TAMPA, Fla — Raise your hand if you are ready to travel again.
“As soon as I was vaccinated I booked a weekend in Ukraine. Because that’s completely normal, to fly to their Ukraine for a weekend,” she said with a laugh. “But, we just wanted to celebrate”
She and her travel buddy say the experience was emotional.
“I cried on the plane, she cried over dinner, we were just so excited to be traveling again,” she said.
They’ve booked nearly a dozen trips this year, many postponed from 2020 but traveling is a priority after being diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago and beating it.
“When I finished and got to the other side I thought clearly life is too short and that was definitely a lesson,” Hamrick said. “I think that’s where people are right now with COVID, they’ve been home for a year so they’re getting that itch but they’re also feeling that need to connect with people and see places and do things.”
“It’s just one more of those dominoes that are falling in this phased reopening and returning to travel,” said AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins.
But he says you may want to get a travel adviser — someone who can navigate through COVID restrictions and entry and exit requirements in each country.
“When you’re browsing the Internet looking for a travel deal, you’re on your own! And sometimes if things don’t work out, you’re on your own,” he said.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that plans can change and trips can be canceled if there is a worldwide emergency.
And the Better Business Bureau says right now scammers are making it easy to get taken advantage of. A common scam they’re seeing now is when folks do a quick search for “cheap flights.” You may come across a great fare from what looks to be a major airline. You book the flight but never get a confirmation e-mail or they suddenly call you right after you pay and tell you the airfare has gone up. The BBB says a legitimate company would never do that.
“I spend a lot of time doing the research, and I’m a member of AAA so that’s also a really valuable resource to use someone like that,” said Hamrick. “I think it depends on your comfort level with travel even pre-COVID.”
AAA says it has an app that will alert you of the restrictions around the US in different states and counties if you’re planning a road trip.