(NEWS10)- Summer 2021 is likely to see many people planning and taking vacations as the rate of COVID infections continues to decrease. Many popular travel sites like Tripadvisor, Airbnb and Travelocity all agree- Americans are ready to vacation.
Two-thirds of Americans (67%) plan on vacationing between June 1 and August 31, according to Tripadvisor. However, people who planned to take a vacation this summer but haven’t booked it yet may find their choices limited.
Time is running out for people longing to spend some time at the beach, state parks, or looking for anywhere as long as it isn’t home. Hudson Valley American Automobile Association (AAA) Manager of Travel Agency Operations, John Kusek’s advice is don’t wait any longer.
“Travel is back,” Kusek said. “Booking a trip – book as soon as possible, most of the popular destinations are selling out quick.”
Kusek said trips to the Caribbean and Mexico are selling out fast. He also said there is a rental car shortage specifically large SUVs and minivans. This is along the line of trends Airbnb said it is seeing in its bookings. They said family summer travel has increased from 27% in 2019 to 33% so far in 2021.
Expect to find good pricing on resorts, said Kusek. But whether people are flying or driving to their destination they can also expect to pay more for airfare and gas. Airfare prices are on the rise due to availability and the price of fuel, he said.
The national average price of gas per gallon is $3.073, according to AAA. The price this summer isn’t likely to fall much below that, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The price of gas during June will average $3.03 and fall to $2.76 by September, they said.
Gas prices in the northeast range from the lowest $2.930 in New Hampshire, to $3.182 the highest in Pennsylvania.
Gas prices in the northeast
|State||Avg. price/gal. on June 10|
Rural vacations have seen a boon this year. Less than 10% of Airbnb bookings globally in 2015 were for rural areas. Rural bookings in 2021 in the United States were up nearly triple that of 2015 at 28%, based on Airbnb’s 2021 Report on Travel & Living.
What about COVID?
The past two months have seen the seven-day moving average for COVID infections significantly shrink. It was 5.31% on April 16 compared to 1.33% on June 8, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In the northeast, the seven-day moving average is between .48% (Massachusetts) and 2.81% (Maine), also according to the Mayo Clinic.
Northeastern states COVID infection rate
|State||Seven-day moving average on June 8|
The Mayo Clinic tracks COVID data for all 50 states and some United States territories on its website. Want more detailed information for your summer vacation spot? Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for county information.
Airline passengers, whether vaccinated or not, will be required to wear a facemask for the duration of flights. As of June 10, the CDC has not changed this requirement.
The CDC said fully vaccinated people can travel in the United States safely. Recommendations for unvaccinated people include getting a COVID test before and after traveling. Those who do not get tested upon returning from travel should quarantine for 10 days. Read the CDC’s full travel recommendations.
Most if not all states have reopened for visitors but as they did throughout the height of the pandemic, COVID health regulations vary widely by state. Some states still require a mask in certain settings, including those vaccinated, and have not opened restaurants or entertainment venues to 100% which could impact wait times.
The CDC’s international travel guidelines are more strict than for domestic travel. There are some international locations the U.S. Department of State is telling people not to travel to. A list of travel advisories for other countries is available on its website. Read CDC travel advice for specific countries.