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More planning needed as summer travel opens up

Published: May. 13, 2021 at 11:32 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - From vaccine passports to mandatory reservations, for many, summer travel in 2021 will require more planning than ever before.

AAA (Triple-A) says 71 percent of Americans plan to book a trip in the next few months. But in the age of travel restrictions, knowing what’s open could save your vacation.

“Things are different everywhere and no matter where you’re going, whether it’s a Disney park or to another destination, you really need to understand what’s actually open there,” said Wichita resident Heather Thomas, among many planning to travel this summer.

For the first time, you’ll need to check to see if your destination requires a reservation, proof of vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test. The pandemic hit the tourist industry exceptionally hard. So, in advance, you need to plan for the possibility of a shortage in hotel rooms. That might mean fewer accommodations.

“The demand for rooms is increasing, but there may be limits on the labor that they have to clean rooms for example,” Thomas said. “Or there may be limits on, still, the food service that they’re able to provide.”

AAA Kansas says flights and rental cars are also limited right now and you should buy early and check with the airline for specific requirements. Cruise lines are also preparing to reopen in July, but proof of vaccine may be required.

“Cruise lines should be open up for travel out of U.S. ports in July. They will be sailing with a lower capacity than full. There most likely will be some rules regarding vaccinations,” AAA spokesman Shawn Steward said.

While summer travel overall will be more complicated in 2021, your long-awaited vacation could be smooth sailing with a plan before you leave.

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