” Perry said.

Perry suggests using a travel agent for your plans because they will know each country’s requirements.

Perry also suggests travel insurance. She said most help you get refunds in case you test positive before your trip and can no longer go.

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