TAMPA, Fla. — The travel industry is continuing to rebound during this pandemic as many people decide to take their families on vacation this year. According to new data from AAA, it appears people may be more comfortable traveling now than any other time since the pandemic began.
Scott Geiselhart and his family touched down in Tampa Tuesday, ready to relax on vacation.
“It’s been pent up too long,” Geiselhart said. “I think it’s gotten safer. I think people have gotten used to, like even with COVID, people have gotten used to it.”
His family is in line with many more who are traveling right now. AAA measured Floridian’s comfort level in traveling during the pandemic.
That clocked in at 85% during Q2 this year compared to 47% during the same time period last year.
“People are more confident because they’ve received their COVID vaccination, they believe the risk of contracting the virus is pretty much the same wherever they’d go, and there are those that are just less afraid about the dangers of the virus,” AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said.
Experts said travel bookings are surging. According to AAA, nearly seven in ten Floridians will take at least one trip in 2022.
Although inflation is driving up costs across the country, AAA also said that doesn’t mean people are canceling their trips.
“About a quarter of Floridians say inflation is not affecting their travel plans at all," Jenkins said. "Meanwhile, about 74% are saying that they’re going to make adjustments to offset the added expense, and those adjustments can include taking road trips instead of flying, staying at more affordable accommodations, choosing more affordable destinations, or just planning further ahead."
If you have a trip planned for Memorial Day, experts want you to expect long lines at airports and busy roads, reminding that there’s a lot of pent up demand from people waiting to take a trip.
Even with rising costs, some families shared that the cost of getting away is priceless.
“It’s something that we just had to do,” Geiselhart said. “We’ve been pent up too long, so we wanted to get everybody together, all the family and our kids, and take a trip together.”