Making travel plans for summer 2021

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – If you’re looking to travel this summer, and even through the end of the year, you may find your vacation experience different from before COVID-19.

The pandemic cancelled nearly all travel plans with the national shut down and limited access to plane, bus and train travel. Hotels, restaurants and popular tourist attractions were closed. Even for those who decided to drive, many states required quarantine upon arrival and proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Three states added to low-risk Massachusetts travel order list

The advent of virus vaccines has more people feeling positive about out of state travel. A report released by American Express this week has found that people are looking forward to taking a vacation away from home as a way to seek relief from the stress, responsibilities and strict lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic.

According to the report, just planning a trip lifted people’s moods. Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed said planning gave them something to look forward to, making them feel excited, happy and hopeful.

While people are willing to venture beyond their communities and states, safety is still a top priority when traveling. The American Express survey reports that 65% of survey participants say they will wait to travel until all family members receive a vaccine.

California college paying students not to travel for spring break

Vacationers can expect to continue to see pandemic safety protocols in place. According to AAA, face coverings are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Some states, and some establishments, have mandates and/or restrictions on where and when masks must be worn.

If you travel out of state by car, be sure to find out which gas stations, rest stops, restaurants and hotels are open and the travel restrictions within the states you’ll be visiting.

When booking a hotel, ask about the precautions they’re taking to ensure guest health and safety such as social distancing protocols, and access to amenities and common spaces such as the pool, restaurants, and gym.

Travel agencies recommend vacationing in summer, early fall

For those who plan to fly you may want to contact the airline to find out if food and beverages will be available and what the carry-on limits are. Some airlines are allowing up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer per passenger.

International travel has many restrictions. All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID‑19 before they board a flight to the United States. Travelers who don’t provide this to their airline will be denied boarding. Be sure to check with your airline prior to booking and in the days before your departure date for updates on COVID-19 protocols.

If long distance travel is not in your vacation plans, discovering your community and state can be a safe bet. Historical, cultural and outdoor activities can be found in every state. Many states are allowing the opening of museums, restaurants, state parks and popular tourist attractions. Check with the local chamber of commerce or other tourism board in your region or state for updates on what’s open.

Connecticut COVID restrictions for anyone traveling from another state

If you have questions about travel or are unsure on how to go about planning a vacation, an experienced travel agent can provide accurate and updated travel information.